Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

I Am Not Ketchup!

ketchup.jpg

Small houses, spare tyres, mistresses - call them what you wish!

In southern Africa, the phenomenon of multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships remains a key driver of HIV. Recently, a group of four female Zimbabwean poets (myself included) launched our book of poetry entitled 'Sunflowers In Your Eyes'. One of the poems that I contributed is entitled, 'I Am Not Ketchup' and refers to the fact that I will refuse to be any man's mistress.

When I perform it, the men get very quiet. I love it! Happy reading:

I am not ketchup,
To be had on the side,
Along with a main course,
Poured somewhere on the edge of a plate,
Only to be called to use
If the meat tastes bland,
Or the gravy runs short,
Or the veggies need masking
from their insipidity.

I am not a condiment
To be smothered mercilessly onto a platter of food,
Oozing garishly and tactlessly
where I need not be:
For where I need be
Is deep within the wafting aroma
Of my own flavours
Distinct and complete,
Calling to attention those with senses trained in
the appreciation of
the finer things in life.

Downloads

Comments

aimeeknight's picture

I love this! I think many

I love this! I think many women, worldwide can relate to being approached for this type of relationship. I am not ketchup!!!

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

Fungai Machirori's picture

Amen!

Amen to that!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Robin Farrin's picture

So scrumptious and so fine

I love how you pointed out where you need to be~you explained it so beautifully. Good poet you are. Keep up your fine and fantastic work.
Throbbin,
Robin

Fungai Machirori's picture

Thanks throbbin' Robin!

Thanks for the support. Looking forward to seeing your stuff!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Being Human on 1/20/2009

Being Human, feeling human
Feeling the delightful emotion of joy on this great day.
Inauguration Day
Jan 20, 2009

Nine the number for perfection
Can one human be the perfect president?
No, I don't think so.
Not if he is a human being
Being human means...
What does it mean?

Hopefully it doesn't mean never having to say your sorry.
I have been so disappointed in past presidents,
but now we have one that is worthy of giving us hope
and promising change.

Are my hopes too high? Am I expecting too much?
Where will his actions take us?
Will we as human beings approve of his choices?
Will Barack Obama make a difference for us all?

I cried tears of joy today.
What an amazing historical day it is for so many of us;
a day so worthy of being a living human being.

Fungai Machirori's picture

Thank you for verse!

Thank you for this dear Robin. I am eager to find out what you think now? Wouldn't it be a fab idea to do a poem now and answer some of the questions you ask? I would love to read that!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Robin Farrin's picture

Good idea!

Dear Fungai,
I will see what I can come up with. Thanks!
robin

Nelly Bassily's picture

I'm not Ketchup either!!!!

Fungai...*I'm virtually high-fiving you right now!*

What an interesting analogy! I unfortunately have my own stories about unknowingly being "ketchup" (well, that is until I uncover the truth, because I always do!) And fortunately for me, I'm strong enough to learn something from these experiences and hopefully look at life with a clearer lens the next time. Not only should women not accept to be *any* sort of side dish, as it were, but they should learn that they are a fine main course and any man who wants to be fed better be ready to savour and appreciate that dish!

Do you do any poetry slams in Zim? If not, you should! Would like to ready more of your stuff. I'm going to share your poem with my friends on Facebook (And, boost about how awesome you are :)

Rock on,
-Nelly

Nelly Bassily
"We must become the change we want to see in the world"
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Fungai Machirori's picture

Poetry slams in Zim

Hi again,

Thanks much for the publicity! Really appreciate it. The problem with us women is that we tend to beleieve the lies about ourselves. If one person tells you you aren't good enough, you believe it and then it affects your self esteem. You end up with a guy who reinforces that and you accept any nonsense he dishes out to you.

It's very sad.

We do have poetry slams at a place called the Book Cafe. We have seem really good poets. Exposure is the problem mostly. But the words and heart are in overflow!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Mei Li's picture

ooooh la la

I love your voice and creativity. I think poetry is one of the best ways to raise awareness about the issues we face in our communities. My friend has a poem called Over the Line...that begins with, "I'm sorry, did I forget to wear my 'don't rub your dick on my ass pin again?'"

:)

And the poem is all about the objectification of women and how men just think they are here to grope, like submitting under them is the ultimate fulfillment women are seeking in life.

When she reads this poem, the men are quiet too, but the women are constantly whooooooping and hollaring!

I love your ketchup poem, it is brilliant. Thank you for allowing access to your sweet, creative mind :)

"...our compassion is the practice of unconditioning." Jakusho Kwong Roshi

Fungai Machirori's picture

Thanks!

I am really humbled by this community that I am creating. The conversations are scinitillating and my brain is really working (I can hear the pistons turning!). I think that yes, we are onto something with using poetry as a medium for empowerment. Another World Pulse chum has just been filling me in on the potential. And here I was just posting the poem for you all to enjoy!

Wow, wow, wow! I am excited really. I am going to write out a concept for a projecct and bounce it off you guys. You've reignited my passion for change! Thanks :)

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

SAsong's picture

Me neither!!!

A wonderful wrap to a long work day :-) Thanks for sharing, certainly had me smiling all the way home :-)
Hugz!!!

Fungai Machirori's picture

Glad I could assist!

Big hugs back at you!!!

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

CAMEROON: Forced Into Marriage at 14

CAMEROON: Forced Into Marriage at 14

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative