Muzvare Betty Makoni

Muzvare Betty Makoni
CNN Hero and Decade Child Rights Hero

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Prostitute is a Mother And is a Woman-Poem by Betty Makoni

Poem is written for all women and girls who find themselves in situations that are not of their own making.

At least that`s what I learnt from mai Charlie
Mother to a boy called Charlie but now Doctor Charles
Whose father came by night and disappeared by night
Whose other sons Ticha and Markos came same
Whose three sons called her Mother whilst the world called her prostitute
Who daily had to hide her whereabouts to her sons
And still like any Mother never hid the meal on the table for her sons
A prostitute is a Mother and Doctor Charles` Mother too

This is how I came to know mai Charlie more
When she came to my granny to pay her rentals
When later she dropped paperbacks with food for her sons
With her eyes red as she pulled out dirty notes from her bra
Her burnt cheeks from Ambi and her red lipsticks symbol of poverty
This is when I told her the little one cried all night
This is when she cuddled him and put her on her back
Just like any Mother, a prostitute is a Mother

Despite disgusting insults and derogatory names
Even in the face of beatings at night clubs and rapes by the night
Mai Charlie fought the dark for Charlie to be in school, to be Doctor Charles
Male prostitutes dropped their own sons from school
Female prostitutes kept their sons in school
Many times I heard mai Charlie wish her parents had not forced her to be married
Twice she was exchanged for a bag of maize during famine
Finally she eloped and gave herself to men of the dark
More dignified but worst devils whose money give them false dignity
More than Mother Prostitutes they deprive

Who amongst poor women would choose hopping from pub to pub?
Pub after pub left mai Charlie worn out, used up, despised and isolated
Some things in life are not choices but forces
Who after so much hard work to bring up a Doctor would die the week he weds?
Would that be ironic that on pulpit they say Son of a prostitute is wedding?
When their sons sail through, prostitutes slip away not in shame
But with dignity like all Mothers with sons
Next you mock and insult, despise and harass a so called Prostitute
Know and always remember like mai Charlie
Every so called prostitute has her own side of the story
And she also respects your side of the story
A prostitute is an untold story
She is above all a Mother and a woman

(Please note use of mai Charlie –women in Zimbabwe are called by the first name of their son)

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