All They Saw Was A Skirt

Black fishnet stockings.

Black thigh-high boots, block-heels, slightly worn out-leaning to the left

As if to mimic her disposition, 

Black leather skirt, fitting-like a glove, with a silver zipper running down the front, starting from the meeting of her thighs and stopping just above the boots. 

Burgundy sleeveless top stopping just above her pierced navel, 

Black leather jacket, unzipped, collars slightly raised

Crimson red lipstick, deep purple nail polish,

Gold eyeliner, inch-long eyelashes

Thick black afro

Silver loop earrings

Purple clutch bag.

She walked down the street with fierce determination

She blocked out the incessant whistling and jeering

She walked, defiantly refusing to be reduced to just a skirt.


See, she was a vessel

A book with many chapters

She carried the pain of her mother, the shame of her sisters, the stain of her grandmother

She carried the dreams of her mother, the fame of her sisters, the beauty of her grandmother

She carried the names of her foremothers, the blood of her ancestors, the stories of the freedom fighters,

She carried the hopes of her people,

She carried the vastness of the continent, the songs of her tribe,

The chants of those that prophesied and healed


She had a voice. She was a voice. 

A loud voice, a soft voice, a command, a request, 

A whisper, a scream, ululation, a cheer,

She carried an ocean in a tear,

She WAS an ocean,

Waves of emotion, 

Fear, joy, shame, enthusiasm

Rage, despair, trust, disgust


A raging storm and a passive calmness

A well of arousal, and a pit of indifference

She was a medley

Heterogeneity defined.

And yet all they could do was reduce her to her wardrobe, 

All they saw was a skirt. 

Tsk tsk.




Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

Nafula Wafula

Nafula Wafula is a fierce advocate for gender equality and human rights, passionate about Pan-Africanism and social justice. She is currently the Vice Chair for Policy and Advocacy at the Commonwealth Youth Council.

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