Parity – Lady in Yellow

Hi readers, hope you all had a great weekend.

I’m finally nearing the end of the For Coloured Girls series. Today’s poem will be the fifth out of  seven poems. This series has been very empowering for me as a woman, and as a writer. I’ve been able to voice out my opinion(s) on a range of issues affecting the modern (African) woman.

Today’s post is quite long, I hope you enjoy every word as much as I enjoyed penning them down.

As a woman, if you’ve ever been told you can’t do something just because you’re female – then today’s poem is for you. If you’ve ever been looked down on because you’re female – then today’s poem is for you. If your voice has been dismissed because you’re female – then this one is for you.

Before you go ahead and read today’s poem, please read up the last four poems as voiced by the other ‘ladies’ – Carpe Diem – Lady in BrownPro Choice – Lady in RedForlorn Love – Lady in Purple and Muffled Screams – Lady in Blue.


I had never been more proud of myself than I was today. I could not believe I had been invited to speak at this symposium. I watched as the Master of Ceremony walked up the stage…

“I now invite our guest speaker. She is one with many achievements, and she has had such a positive impact to the young girls in the society. Some people even call her a ‘Womanitarian’. Please welcome on stage Dr. Lady in Yellow”

I gave my broadest smile, getting a slight high from the sounds of the applause from the audience. This was a defining moment.

“Hello everyone. It is a great honour to be standing in front of you all today. Let me tell you a story, for some words are better when spoken…”

Papa always wanted a son

“Boys are stronger”

“Boys are smarter”

“A son will handle the family business better”

My entire childhood

I lived in the shadow

Of a non-existent son

Papa would tell jokes

Of how his non existent son

Would make him proud someday

If I scored in the 80th percentile

“Well a son would have scored 100%”

“You’re just a girl”

“Focus on girly things”

He would buy me dolls

With pink dresses

And told me to find a ‘female career’

“Be a nurse”

“Be a secretary”

“Be a teacher”

“You will need more time for the children”

But I hated pink

I could not stand dolls

I disliked dresses

And I certainly did not want children

“Shut up” Mama would say

“You come from a long line of fertility”

Yet again, another rebuke

I tried

I really tried

All day

Everyday

Hours on end

Trying to impress Papa

Sadly, it was never truly enough

Papa tried too, to have a son

He ended up with ‘seven of us’

How ironic!

Now don’t get me wrong!

There’s nothing wrong with liking pink

And having dolls

But that was not me

Eventually

I stopped listening

To Papas little voice in my head

Telling me I wasn’t good enough

I wasn’t just good

I realised I was exceptional

Exceptional as a person – not ‘for a woman’

I went on to do great things

First in every class I was

Multiple awards

Scholarships

Published books

Got offered my dream job

Still it wasn’t enough

One day

It occurred to me

That there were many out there

Many like me

Their ideas shot down

Dreams short lived

Because of ‘what’ they were

So I founded ‘Women with Colour’

For their lives were dark

And filled with sorrow

As time passed

We grew

Word went round

Radio, Television and the Internet

My girls

They made me happy

Together we accomplised

Together we bloomed

Then one day

Papa called me

“I am sorry”

You see

Papa was one of little words

But his words had weight

I smiled to myself

Because I knew

He was proud of me

His daughter!

Ladies

You can be anything

You can do anything

You are only limited

By boundaries you create

The world is big enough

To accommodate all our dreams

What am I?

I am the proven theory

More than just a woman

More than just my biological component

Who am I?

I am a person

I am the Lady in Yellow

I watched as members of the audience stood up. Men, women, young boys and girls. Smiles on their faces, applause resounding.

“Oh my God! She’s amazing!”… “I love her”… “She’s so inspiring”… “She’s elegant”

Those were a few of the words I could hear from the audience.

I gave my best smile as I walked back to my seat.

————

**Photo credit – Black culture

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. hamdallah says:

    “What I’m I
    I am the proven theory”… I love this.

    Like

  2. Halima says:

    😊

    Like

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