“I am an Artist”
Getting to know… Zawadi Seas Justice.
Zawadi’s inspiring life journey took her from the UK to Gambia and she found her space in creative writing and poetry. This piece was first published on writingroom.org.uk – and written by Zawadi Seas Justice in her own words. She was part of Collage Community project, Create Your Future, and Collage Writing Room, now Writing Room Org UK….
“I am an Artist!”
It took many years for me to state this out loud and actually feel comfortable with it. I struggled to own such a wonderful title for myself. I didn’t believe my creative endeavours were that deserving… today at 55 years, I embrace it with open arms. Same with acknowledging myself as a writer even though I’ve been writing for over 20 years. Maybe because nothing was ever published. I didn’t capitalise on my crafts so I didn’t recognise myself professionally; only sharing my skills as gifts among friends and family instead. In recent years this has changed as I begin to open that circle…
I was born in Watford, Hertfordshire but grew up in many places. I am a Nomad.
My journaling started after what became an eight-year sojourney of the unknown, and it is my writing to date that has provided me with space for releasing, healing and personal growth. I tried and failed on many occasions to write and edit my journals…Then in 2017 I signed up with the Collage Arts team who had launched Create Your Future, (a 3-year project for ethnic minority women from Haringey and Enfield). I initially joined to attend their sewing classes, to then discover they were offering other interesting courses.
I started enjoying their morning yoga sessions and before long so too Writing Room (at that time part of Collage Arts and called Collage Writing Room). I was fortunate enough to be offered a bursary enabling me to attend. Giovanna Iozzi’s Life Writing & Memoir course was my first time being in the same space (a safe space) with a collection of writers and with the sharing of support, I was excited and ignited and my writing improved and confidence grew. I managed to complete the course and despite intense fears, even accepted the opportunity to read an excerpt from my memoirs to an audience at The Green Rooms in N22. The feedback was very encouraging. Unfortunately, the struggle is real and so due to personal challenges with my mental health, I had to ease back from the classes although there were so many others to choose from! I missed those creative writing sessions and tried again by attending the Monday Morning drop-in sessions until I could no longer. But I give thanks that I kept in touch with the beautiful Writing Room Director, Kate Pemberton.
So once again my writing took a backstage position and It wasn’t until I attended a poetry night #Spoken event in N15 (2019) and a few more after that; that writing came back to the fore. And in the Spring of 2020, I received a loud and clear inner message to write my memoirs in poetry form. I was taken aback, because I thought I am not a poet! But to my surprise I wrote Book 1 Poetic Memoirs – How it all Began in 9 days, consisting of 29 poems.
That same spring, I invested a little more into my writing and signed up to a 30 day online creative writing course, Write Yourself Alive by Andrea Bait. The timing was right and during the course I bravely submitted my first piece of work for publication and to my pleasant surprise, my poem was accepted! Another of my poems was also published in a Spoken publication #Poetry is our Protest – Poetry Under Lockdown.
Since the completion of my 1st book and the few writing courses, I’m taking my writing a lot more seriously, dedicating more time and energy and now ready to take chapters of my life to next levels. In March 2021 I relocated to The Gambia. I am currently seeking a Literary Agent to work with me on my next book.
The link below will take you to my first published piece on Rebelle Society…
(image by Muhammad-taha Ibrahim)
I am Wombyn
By Zawadi Seas Justice
Roots reaching deep nourishing the essence of her Being
Connected to the power of Earth Mother
Hips swinging wide in the sensual dance of the Universe
Beautiful beyond explanation
Energy surging from the depths of her Soul
She feels drained…empty
then she rises once again
Heart opening wide to the feelings she was born to feel
She need not seal her heart amidst the pain
It is filled with infinite purity of love
Speaking her truth despite fear of who will hear
She need not hold her tongue
at a cost she cannot afford
Knowing…deeply a truth
Hearing the whispers of her Ancestors guiding…
Following those feelings, trusting them…
she will not be led astray
To be a Wombyn is an honour
Rediscovering her inner girl child
Awakening…a new joy…Wombyn be wild
Heal Wombyn…Be Wombyn…
Powerful and Free!