The Minister and Me

A poem by Isabella Matambanadzo. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

  • In the morning, The Honourable
  • Minister For The Territorial Integrity of the Interior
  • lifted himself from my bed
  • using the same precision he’d
  • deployed getting into it.
  •  
  • Legs arched at the knees,
  • he swiveled, Honourably
  • as if controlled
  • by an invisible mechanical cord, 
  •  
  • He placed his Honourable size ten feet
  • evenly on the fluffy rectangular rug
  • that held his hand made slip-on shoes
  • selected as much for comfort as for their obscene opulence
  •  
  • An Honourable man of exacting character,
  • he considered a shoe
  • of extremely comfortable fit
  • a premium.
  •  
  • My shoe, he said to me,
  • in an Honourable baritone,
  • Well-made as it is,
  • sends a signal to the rest of the world.
  •  
  • Tailored by the unforgettable hands
  • of women and once virgin girls
  • mothers and daughters sold into slavery
  • by the disappointments of their homelands.
  •  
  • He gave an Honourable snort of the
  • Calf’s nose leather, the Made from label read,
  • Designed to give you a barely there feeling.
  • Their colour: A bitter cinnamon stained in honey red.
  •  
  • They make me look sharper too, he explained, especially with
  • my matching belt, motioning Honourably, at his mid riff.
  • You know, he paused, left wrist catching the nothingness of air
  • A man like me must have his regalia.
  •  
  • $ 1550.00 he’d paid, cash.
  • I’d kept the box they came in for other things.
  • It stood on a simple chest at the foot of the bed.
  • Custom made, it read, ~Durability ~ Quality ~ Originality.
  •  
  • That evening he would lead
  • This Honourable Minister,
  • Who for 15 years had believed
  • He’d had exclusive rent of me,
  •  
  • A first class military operation
  • To clean up the streets of filth,
  • Unaccompanied women
  • And other dangerous undesirables.
  •  
  • A shoe, I thought
  • Mmmm in mock pleasure
  • Holding my box
  • The dustbin of his leisure.
  •  
  • The independent papers would report
  • That a sole had left its birthmark
  • ~Durability ~ Quality ~ Originality
  • On the faces of my sister hookers
  •  
  • While the solid silver buckle of its matching belt
  • Struck Hure! Hure! Hure*!
  • Causing a rise in welts
  • Buttocks, thighs, breasts
  •  
  • He earned substantial praise from his superiors
  • And an Honourable mention.
  • That was until the same independent papers
  • Carried a full colour spread
  •  
  • Of his explicit exploits and adult preferences
  • With a woman who was identified only as The recently elected
  • President Of the Society of Sex Worker Rights
  •  and the Integrity of the real Interior.

* Whore, whore, whore.

 

Read other articles in the series, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2012.

About the author

Isabella Matambanadzo is a daughter of the African soil. She adores libraries, second hand bookshops, literary events and all thought provoking writing by the world’s most daring women who fearlessly tackle the social taboos of our times. She delights in organizing events that showcase the creative prowess of feminist activists and thinkers and mark their journeys against the grain.