When I was younger I used to I look for images that could best describe my circumstance or situation. In essence, I sought to create a mosaic of what my world was made of. Yet, sometimes I couldn’t find those images cause they often told a one-sided story and didn’t quite fit the description of my reality. I was born into a diverse and somewhat nomadic family that wasn’t too picky about religion. My earlier years were spent in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and later South Africa. Born to a Catholic father and a Lutheran mother while studying at Hindu, Muslim and Christian schools, I grew up observing Diwali, Eid, Easter and Christmas amongst many other Ndebele rites and customs. My childhood was a rainbow of varying and sometimes contrasting experiences. Therefore, I turned to poetry to tie together my different worlds. It’s a composition of my reality through the lens of the different emotions that I felt and feel. My journey with poetry began with short, written excerpts, later I developed an interest and preference for spoken word poetry.
Bubelo Mlilo grew up in Zimbabwe and is currently in her 4th year of the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations. Bubelo’s poem, which she recites in the video below, is called “Diversity.” She is particularly interested in politics, governance, humanitarian law and the empowerment of women. Bubelo is also a founder of All 4 Girls Empowerment, an organization aimed at reducing cases of sexual abuse against teenage girls and young women through the use of a mobile phone application. Bubelo is a published writer who had her first piece—entitled “My Tribe”—published when she was 11 years old in a book called Echos of Young Voices. She later had 4 more of her poems published in another book, DayBreak. Most of her work is an artistic representation of her past experiences through which she seeks to recreate and share her reality through written and spoken forms to empower, mobilize and raise awareness of different struggles people like her go through.
Being at IE University and in Spain has broadened my horizons even more. IEU is yet another stripe on my multicolored coat of life, helping me realize that I thrive off of diverse experiences.