Shades of the Same Skin: Sue Lobo

P6283136.JPGIntroducing Sue Lobo

Lived in: Botswana, Africa

Current resides: Spain

Sue Lobo is the author of three books of her experiences in Africa, a poetry book “Africa My Africa” which is poetry reflecting African life in the terrible apartheid era in South Africa & “Lollipops of Dust”, her autobiography, of a child´s view of living in colonial Africa, in the Kalahari desert, with all the magic of what the old Africa had to offer.

Her last book “The Last Dance” was published by Creative talents Unleashed. She has also participated in eleven poetry anthologies with other very talented poets & has won a couple poetry competitions in Gibraltar & Spain.

 On occasions she has written requested epitaphs and elegies for families of departed souls. She is married to a Spaniard, with two grown up sons & presently lives in Spain.

Sue’s page:

Special Friends

It was the early 1950´s, The Bechuanaland Protectorate, now known as Botswana. It was still a British colony & my father was sent out as District Commissioner (D.C). Every two years we were sent to another station so we lived all over the country. We had been in one station for a couple of years & now we were in the new place & getting used to the rural surroundings, no neighbours, no proper running water, no electricity, no TV, no radio, no shops, nothing. But we lived on the banks of the river & the hippos would wend their way into our garden at night to eat all our vegetables, elephants, lion, leopards, snakes & myriads of different animals were my only friends & I loved it.

 My first little school was in the trunk of a big baobab tree with all the little black children & it was the only school I ever loved. I was only three years old at the time, already forgetting English & spoke Setswana perfectly. My parents thought I was a savage, but oh I was so free. My nanny Aggie, whom I adored, would dress me in the morning but I would strip off to my pants & go off barefooted into the bush.

 There was one thing that worried me though & that was when I lay in bed at night I heard drums from across the river & I thought they were cannibals or other scary things that kids have in their imaginations, so I decided to look for the drummers & ask them to please stop because I couldn’t sleep at night, oh for the innocent naivety of children.

 So one day I went down to the river bank where the fishermen kept their mokoros (dug- out tree- trunk canoes.) There were two there that day, & although I was only three, I was a fat sturdy, nut brown little girl. I pushed the canoe into the water, got in & with the pole I poled myself across the crocodile & hippo laden water. It was a hot day, the only sounds were of the bush & I was on a mission.

 On getting to the other side & pulling the raft up onto the bank, I set off into the bush. I was about to give up & turn back as now I was feeling a little afraid, when I heard voices, so I continued & didn´t have to go far when I came across a clearing & a group of little golden people that I had not seen before. On seeing me they whooped, chatted, clicked, laughed & danced. I just stood there with my finger in my mouth while they surrounded me & started poking me, opening my mouth, pulling at my pants elastic, fiddling with my hair & all the while in a twitter of excitement.

An old woman in the group pulled me to a log & gestured that I sit on it & another brought me a gourde with a gooey golden stuff with locusts & other insects floating on the top (protein) & they gestured that I drink it which I did & it was a delicious wild honey & the crunchy insects were yummy too. (Living in the bush, everything was edible). Suddenly Aggie came crashing through the bush shouting like a banshee, grabbing my arm & started smacking me & telling me I was a bad girl in her language.

 The Bushmen all converged on her telling her that she must never smack a child. Aggie wasn’t a Bushman but she spoke their lingo so she backed off pulling me with her. The gentle golden people told Aggie that they had heard of the white people & knew they lived across the river, but they had never actually seen one because when they felt them near they went into hiding & that I was the first one they had seen.

 When Aggie found me missing she had followed my footsteps in the sand & when finding the fisherman bemoaning his missing mokoro she had put two & two together & had followed me. I was taken home where Aggie told my parents what had happened & I was put to bed with no supper, but that didn´t worry me as I was full with honey.

 That night the drums sounded friendly & not ominous at all. The next morning when I went out to play, there was a beautiful ostrich egg on my doorstep, a gift from my new friends who rowed across the river every night after that day & left a gift each night. Beads made out of everything they could find, eggs, skins, precious stones, whatever they had. I feel truly blessed & have had many meetings with various groups since that day.

River Deep Secret

I share a river-deep secret with Africa;
We both know the reason for weeping,
It has nothing to do with being the dark continent
It has something to do with being the dark mind,
The bloody tears have flowed through dusty centuries,
And we are still so homeless.

We are as lost as the Bushman on Kruger Street,
As wet as the hippo´s tears in his muddy hollow life,
As old as the echo across vacant Karoo plain,,
We are as fierce as the beast at his bloody repast,
As distant as the Botswana drum across dry river bed,
And we are still so homeless.

Our thundered sky is weary of tears,
But our dark lids are full of rain,
The black man runs, so does the cheetah,
Black has little to do with the skin,
Black is only the colour of the sad soul,
And we are still so homeless.

I share a river deep secret with Africa,
We both know the reason for weeping,
The earth cares little, the stars know,
The moon laughs hysterically at the crazed sun,
While he burns his promise, & turns us black,
And we are still so homeless.

Sue Culture.jpg

My African Nativity carved out of soap stone & the last gift to me by my father before he passed away. – Sue Lobo

Shades of the Same Skin Cover

Shades of the Same Skin is an anthology of culture. The world is in need of a vigorous seasoning and it is why the poets in this book are willing to share their ethnicity. Each one will give some insight into their culture, music, clothing, food, traditions, and even share a few recipes. Some will engage in unique stories and folklore. Others will take us back to their childhood days and compare it to the experience of children today. A few will even welcome us into their homes to share items from their heritage.

This is also a book of unity. Its purpose is to show that without diversity, the world would be a boring place. Each poet in this anthology has a unique style because of where they came from, their experiences, and who they are. Their words are printed on these pages to inspire why we belong. We are all vital ingredients for the recipe to keep the world stirring.

Shades of the Same Skin is Available at the following Retailers:

Create Space:


Creative Talents Unleashed:

100% of all proceeds from this book are being donated to the “Starving Artist Fund” to assist writers in becoming published authors. Purchasing this book can help a writer become a published author!

Categories: Anthology

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1 reply

  1. Bravo Sue! I absolutely adore it! Loved the ‘golden’ people and wild honey drink with all sorts of weird ingredients! Well done


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