Dear South Africa… a letter from Thandi Gamedze

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Dear South Africa… a letter from Thandi Gamedze

My friend Thandi Gamedze is an exceptional poet and wordsmith and her ‘Dear South Africa…’ comes in the form of a poem

Beloved South Africa,

I bless you to let loose the oceans of tears that you have carried, and cry

For your sons that have been trodden down and stripped of their dignity

And your daughters that have been raped, abused and dehumanised

For your fathers that have turned to unfeeling stone, under weight unbearable

And your mothers that have been left alone, backs breaking as they hold up the skies

For the treasures which have been ripped out of your womb to never be held by you again

And the rivers of blood that have watered your soils

I bless you to cry

I bless you to embrace every stage of the process, and grieve

To vehemently deny that your people-centred culture has been replaced by one that revolves around profit

To burn with white hot anger at those that mined and removed your history and identity, along with your diamonds and gold

To bargain with your oppressors, auctioning off your hopes of freedom in exchange for their vision of a rainbow nation

To sink into a deep depression with the realisation that the chains have not gone anywhere, but are simply camouflaged by your own skin

And then to acknowledge it all- the trauma, the loss, the grief, the pain, the injustice- and accept that you are broken, but ready to heal

I bless you to grieve

I bless you to love yourself well, and heal

To begin to pay attention to the things that make you come alive, and make space to explore them

To stop performing according to external expectation, and simply embrace you

To allow yourself to have needs, and be brave enough to communicate them

To give yourself permission to only be around those that are kind and build you up

To go back to your roots, and resituate yourself within the continent of which you are a part

I bless you to heal

I bless you lift up your head and look down the path yet untaken, and dream

May you once again see the world through the outlook of a child, with wide-eyed anticipation and unquenchable hope

May your sense of wonder be restored, as you see yourself and others as though for the first time, and marvel at the ever-present beauty

May overflowing joy be your portion, as your crawling turns to walking, your walking to running, and your running to dancing

May laughter be a national anthem, its sounds filling the air, ringing out from all sides

May your imagination come to life in magical technicolour, as the future beckons, eyes gleaming with possibility

I bless you to dream

People of this land,

I bless you to replace your shame with ownership

To embrace honesty and self-reflection

And the bravery to view the present through the lens of the past

So that we can together move forward into the future

I bless you to have a heart that feels

That cannot be numb to the pain of others

And a spirit that cannot rest

Until justice rains down like a mighty waterfall

I bless you to grieve that which you have lost

That which has been violently taken from you

To mourn your land, your freedom, your dignity

Your wails calling creation into alignment

I bless you to look in the mirror and smile

To believe in the beauty of your earth tones

Holding your head up high

Always ready to assist those whose only view is their feet, to do the same

I bless you to allow offense to melt away

To deconstruct the walls that you have built

And instead, allow Love to be your protection-

For though pain is likely to enter, your humanity will be secure

I bless you to listen

And to be changed by what you hear

To hold your opinions as though a delicate bird-

Loosely enough for them to fly away if they must

I bless you to be brave

To stand up and speak what begs to be spoken

To live free from fear and insignificance

And take your place within the fabric of this nation

[For more Dear South Africa letters, click here]

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


  1. […] A poem from my friend Thandi Gamedze inspiring us to be real and better […]

  2. Jaci Mun-Gavin January 11, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    We ❤️ Thandi! (Thanks, Brett!)

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