Zulaikha’s the name, 13’s the age.
But I am not a girl alone,
A girl alone I am not.
I am for Africa on a
South African stage.

For Africa gifted us
The kinks, the curls,
The ties and the knots;
Volumes upon volumes
Of hair is our lot.

I say “Our lot”,
“Our lot” I say.
But trust me true, a
Burden it was not.
Not until you made it so.
Not until you ridiculed
What I’ve got.

Straight hair is what you want –
Straight hair that flows.
But how can I change the way,
The way my mane grows?

My mane.
Yes. My Mane.
Power resides there –
Struggles, oppression and
All things unfair.
Power to overcome nestles in my hair.

An African
Too African
In Africa, is what I am told.
Is my hair that strong,
That brave
And that bold?

Becky is who I can never be.
Why, good heavens, can’t you see?
In a generation “born free”
Fighting – still fighting,
For the right to be me.

My name is Zulaikha;
I am 13 years of age.
You all are my audience,
But the toiled back
Of Africa is my stage.