African Image-Nation

African Image-Nation

A Story by Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo

Essay I did for my English paper based on a black child with a shattered face.


Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the greatest of them all? Because, the image reflecting us, has been broken down to the state of nothing. Our true image has been photoshopped, cropped, rotated, to fit the frame of being normal. The term normal, from one man’s thoughts, who didn’t even share the same pigment with us.

No wonder the African Child has lost their identity. We boarded the wrong bus, the bus on the way to the State of Normal. We have been broken into pieces so we can fit into the ships that sailed to our shores over 400 years ago to collect color, strength, humanity, intelligence and architects of the Western World.

We look to see the image of the African Child with missing pieces. Shards of African Identity on the ground. Pieces that got lost during the translation to English, some remain in chains at sea. The foundation of the African Child was shaken, and now all that remains is the ruins. What are we to build on? When the only material to our disposal is bones as bricks and blood as cement. When our storytellers were lynched, and the very same trees were taken and made into books for the survival of the African Child.

It isn’t easy; When the only way an African Child can vent their frustrations is by burning tyres, wildly occupying the streets in song and dance. Turning to violence and crime because that is how the oppressors got away with it, stealing land and killing mass innocence. Being moved from the spacious valleys into shacks, all in the name of civilization. When only beer is there to quench our thirst because rivers are bloody. Praying to the very same God who allowed this injustice. Quoting words of growth and freedom from the very same books that colonized us. Communicating and measuring intelligence with the language that was used to silence us. The irony. Tell me how then is the African Child to blossom.

Allow us to sing our African hymns to heal. Let the African Child free her hair in order to free her mind. Do not measure my brightness by the color of my skin. Mend back our mother’s tongues so they can taste their fruits. Let us walk the lands without fear of trespassing. Allow us to sit on the shelves as the niche product our creator made us to be. We expensive and unique, that’s why 23 years of freedom won’t buy out the African dream.

© 2017 Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo

Author's Note

Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo
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Added on September 13, 2017
Last Updated on September 13, 2017
Tags: African, Black Conciousness, South Africa, Black, Heritage Month


Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo
Ntandoyenkosi Ngcobo

Piet Retief, South Africa

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