Lebogang Tendai Monageng-Goad's poem "The Pigment of Love" explores how "we can achieve more in a horizontally aligned, dual relationship."

“The Pigment of Love” by Lebogang Tendai Monageng-Goad


“I am a public speaker, a poet, a caregiver and a candidate attorney from South Africa. But at heart, I’m a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend! In this increasingly complex, diverse and globalized society, one thing I have great enthusiasm for is advancing the sought-for greater appreciation of varied perspectives and cultures, which foster civility and respect for the dignity and potential of each individual. I am most passionate about subjects relevant to religion, spirituality, politics, individualism, women, young people and diversity in totality. I am an activist in my own right and have served as an ambassador and mentor in multicultural councils in various organizations.

“Above and beyond all the accolades, those in close affiliation with me know me for my selfless affection towards others. I am not only studious in preaching love, but I make it a point to exude love in its purest nature. I am a creative soul who expresses herself creatively through speaking and writing. In this light, my recent piece, titled “The Pigment of Love,” aims to bring greater attention to what I feel is really the cause of the infinite self-instigated barricade we are finding ourselves incapable of breaching in as far as our differences are concerned, particularly our racial and national difference; and that is the absence of love.

“We have heard a lot of songs sung, poems recited, stories told and speeches delivered, all advocating that love is the answer … But further than just comprehending what love really is, do we even know what the question is? It really frustrates the daylights out of me to see the ignorance that we observe not only as a nation, but as the entire human race, killing what truly is our brothers and sisters simply because they look different. Attaching stigma and violence to only people of a specific caliber. Why are we even angry at these people? Where did that anger come from? Why is it so contagious? Who founded it? And why? An even more prompting question here is, what are we doing to fix this?

“My greatest inspiration for this piece, additional to the racial ordeal that we face in the world, is my recent marriage to my loving husband Matthew. My husband is a white American man and I’m a Black African woman (not African American). Inevitably, there is a great difference in our backgrounds and culture, which certainly has been the premise to our wide-ranging school of thought. Nevertheless, one thing that binds us is the raw concept of love; true love. Just like me, my husband has been through life. He has been through a lot of hurdles which he continues to encounter. He gets disappointed, he gets hurt, he feels pain, and when he bleeds, his blood is just as red as mine is. He has feelings, he has dreams, goals, aspirations … He laughs, he loves and he breathes the very same air that I do.

“He has a story to tell. Everybody has a story to tell. But really, other than the color of our skin, what really makes us different? I mean humanly different. We’re both human after all, are we not? This is a message that we not only strive to portray to the world, but also to our family and friends: Although we are different in color, love is the glue that makes us inseparable from each other. The existence thereof proves to be the wind beneath our wings, and together we can continue to soar higher than the limitations of the skies, hand in hand.

Needless to say that this is the kind of life we endeavor to foster to our children. Because, like the great Martin Luther King Jr., we have a dream! This is fundamentally a principle customarily founded in the motherland nation of Africa, and that is the concept of UBUNTU, which denotes that “I am, because you are; and you are, because I am.” It is the perpetual covering of our critical values in our love story, wherein we are in complete comprehension that, working together, we can achieve more in a horizontally aligned, dual relationship, rather than that of a vertically inclined affinity.”–Lebogang Tendai Monageng-Goad

The Pigment of Love

[Dedicated to my husband Matthew, and our family]

They say love is blind, but that’s amusing to me because our love can see.

It confers to us great splendor of resting securely, knowingly,

That beyond all reasonable doubt, our love is visionary.

Even wilder is the cognisance that it sees all colors;

It sees the color of the sun, the moon, the stars and the skies;

Yet like a chameleon, it takes on the color its casing.

It’s the color of you, it’s the color of me!

Its clear to see, its all the clarity we need.

But is it black? Or is it white?

Is it from Johannesburg South Africa

Or perhaps Salt Lake City in America?

Does it speak American English

Or is it more fluent in the Queens language?

Is it 27 years old or most likely 34?

But more infinitely so, do we even care to ever know?

It’s the color of you, it’s the color of me!

It continues to grow, it continues to soar!

It lives, breathes, and broods over the very essence of our being

It’s resident beneath the same colossal sky from whence cometh you and I

It pleads not to the record of our historical antiquity

But submits to the blissful triumph of every iniquity

Holding hands, side by side,

It continues to fly its banner high

Distinctly, that comes as no surprise

It’s the color of you, it’s the color of me

And by virtue of that reality

There’s no sense as to why we can never be.

Although I wish the whole world could see

You and I are just about all the clarity they need.

The pigment of love is immaterial to its sincerity!