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.

Isabella Matambanadzo
28 November 2012
  • 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.

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