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Poems for Woman Scream 2013 Tanzania

Woman Scream 2013 celebrated in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania coordinated by Neema Komba from La Poetista

Neema Komba

POEM 1: I asked her why/Woman Scream

I asked her why she didn’t scream,
She said it was because of you.
The judgment in your eyes
Is like a vinegar soaked bandage on her naked wounds,
Or sulphuric acid,
Poured on the remainder of her womanhood,
Eating away what is left of her.

She said it was you higher moral values,
that make excuses for the abusive,
Shoving the society’s manhood into her throat,
Drowning her screams,
While the men gloat
Of how modernity tests their limits,
Or how fashion is the culprit;
Like looking good is a crime against their flesh,
And covering up some kind of fetish,
Turning our NO’s into invitations.
Nothing we wear is really safe.

I asked her why she stayed with a monster,
She didn’t answer.
Her fear smelled like rotten fish in the bottom of the sink.
Her eyes were white holes that led to a black abyss.
It was as though with every single blow, he took away bits and pieces of her soul,
And all she had left was an empty shell.

Her make up bag is full of excuses,
Smokey eyes for her black eye,
And a deep brown foundation of lies to make her seem alive.
She sits at the gates of hell, stone- cold.
As though his fire is her only warmth.
And as she burns,
She smiles,
As though it doesn’t really hurt.

So I asked her again, WHY didn’t you leave?
She said it was because of the kids,
And the occasional bliss,
That blew like perfume in sea breeze,
leaving trails in her nostrils.
His begging pleas,
“Forgive my drunken self, it wasn’t really me”,
His lip busting kiss,
 and threats to kill.
Her promise to be his
 until death,
And the ever-lasting marriage of her parents.
How can she leave?
When he has told her time and time again that she is no good.
Where would she go?
When all she sees are pieces of herself through a broken mirror he gave her!

I asked her why she didn’t dream.
She said she does not sleep.
Her soul wanders in deserted alleys
chasing his ghost,
He always returns,
So she waits up, ready to fight.

So I asked her, why don’t you scream WOMAN?
She said,
“So what if I do, what’s the use?
My mama screamed, same as her mama before her.
No one heard.
Her voice went up the roof of the universe and echoed in every heart.
No one heard.
Her tears evaporated into space, came back as rain,
And soaked every woman.
But not the men. No. The law gave each man an umbrella, to protect them from our wails.
My mama screamed!
But her cries became a chorus to a song,
A lullaby to put you to sleep.
Her verses got buried with old sonnets,
No one ever read.
No one helped!”
So then I told her.
We must scream, each scream louder than the one before,
Each scream louder than our mothers’,
We Must Scream, But this time, We Must Scream, TOGETHER.

POEM 2: Survivor

White teeth, clenched fist,
I am a walking caution wondering who will try to break me.
I am a living doubt that human race is no longer safe.
But NO, I am not your Victim.
I will not crawl up in the corner, afraid of my shadow
Afraid of his hands,
Afraid of his touch,
Afraid of his voice,
Afraid of Life!
NO, I will not turn the light off my face just to live in your darkness,
And NEVER will I turn the other cheek.
See I will fight,
Fist up, fingers around my pen,
I will write.
Because I am a survivor.
And no matter what, I will not be silent.

Nancy Lazaro

I am a masterpiece


"I love you.
You are the best thing that has happened to me."
I remember when those words hit the nerves in my ears and went straight to the chambers of my heart.
And I smiled
Knowing I have found love
I have found happiness.
But that wasn't the case, not even close to the truth.
His innocent eyes
And gentle voice
Betrayed my judgment.

When he said “I love you”, I believed him, but I guess his love meant something lesser than hate.
His sweet words became bitter allowing endless tears to flow down the chubby cheeks he once loved.
I revolved my world around his but he took away the smallest bit of happiness that I survived with

Do you hear those drums? Do you hear those drums?
They remind me of every beating that I took on my body when he turned out to be a boxer and I was his punching bag.

There were no signs of the romantic touches
But the pains of the nine stitches right beside my eye,
as a result of his punches.

I know he does not remember what happened on the 2nd of May, 1982,
When he started beating me for no reason as he would always do,
Even when I told him “baby am pregnant”
he kept on beating me,
and beating me
and beating me!

Through the pains, I protected my unborn child from being beaten and destroyed
but my baby couldn't take it,
as he left me helpless on the floor.
and I moved slowly to find the comfort of the wall, I saw blood.
My baby gone.

Bitterness covered the walls of my heart but I never said anything.
I took the pain in,
Thinking that's part of love
And maybe one day he will change and love me like no other
Even when I knew he was busy with other women
I was ready to wait for him
Wait for him to ejaculate and come back home
And only then I realized
My waiting was worth another beating and all sorts of insults

Why was I still with him?
Is the question I ask myself now
And I know I was a coward to leave
A coward to face life on my own
So I stuck with him
And allowed the pains to venture in my heart

March 4, 1987
he was busy talking and laughing with his peers
And I was his waitress serving them beers
When one of his friends said while looking at me
"You got a hot woman in the house"
And I heard you saying
"oh, you want her? you can have her"
He smiled and did not hesitate to follow me,
as I was running to lock myself in a room while screaming and shouting for help that was far out of reach
He found me
And he did it


I got sick and tired of his sick ways
trying to make me vomit while he is the one on a sick bed.
I found myself, strong, elegant, beautiful woman
Beautiful inside and outside
I am a masterpiece

It is in the strong bones I inherited from my mother,
That I find strength to stand tall in a world that walks on me.
It is in the golden heart that God gave me that I can let go and forgive.
It is in these strong legs that I find strength to walk away from anything that has no value or worth.

Here is an apology from my life to my heart
I apologize for all the times I kept quiet and betrayed myself with a smile, while I was burning inside.
I apologize for not being at my best, allowing his words to bring me down and make me feel worthless,
And I apologize for foolishly loving too hard that I was too blind to see love walking away.
I found myself, strong, elegant, phenomenal woman
Beautiful inside and outside
I am a masterpiece

Yes, he beat me so hard but I forgive him, and the memory remains to only remind me not to go back to where I am from

Yes, he raped me and even though he penetrated his inches between my thighs, he has not succeeded to penetrate the walls of my heart cause still I know, I am a woman of power, a woman of strength, a woman of dignity

Even though he succeeded to pull apart my legs
I won't let him crash my life apart
Break me down and stomp on the pieces of my heart.

I found myself, strong, elegant, phenomenal woman
Beautiful inside and outside
I am a masterpiece

Here I am
Tired of settling for less and  protecting the man I loved
I want justice, love and respect
I want to live my dreams and smile to the sun rising

So I scream to authorities for help
I scream at the top of my lungs that I won't stand for this insanity no more
I scream for myself
And I let my voice scream for the voiceless
I wish I spoke out after the first beating I got
Or maybe I should have spoken out after the miscarriage
Maybe then it wouldn't have gone to the rape
But I won't sit and regret the chances I never took.
The time is now and I am glad am awake
Awake to speak out, scream and seek help
Awake to get out of the situation and rise again.

I found myself, strong, elegant, phenomenal woman
Beautiful inside and outside
I am a masterpiece

Woman, scream with me and let us be one voice



Soy una obra maestra


“-Te quiero.
Eres lo mejor que me ha pasado."

Recuerdo cuando esas palabras golpearon los nervios en mis oídos, y fueron directamente a las cámaras de mi corazón.
sabiendo que había encontrado el amor
que había encontrado la felicidad.
Pero no fue así, ni cerca estaba de la verdad.
Sus ojos inocentes
y su suave voz
Burlando mi juicio.

Cuando dijo "Te quiero", le creí,
pero creo que el amor significaba un poco menos que el odio.
Sus dulces palabras se hicieron amargas lágrimas sin fin
permitiendo que fluyan por las mejillas regordetas que una vez amó.
Yo giraba mi mundo alrededor del suyo,
pero él se llevó la más mínima felicidad con la que habría podido sobrevivir.

¿Oyes esos tambores? ¿Oyes esos tambores?
Me recuerdan a todos los golpes que recibí en mi cuerpo
cuando él resultó ser un boxeador y yo era su saco de arena.

Ni había señales de los toques románticos
solo los dolores de nueve puntos de sutura a un lado de mi ojo,
como resultado de sus golpes.

Yo sé que él no recuerda lo que pasó el 2 de mayo de 1982
Cuando empezó a golpearme sin razón, como siempre lo haría,
Incluso cuando le dije "Amor, estoy embarazada"
¡siguió golpeándome,
y golpeándome,
y golpearme!

Intenté proteger a mi hijo  de los golpes
de ser golpeado y destruido
pero mi bebé no podía soportarlo,
él me había dejado en el suelo indefensa.
y me moví lentamente para encontrar la comodidad de la pared, vi sangre.
Mi bebé se ha ido.

La amargura cubrió las paredes de mi corazón, pero nunca dijo nada.
Aguanté el dolor,
pensando que era parte del amor
y que tal vez un día él iba a cambiar
y a amarme como a ninguna otra,
yo sabía de su ocupada vida con otras mujeres
Yo estaba dispuesta a esperarlo:
A esperar que eyaculara y volviera a casa.
Y sólo entonces me di cuenta de que
mi espera valió otra paliza y todo tipo de insultos.

¿Por qué estaba todavía con él?
Es la pregunta que me hago ahora
Y supe que yo era una cobarde por no dejarlo.
Una cobarde para enfrentar la vida por mi cuenta,
así que me quedé con él
y permití que los dolores se aventuraran en mi corazón

04 de marzo 1987
él estaba ocupado hablando y riendo con sus compañeros
y yo era su camarera sirviéndoles cervezas.
Cuando uno de sus amigos dijo mientras me miraba
"Tienes una mujer caliente en la casa"
Le escuché decir:
"Oh, ¿la quieres? Puedes tenerla"
Él sonrió y no dudó en perseguirme,
cuando salí corriendo a encerrarme en una habitación
gritando y pidiendo ayuda a gritos alejándome de su alcance
pero Él me encontró
y lo hizo.


Estoy harta y enferma de sus formas
tratando de vomitar mientras que él es el único en un lecho enfermo.
Me encontré a mí misma, una elegante, bella y fuerte mujer,
hermosa por dentro y por fuera.

Está en los huesos que heredé de mi madre,
En eso encontré las fuerzas para mantenerme de pie
ante el mundo que camina sobre mí.
Este corazón de oro que Dios me dio
que me permite dejar ir y perdonar.
Es en estas piernas fuertes que encuentro la fuerza para alejarme
de todo lo que no tiene valor.

Aquí está una disculpa para mi corazón por mi vida.
Pido disculpas por todas las veces que callé
y me traicioné a mí misma con una sonrisa,
mientras me estaba quemando por dentro.
Pido disculpas por no estar en mi mejor momento,
dejando que sus palabras me deprimieran
y me hicieran sentir sin valor,
y me disculpo por tontamente amar demasiado fuerte
yo estaba demasiado ciega para ver el amor marcharse.
Me encontré, mujer fenomenal, fuerte, elegante.
Hermosa por dentro y por fuera.
Sí, él me golpeó tan duro, pero lo perdono,
y sólo me queda el recuerdo
y memorias que no volverán a donde estoy.

Sí, él me violó
y aunque él penetró sus pulgadas entre mis muslos,
no logró penetrar las paredes de mi corazón porque aun yo sé,
que soy una mujer de poder, una mujer fuerte, una mujer de dignidad.

A pesar de que tuvo éxito en separar mis piernas,
no voy a dejar que separe mi vida
que rompa y pise fuerte en los pedazos de mi corazón.

Me encontré, mujer fenomenal fuerte, elegante.
Hermosa por dentro y por fuera

Aquí estoy,
cansada de conformarme con menos y proteger al hombre que amaba.
Quiero justicia, amor y respeto.
Quiero vivir mis sueños y la sonrisa a la salida del sol.

Así que yo grito a las autoridades en busca de ayuda.
Grito hasta el tope de mis pulmones que no voy a tolerar esta locura
¡Nunca más!
Grito para mí.
Y dejo gritar mi voz de las que están sin voz.
Deseé haber hablado desde la primera paliza me dieron
o tal vez debí haber hablado después del aborto involuntario.
Tal vez entonces no habría sucedido violación.
Pero no voy a sentarme y lamentarme por los chances que nunca tomé.
El momento es ahora y me alegro de estar despierta.
Despierta para hablar, gritar y pedir ayuda.
Despierta para salir de la situación y subir de nuevo.

Me encontré, mujer fenomenal fuerte, elegante.
Hermosa por dentro y por fuera

Mujer, grita conmigo y seamos una sola voz.


Neema Komba

Neema Komba- (a.k.a NeyK) is a Poet from Tanzania, Author of See Through the Complicated, and co-founder of La Poetista in Tanzania. Her writing is inspired by Shakespeare, Hip Hop, and the Sound of African Drums.

Nancy Lazaro
She is a Tanzanian poetess, writer and performer. She finds joy in writing poems and inspirational articles. She is the author of a book titled The Best is Found in You and a co-founder of La Poetista Open Mic which is a platform for artists to share their poetry, music, comedy, mime work, dance, and other forms of performing arts.


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Compilación virtual del Festival Grito de Mujer. Aquí podrás leer desde nuestra selección destacada, hasta algunos de los poemas presentados en el festival Grito de Mujer, aportados por hombres y mujeres solidarios, en homenaje a la mujer y contra la violencia. Este blog tiene el fin de dar las gracias a toda la gente que nos ha apoyado. Quienes siendo o no poetas, han sumado su grito. Podrás conseguir lo mejor de nuestra causa en nuestras antologías impresas.

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