What You’d Find Inside My Bag

The bag that I use is a present from Onke Msuthu. It is made of a blue material that is usually used to make amadarkie for a new bride in the Xhosa culture. It has a red strap with a matching pocket.

I should love it right? Not only because it was a gift but because the one who bought it for me, was convinced that I would. It had been a very thoughtful gift. He had imagined it as an exciting reincarnation of another bag, I used to carry when we were still teenagers. He was convinced that I would be smitten with his modern version.

The truth is that I really wasn’t all that crazy about my present at first. I couldn’t figure out how it would fit into my corporate and church outfits. That for me automatically eliminated it from playing an active role in my everyday life but I still kept it, safely tucked away at the very bottom of my suitcase.

What I would later discover about my move to Johannesburg, is that a lot which had found no place in my previous life back home, would become how I am able to better express and define myself now as a creative. It wasn’t only the bag that was shunned away, many other shoes and outfits were also never used. Even though I bought them and I had a curiosity and desire to wear them, they still felt too foreign in the life I used to occupy.

Anyway I’d even forgotten I had the bag until my recent visit home in July, when I found my youngest sister using it. The button that keeps the top flap closed was missing and the bag was dirty. It was not in good condition at all but it was mine and it had been a present from a special friend. I owed the bag a little more respect than what it was getting from my careless sibling.

I brought it back with me to Johannesburg and I’ve never used any other since. I’m always complimented on its uniqueness and style. It’s still not my most favourite bag but it is still the one I’ve used the most. I burden it with a heavy load but it has stayed intact for me so that I never have to go without it (I guess overachieving will always be a despairing attribute of all things unwanted in life).

In it every day I carry: A Labello. A nude lipstick that my best friend gave me when I was home, which I never use. My pens. My diary. Sometimes my thought journal. A book I’m currently reading. Hand cream. My tablet. My charger. A sanitary pad.

I’m quite basic. I lost the girly side of me with everything else I left behind in East London. Inside my bag you’d find the things that help me stay me.

Photo By: Lutendo Malatji

 

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