woman swimming in water
Photograph taken in Mulanje, Malawi 2019
Author's Voice

The words fall out of my mouth like
Foreign soldiers invading a colonised land
‘Coconut’ is what they call me until I say
Malawi is home but home is not here

And home is unfamiliar except for longing
when I recognise the sun as it comes to greet my skin
Gently my chitenge hugs my waist reminding me
Malawi is home but home is not here

I hear my name on native tongues
A gift so soft yet powerful that
I am called into existence
Malawi is home but home is not here

I find myself apologising for not knowing
For choosing English instead of Chichewa
But you choose kindness every time
Ndathokoza, I thank you
For welcoming me
For giving me the name
Thokozani
So I can remember
Malawi is home even though home is not here

Thokozani (they, he) is an agender, Ancestor-summoning Malawian poet and writer based in Cape Town. As a rule, they choose to engage with their work from a place of healing not only for themselves but for others too and as a continuous offering to their Elders and Ancestors. Their work explores concepts of connections to home and the Spiritual, displacement- misplacement and Coming In to oneself- whichever form that may be and whatever journey that might take.