I am Khanga: Khwezi’s words live on
In 2008 Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser wrote the poem ‘I am Khanga’.
JOHANNESBURG - In December 2005 a young woman who became known as Khwezi laid a charge of rape against Jacob Zuma, alleging that he had raped her in the November of that year.
Zuma denied the claims, saying he had consensual sex with the HIV-positive woman at his home in Johannesburg.
During the trial, she testified she went to bed wearing a kanga (a wraparound cloth) and Zuma later came in and raped her.
Zuma was found not guilty in 2006 and Khwezi relocated to the Netherlands.
In April 2008 she wrote the poem I am Khanga that was published under her own name of Fezeka Khuzwayo.
This week Khuzwayo's family announced that she had passed away.
Read the full text of 'I am Khanga' below:
I am Khanga
I wrap myself around the curvaceous bodies of women all over Africa
I am the perfect nightdress on those hot African nights
The ideal attire for household chores
I secure babies happily on their mother's backs
Am the perfect gift for new bride and new mother alike
Armed with proverbs, I am vehicle for communication between women
I exist for the comfort and convenience of a woman
But no no no make no mistake …
I am not here to please a man
And I certainly am not a seductress
Please don't use me as an excuse to rape
Don't hide behind me when you choose to abuse
That's what he said my Malume
The man who called himself my daddy's best friend
Shared a cell with him on [Robben] Island for ten whole years
He said I wanted it
That my khanga said it
That with it I lured him to my bed
That with it I want you is what I said
But what about the NO I uttered with my mouth
Not once but twice
And the please no I said with my body
What about the tear that ran down my face as I lay stiff with shock
In what sick world is that sex
In what sick world is that consent
The same world where the rapist becomes the victim
The same world where I become the bitch that must burn
The same world where I am forced into exile because I spoke out?
This is NOT my world
I reject that world
My world is a world where fathers protect and don't rape
My world is a world where a woman can speak out
Without fear for her safety
My world is a world where no one, but no one is above the law
My world is a world where sex is pleasurable not painful
'This is also my home'