We are Queens and have been Queening since birth

So I’ve noticed that many people don’t know how to describe us

Us, being women

Left: Charissa Cassels (Me), Right: Khanya Swartbooi, a Proverbs 31 woman

Us, being the very embodiment of what resilience is

Us, being the  bearers of generations to come

Us, also being the very people that  they easily disrespect

Us, being the people who are expected to keep quiet while witnessing injustices and inequalities

The people  that they constantly try to put down

Us, being the same people who get back up whenever they try to do that

I find it fitting to define exactly who it is that we are

We are Queens

And we are Queens since birth

Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Sinomtha Ketse, a resilient woman

I see hair wrapped up in head wraps

Hair wrapped up not knowing that our hair is yet to be silver and people are yet to come to us for wisdom

Skin that’s been dipped in melanin so many times that people can’t help but realize that we are born Queens

Queens 10
Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Athi Sokutu, a woman of faith


That our hands are here to mould them

And our words are here to chisel them

That for endless years we have had to carry them on our backs and for years to come

We will never allow them to take us back

To the times where they placed us under their feet

For there is no place fit for a Queen

Queens 11
Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Left:Athi Sokutu and Right:Ayathandwa Ketse, a woman of love


They will find  maps of their existence all over our bodies

As we have stretched continuously for them

Our nails are covered with different colours

Trying to cover the dirt from beneath them from the soil we continuously fertilize for their growth

Our shoulders have carried the weight of the world on it and then some

We have been at war since birth

Emerging as prayer warriors, gracing people with our presence here on Earth

And people need to stop questioning our worth

I said we are Queens, and we have been Queens since birth

Photo by Lelethu Qabisisa of Sibongiseni Nojoko, a woman of internal and external beauty

Our names are too heavy for anyone to carelessly carry it in their mouths

Our existence is something many still have to come to terms with

Our history is something they have tried to erase

But you can’t erase what is running through our veins

It wasn’t fought for us in vain

Our strength is something many will never be able to grasp

They have tried and will try to break us down

But we have never allowed ourselves to be broken down by what we have built

They are yet to discover who we truly are

And all the power that we really possess

And yes, this is a praise poem

Because I don’t hear enough people singing our praises

I don’t see enough people genuinely appreciating us

I don’t see enough people accepting us for who we really are

I said we are Queens

And we have been Queens since birth

Photo by Unathi Swartbooi of Khanya Swartbooi
We don’t need to be told what we’re worth

But here are just a few words

Courageous, caring, loving, powerful, warriors, beautiful, generous, intelligent and respectful

Just a few words that can be used to describe us instead of those offensive words that easily escape people’s mouths

And no, I am not angry

Although that emotion seems to be intrinsically linked with our very existence.

I am excited for our futures

Not necessarily for the occupations we will acquire

But for the mere fact that I can  confidently say that I do not stand alone

That I am not on my own

That I am surrounded by women of immense beauty both inside and out

That I am surrounded by prayer warriors

That I am surrounded by hands that have reached out to help one another

That I am surrounded by people with brilliant minds who have already acquired so much wisdom

That I am surrounded by people whom we know will always be there but whom we don’t always have to speak to

I am surrounded by people

I am surrounded by women

Queens 13
Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Left:Agcobile Zituta, a woman of generosity and Right: Athi Sokutu


Women of Strength

Women of Courage

Women of Hope

Women of Faith

Women of Love

I am surrounded by Queens and we have been Queens since birth

I am surrounded by women and we have been Queens since birth

Queens 12
Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Lelethu Qabisisa, a prayer warrior


Say it in your mind over and over again and don’t allow anyone to make you believe otherwise

Say it every day as your daily reminder

Say it until you believe it

Say it until you accept it

Say it until you see yourself for who you really are

You are Queens and you have been Queens since birth.

Photo by Sibongiseni Nojoko of Charissa Cassels, a Queen


Feature Image taken by Lelethu Qabisisa.





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