Who Do We Owe? - A Poem by Tracey Mabasa

Our Collective

Tracey Mabasa


Tracey Mabasa is a Children in The Wilderness Eco-Club member from the Makuleke community who graduated from high school in 2017 with six distinctions. She entered the NYM Cultural Youth Awards with her entertaining visual poem below - we hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.


“It’s a very good poem and she is gifted”, says Bongani Baloyi, Children in the Wilderness Regional Programme Coordinator & Group Culture Coordinator. “She is one of the young people you truly believe in”.



I am Xitsakisi Mabasa
A lady who prides herself with natural beauty
I ask, “Who do we owe?”
Beauty has no measure
But you're now holding red pens
Analysing and marking
Stating what makes a person beautiful
To whom do we owe sculpted beauty?
You want light complexions from us
Saying we should bleach our skins to be beautiful
Don't you see that our dark skin suits us?
You label people's full figures as a disability
People's thickness suits them well out here
Swinging and shaking with every step they take
When it comes to our hair
You say we should hide it
And wear that of foreign people instead
As for me, I refuse
Mine is a crown
With its coils, curls and fullness it's mine
Our beauty is in our diversity
Be proud of who you are
For you are also a sculpted beauty

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