Illegal Immigrant

Postdoctoral researcher Duduzile Ndlovu blogs about presenting her PhD thesis – “Let me tell my own story”- a qualitative exploration of how and why ‘victims’ remember Gukurahundi in Johannesburg today –  back to the research participants she had worked with, using poetry:

…So there are seven poems in the thesis that I presented to participants. The seven poems all summarize the thesis but also function in different ways.  In our last workshop I was reading the poems as people listened and we were running out of time and so I was thinking of skipping one poem titled Illegal Immigrant when one of the participants asked that we don’t skip it. So I read the poem:

Sweet words

I keep

Under my tongue

So when you stop me

I negotiate

The bribe price

Of my freedom

Call me

Any name

I am here to stay

I will find a job

Any that affords me

To stay

I pay daily

For my stay

Yet they still

Call me

An Illegal Immigrant…

To read the rest of this blog post visit: ‘Let me tell my story: Using poetry in research‘.

About Duduzile Ndlovu

Dudu obtained her first degree in Environmental Science & Health from NUST, Zimbabwe in 2004. She has worked in rural development in Zimbabwe and with Sonke Gender Justice Network in Johannesburg South Africa on Migrants' Health & Rights issues prior to joining ACMS.

She recently submitted a PhD thesis focusing on Zimbabwean migrants’ use of art to navigate precarious lives, speak about and memorialise past state perpetrated violence in Zimbabwe (the country of origin) and xenophobia in South Africa.

Dudu is interested in how people make meaning of precarity such as migrants’ making their lives under constant threat of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg. She is also exploring art based research methods; using music, poetry and drama, as data and to present research to wider audiences with an aim to pursue creative or art based research as a strategy for accessing indigenous ways of knowing, and developing indigenous research methodologies.