to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!


….twice and all the rest of the times

We close and lock our doors from the inside to keep out the men we fear and keep in the ones we love.

From the inside, so that when the ones we love want to leave, they can simply open the door and walk out of love from us.

Inside so that we can open the doors and walk out of love from them or open the door so that we can let new ones walk into our love.

We can’t help it though if the men we let in or those who are already in our lives betray us.

She said to me:

 “He looked at me funny once.

He touched me on my thigh once.

He asked me to dance for him once.

He kissed me on the cheek once.

He touched my butt once.

He walked into my room when I was dressing up once.

He asked me if he could get in once.

He locked us in a room once.

I got really scared once.

He said we should do it once.

He hit me once.

He ripped my dress once.

He forced himself on me once.

I said no once, twice and all the rest of the times…

He didn’t listen, not once.

I screamed once, twice and all the rest of the times…

But, he kept thrusting once, twice and all the rest of the times.

He then looked at me once,

And walked out once just to come back twice and all the rest of the times.

I never mentioned this, not once.

I was ashamed once.

I am no longer ashamed but I refuse to let any other man into my life.

I used to lock my door and valuables away at night because I expected thieves to come in the night, hidden and afraid to get caught.

I was never ready for the thieves who come to steal, steal me, in broad daylight, with no fear of getting caught. I was never ready.”