NdiliQhawe : Poetry Conquered Suicide

by | Aug 17, 2020 | Community Contributions, Mental Health, Health & Wellness | 0 comments

Written by Chengeto Mayowe

The road to being a warrior is riddled with harsh words, statements and actions, usually done to you and when you least expect it.
‘You are not good enough’
‘I never meant to hurt you’
‘You wanted it’
‘Your father is dead’
‘Let’s see what you do now that he’s gone’
‘You’re too fat’
‘Lose some weight’
‘Why are you exposing yourself like that’

I could go on and on about words said that cut deeper than any knife could but we’d be here for a very long time. These words at some point both broke and made me for I have a competitive spirit and my biggest competition has always been myself, becoming a better version of who I was, creating the path for who I want to be, becoming who I was always meant to be.

Chengeto May

You see I have a colourful spirit whose colours are blinding and many of these words, actions, and statements at some point dimmed my light. I ended up realizing when your purpose is great you will fight many battles for you cannot sit on a throne without first having fought for your right to be on that said throne. These wars you fight reveal who is worthy of sitting on your table and who isn’t.

For me, my biggest war was with myself as I mentioned earlier, when my father, my heart passed away in 2013 he took quite a sizable part of me with him. I felt like I had died with him, he was my friend, protector and supporter all rolled up in one package. He pushed me out of all my bubbles so delicately and was there for me when words said in high school made me cry. He was a strong man, one who was never sick, I’m sure I only remember him being sick three times. With the third time taking his life.

I will not lie to you I broke badly as I had no way to reconcile his death or how to handle grief. Everyone would always talk about how I should be strong for other people but I was within a space where the one who was strong for me was gone so what was I going to do? Friends would try to help but I just had no one to talk to fully beside myself through my poetry. I always say ‘I danced intimately with death’ and no one knows how close we were, death and I. I weighed the pros and cons and to me, the pros outweighed the cons, but one con stood out the most.

‘Your father would be heartbroken if you took this route, you are the miracle child, the keeper, Chengeto. Don’t do this’. I thought about it a lot and that con is what won.

Chengeto May

I decided to answer my calling which was being a healer through words and the first person I had to heal was myself. I wrote until the wound closed, the scar, however, is very vivid for those with a third eye to see and that is my battle scar. For without that scar, there would be no me. My next battle was the one of self-love, believing that I am beautiful and worthy of love was a hard battle, especially considering my past relationship. The funny thing is as soon as I accepted who I was everything else fell into place, I stopped trying to please people or hide my smile or my sensuality. Instead, I owned that and in essence, owned myself.

I am a storyteller who is going back in time to bring back history that could have been otherwise lost and hopefully give Africans a sense of pride in who they were before they were told their practices were ‘savage’. You cannot know where you’re going if you do not know where you’re coming from. I am the soul of a forgotten Queen, a warrior who wears her scars as proudly as her victories using my words as my sword, a hunter searching for the truth that has been hidden in plain sight if we remove the blindfolds put by those who colonized us.

NdiliQhawe in every sense of the word and my journey is only beginning.