A Review of Nia’s Melanin

Lately the social media community endorsed the #Melanin hash-tag contemporaneously with other trendy hash-tags to celebrate blackness. Imagine the lyric rapture that struck me after listening to Nia’s Melanin, an anomaly at the time, a rare gem loaded with black pride and self satisfaction in a country whose youths have been deranged by the notion: yellow-bone is the new beautiful. Once upon a girl child in Zimbabwe, skin lightening crèmes became the messianic bridge from being too dark to becoming “beautiful” or yellow-boned.

As an agent of Melanin pride, Nia says “you don’t have to change, hold your head up high. You’ll be glowing, oh please don’t hide.”
After listening to her song I bursted into somewhat a series of midnight soliloquies and the question that first approached my mind was: when was the first time you listened to a pithy, well crafted song with harmonious vocals and notes that are symphonically arranged and at the same time conveying such a salient message? My answer was Nina Simone. The last time I listened to such a song? My answer was Nia.
And the last time I heard someone being proud yet not so n Continue reading


-dear diary

I have been sitting on buses going into places that carried promises of love. I have learnt so much in one week that my head is slowly turning into a gourd of somewhat unwanted thoughts. I have learnt to search for love in faces of strangers.  I have learnt to be scared of losing what was never mine. I have learnt to cry myself to sleep. I have learnt to mistaken strangers’ smiles for love. I have taught myself to lose friends because my senses were literally drowning in alcohol. I have learnt that mornings are meant for apologizing because the previous night I was out of line. I have learnt that there are no shortcuts to healing. I have learnt that love is birthed by so much pain. I have ​found myself desperate for it. I have taught myself to lose pride begging for love.

 I’m still sitting here 


to forgive myself

for thinking after all those years I had left unhurt

for thinking I had managed to hurt you

I’m still learning 

the art of letting go what I never had

I’m still learning

to tell myself Im still sane.

I’m also still learning to accept 

that you hurt me.

© Elizabeth Semende 🌼

the things i want this winter

there are songs engraved on my thighs

songs from a soul, living in a storm,

smoking slow spliffs of sadness

i want to sneak into the canister of your sugar

imagine the honey we can brew when my thighs land on yours

in motions that if our bodies were pencils, will make art
baby this is the kind of freedom that I want

two bodies comfortable with each other,

sneaking into places , 

into spaces

that even paradise cannot match

© Elizabeth Semende 🌼


Days are soldiers guarding us to hell

in these cities where boys

crave to kiss the face of death

love is a mystery 

only understood by death.

We’ve taught death 

to define love for us

The same way light asks darkness 

to prove it’s virtues.

At funerals our songs carry so much love.

We keep wasting love in these dirges we twirl

into air. Days are soldiers 

guarding us to hell

in these cities

where death teaches a child to love his mother

And love  teaches a girl to die everyday.

Days are soldiers


us to hell.
© Elizabeth Semende🌼



nomatter how inseparable the sea is 

never break yourself 

trying to catch it’s droplets.

Let this teach you 

How to wait for the tide

and break into it.

That is how you grab your water.


Some men are different.


© Elizabeth Semende🌼

Learning to make homes

In these places where women come to die

My mother’s words take turns to hit my ears:

“When you find a man, carve a home beneath his pride and

 learn to make homes from nothing.”
Then I screamed: Mother this is not my home!

This is not a home!

It carries the weight of a man’s pride 

the same way  corpses carry the weight of tombstones​

In silence.

Mother did not listen.
She too found a home 

In these places where nothing remains 

but a swarm of men urinating on the flame of our souls 

She said: that is how we make homes out of nothing

By carrying the weight of a man’s pride

In silence.

© Elizabeth Semende