Tsoku Maela


broken things:

Self-love in a post colonial context

I begin with the premise that a butterfly remembers itself only as a caterpillar, never to see the beauty of its flourishing wings, but accepts itself to be complete in form and function. Self-love is not to instinctively conceal and impulsively improve on our flaws, but to first understand them as fragments of a bigger puzzle and a part of us. 

The truth about man, and try as he may to mask the many faces of his condition, is that born naïve he/she is inherently flawed. In an erroneous effort towards diminishing returns, a futile attempt to shift the equilibrium to a more favorable state, lets call it perfection, he often looks for a remedy outside of himself for a gaping visceral wound.

This is no different for the black body who exist in a post-colonial world, a world where their mere existence is a political issue, thus elf-love for the black body is a form of protest. In lieu of this search of external acceptance, Frantz Fanon once wrote the following:

"Out of the blackest part of my soul, across the Zebra striping of my mind surges the desire to be suddenly white. I wish to be acknowledged not as black but as white...."

‘Broken things’ follows the story of two African characters that learn to embrace and –ultimately – falling love with their flaws. Those imposed by a colonial machine in a society brainwashed to believe whatever narrative it manufactures. A story that reflects an internal outlook on beauty in its broad strokes. In the end they not only fall in love with themselves, but also fall in love with each other.

The greatest form of acceptance is self-acceptance.But it’s not out there, somewhere, waiting to be found.It’s right here where you stand, and wherever you will go, as it always begins and ends with us. This is anode to black beauty, to the healing of the black community and the rise of Africa. Not only through seeing beauty in ourselves, but in all of us.


A brief reminder of Solitude