Welcome to Australia
Welcome to Australia’s identity auction.
If you’re not true blue and your skin’s not pale then every part of your identity is for sale.
On sale is the way a Ugandan woman speaks.
Her voice an antique.
Passed from the throats of ancestors like an heirloom too valuable to fall off tongues like a mistake.
On sale is her childhood.
It is clinging to each vowel like a reminder of the girl she was.
Kampala sits on her lips begging her not to forget the place she spoke her first words.
Begging her not to forget the mother tongue that raised her.
Begging her not to forget herself.
The hills of her motherland are swollen bellies pregnant with sights she will never see.
She’s not in Uganda anymore
Uses her fake Australian accent as cents to pay for white privilege.
Now they call me intelligent.
Now they call me one of the few.
Who knew assimilation would be compliments digging daggers into the Ugandan trapped so deeply inside of me she doesn’t know how to escape.
So much Australia in my voice they can’t see that the girl is bleeding.
I’ve been here for 18 years, that girl is gone.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…. Accent sold
On sale is his name.
From the m to the a to the j to the o to the k
Majok spoke to the ancestors like each letter was a staircase to stare his history in the face.
It would guide him back to a Sudan inside of him that wasn’t divided in two.
His name was his elders and they told him in you is a South Sudan that is peaceful.
But when Majok became Mathew the roads on the dark night of his skin became impossible to drive.
His identity were his head lights but now he stopped trying to fight assimilation.
He said goodbye to the boy seated under a tree in Khartoum.
Mathew killed Majok don’t be shocked cause Majok couldn’t survive a day in your world.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…. Name sold
On sale is her black skin.
It’s like an expensive broach with a pin.
Holding together her father’s lineage and the motherland like the only bridge connecting two sides.
But she stands side by side with her reflection and picks up the cream like she wants to set this bridge on fire.
Watch it run down the rope like it’s running all the way down her body.
She burns her face first like she is ripping the photographs of her grandmother’s piggybacking midnight babies.
Then she burns her back like she is trying to back track and rub off the tracks of her footprints in the sands of time.
She is no longer dark , dumb, ugly and distasteful but…..palatable.
Her reflection doesn’t know her anymore.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…. Skin sold
On sale is her opinion which refuses to take dominion and sit on the throne of her teeth.
Instead her teeth are prison bars incarcerating her view.
You ask me if Australia is a racist country.
I want to tell you that concentration camps and stolen generations run through the veins of this country’s body.
Black male bodies in Fortitude Valley are prisoners before they are people.
Instead I stay silent.
When you speak of Africa’s incompetence
I want to tell you that you can’t pour gasoline on a continent then pretend you don’t know where the flames came from.
Instead I say silent.
I place my voice on a boat and push into the sea like a dead family member I’ll never see again.
GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…. My voice sold
And when the auction is over
And there are no parts of our bodies left to place on planes doomed to crash.
We are ready to become human enough to be accepted.
We sell their bodies like chameleons change their colour.
All migrants are trying to do is survive
Find out more about Anisa Nandaula as part of QPF2017 here.