For better, For Worse and Other Poems by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela

Still Shining

In this series, you will be seeing artists from all over the world. Today’s art is brought by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, a poet from Zimbabwe! She shares with us her words during these times of lockdown. Come enjoy her work!

For better, for worse

Sanitize, Maintain social a distance, Sneeze into your elbow
Did anyone stop to think
Of that man working in the far off lands
He is holding a hammer
The last nail needs to be hit
He is holding a syringe
He can’t put it down
Lockdown! Final warning
Mummy where is daddy?
Quiet, Princess, he will be here soon!
Inwardly she is conflicted
What if he has the virus–
Am I prepared to die with him
Somebody is there a law for spouses ?
He is knocking on the door
Stand back! She says
Open up darling , I missed you
I have to sanitize you
Did you really miss me?
I missed you but please I need to call help line
I need a home test kit
My husband might have Covid-19
Darling, can I get in?
Daddy is home, mummy
Stay back!
Honey ,you said for better, for worse
Let me in
Put on the mask ,Wash your hands ,Remove your clothes
Wait, you coughed
Are you scared l will infect you ?
But you said for better, for worse?

‘What Have You Brought Us’

She chants from the pavements
She is not a beggar
She is the queen of the black market
Her head is adorned with a white doek
She has more currency than the world bank
She is more powerful than a graduate
The rate is dictated by her mood
They envy her trade
They envy her dominion
She has no office
The pavements are her office
She is her own pay master
Her pay slip is engraved in her heart
Her skin glows in the city sun
Her bosom is round and warm where powerful currencies are shoved
In her business there is no room for negotiations
It’s a take or leave it .

I’m ebony black

Never been bleached.
Beautiful like a black petunia
I walk to the interview room leaving other hopefuls behind.
He barks ‘enter’
I slide into his office, my resume in my sweaty palms
He frowns, I smile.
My African teeth crooked and pointed
Escape from my lips
The holes in my nose big and gaping
Suck the air in his office
My hair kinky and neatly combed
Stands at attention.

He weighs me and guffaws ‘ No job’
I mumble a weak ‘ thank you’

Unspoken thoughts fight for freedom to be heard
My brother , you didn’t check my resume
I have a masters, a bachelor’s, wait, a diploma underneath all that
I have ten years experience
I have an award and a certificate of excellence
I did voluntary work
I helped an old lady cross a busy street
I rescued a snared puppy
I decrypted an intriguing password
I worked twenty five hours a day
My black skin did not interfere
My crooked teeth stayed well inside my lips
I have never bleached brother, but I can work forty eight hours a day if you want.


Banqobile Virginia Dakamela is a writer who hails from Zimbabwe. She has written a story that was published in an anthology which was studied at high schools and is a set book in a local university. She has written extensively and is in the process of publishing some of her novels.

2 thoughts on “For better, For Worse and Other Poems by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela

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