A poem for Nene.
By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Dear Harfielders – instead of writing a neuroscience article this month, I chose instead to write a poem called The Colour Purple – for Nene, a girl who lived locally – and to appeal to people to wear the colour purple in remembrance of her.  The Colour Purple is also a film based on a fictional book by Alice Walker, about a young black woman who was raped and abused by two men (her father and her arranged husband) in deep South America – the only thing that kept her going (in this fictional story) was the dream that one day she would be reunited with her sister in Africa. I think wearing the colour purple on our clothes can remind us of our dream that one day soon in South Africa, women can be free to move around a city like Cape Town, without fear of violence, abuse or harassment.  This poem, written by me, is to remember the beautiful UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, who lived locally with us.

The Colour Purple – for Nene
As I clench my lips tight in anger and fear, they turn the colour purple 
As I hold my breath for the politico to act, my pallor turns the colour purple
The breath-taking sunsets over Camps Bay beach, are the colour purple
The fragile Disa in bloom hidden in the gorge, is the colour purple
The jacaranda tree whose flower blossoms on maturity, is the colour purple

The bruises on the neck of the woman, are the colour purple
As she clutched the parcel, her knuckles were the colour purple
His rage, his thoughts, his words of hate, were the colour purple
This desperate rainbow nation, its colours have bled, fading to the colour purple.

Click to read all previous articles by Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Samantha Brooks6

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