The Burden Of Culture

By Wadzie Tads

When they come into your house
You greet them with a smile on your face
Even when it is raining in your heart
And your thoughts are so far away in the distance
Even when you know that their presence will kill a part of you
You must be strong,
You have visitors
Fake it till you make it
Put that smile on your face
Your parents raised you to be pleasant

For the visitors will give a report of their treatment
Shaping perceptions about you for a lifetime

Even after putting that smile on your face
You greet them because they are older than you
They are your elders
Even when they do not act in a manner befitting of elders
Fake it till you make it
Put that smile on your face
Who knows, you could be ministering to angels

When makhoti takes abuse, threats and violence from “mother in love”
She puts a smile on her face
For without “mother in love”,
Makhoti would not have her husband

When “mother in love” is snubbed
Neglected with accusations of witchcraft directed her way
She puts a smile on her face
For makhoti is now her son’s number one
And she has been relegated to first division

It is the burden of culture
That it is hardest to be oneself with family
There are norms and expectations that must be fulfilled
While perceptions are developed

*makhoti means daughter in law

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