everyone was startled and stood up
we all ran into the hall
mama!mama! he screamed you made me into what i am!

mama you let me beat my sisters to show i was a man
but now i know it is just cowardice
i beat up my wife last week and she left
she did not understand that beating her up made me a better man.
i tried to explain using your words but she did not understand.

mama i also did not cry when she left but mama why does it hurt
is it not you who said boys don't cry
mama i beat her up just to show my manliness
just the way papa used to beat you
i thought she would just keep quiet like you used to do

papa! was i wrong following your footsteps
you always used to say we should beat up the women to keep them in line
but papa she said i was a fool to beat up a woman
but papa you said that it was what men did
tell me papa what i did wrong for i followed your exact footsteps.

papa you said women are property that we own to do with as we please
but papa she has left
i treated her like junk and thought that would make her love me more like mama used to do to you
instead she left me papa.
i humiliated her and called her names but she left mama.
mama look at your deformed body from years of beating.
but why are you still here mama
i hear sister tsitsi is in the same dilemma as you
she is married to a monster like me and papa
why then does she not come back mama

you know mama you could have gone to school too mama
but papa wouldn't let you
i remember when i found you crying after the harvest
we had no clothes, you had no clothes but the harvest had been good
you quickly wiped your tears and said it was okay
papa had drank the money away in town with harlots
but you put on your mask and said women do not question their men's behaviour
but when i did it with my salary my wife was furious, why mama?
i remember sister mercy could not go to school that year father drank away the harvest money
yet you smiled when he came back with a second wife
why mama?
mama you worked the fields alone and could have made it on your own
but no you said
you could not go back to your people
you didn't want to become the laughing stock
but mama he beat you up that night and you refused to go to the police
mama because you didn't want him arrested.
mama look at your tired face that bears the mark of years of abuse
but mama my wife has left
mama did i miss the lesson you and papa were sharing.

mama you made me
but i am sorry i am going to go against your teachings and beg my wife for mercy
never again shall i beat her
she shall become my partner not property and i shall love her
i shall respect her mama.
that is all mama i apologize but papa you were wrong and mama even though you were victim you were wrong too.
now i know men of quality are not afraid of equality.