Nadia Davids is a South African-born playwright who is currently based in Brooklyn. She was nominated for the Noma Award for her play At Her Feet.
Living in New York has changed my language. That, more than anything has signified the difference between home and here. Home, Cape Town, a twenty-five hour flight and two security checks away, means different food, slower internet connections, more obvious racial segregation, interfering aunties and a constant awareness of one’s physical safety. Those are the clear differences, the ones I can weigh and see and hold.
I went to a party in New York City and met some girlz they were dancing free/They seemed to me on a dancing spree/One, two, I counted three, I said hey girlz can I join you too/One came to me, said how do you do, We did all moves that we could do/Then came the time for me to go: I said girl, Im out/Shes like Man, where you from, anywhere?/I said girl, lets dance, not talk; but, for the record Im from Afrika.
Where were you born? the border guard asked me, holding my passport with barely disguised confusion.