You see, I grew up in a little town in central Botswana called Orapa; your typical suburban life. Oh, but my parents made it mandatory that I experienced village life to the fullest.
School holidays were spent in a Basarwa village where my mother taught. I learnt what it meant to be a part of a community there. My old friends and I dug up herbs, and ate wild berries. We played barefoot in the scorching Kgalagadi sun. When it rained, we danced and sang to the rain goddess so she would help us grow taller. We sat under the mulberry tree waiting for the dark berries to fall, while making dolls from old scraps of cloth.
Weekends were spent with my great grandmother who preferred to heat bathing water over an open fire, outside. When the daylight gave way to twilight, I knew it was time to bring out the kerosene lamps before darkness took over. There, I learnt to count the stars, find the man on the moon, and go about the days with no sense of Time – a natural flow.
Now, seas and mountains away from the land I call home, I find myself looking for freedom between the concrete jungle. To walk barefoot, and feel the sand between my toes. To inhale air just so I can feel my lungs fill up. To start a conversation with a stranger and walk away as friends just because we made the perfect mistake to glance into each other’s eyes.
The thought of my dear boy never knowing the peace found in between the freedom to just be? I will not dare entertain it.
Words by Khumoetsile Seamogano
Image: Nile River, Aswan, Egypt, 1963. Georg Gerster