Mbeke Blog

Mbeke Blog

Black Expat Stories – Ode to Aunty Dimela



It was too hard and I was too far away.

I had received the message that you had passed on aunty. I had not seen you for some time with thisAfrican clothes

expatriate life that I now live. My trips were always full. Filled with family, friends and house things. Nothing really… Our relationship had changed when I no longer heard from you. I didn’t know. I didn’t know you were ill. It seemed fine but now, as I looked at the pictures which were coming through, it was so not fine.

So much time had passed and now, not only had the time passed but so had you.  Being this far and not able to attend the nine nights where I knew you would be celebrated. Where the old friends would reunite and remember. Where libation would be poured, messages would be spoken, good food would be shared and tears would be allowed to fall.

A  space where your spirit would laugh and dance with all those who had gathered….I weep for not being there. I smile for having enjoyed your words of wisdom for many many years.  Your direct questions and unsolicited advise that, whether liked or accepted, I always knew was right.

I looked at us in our African clothes. Matching head wraps which are now sold to everyone in high street designer stores across the world. Our revolutionary clothes took a turn into the fashion houses aunty!  In those clothes, our family had provided love, laughter, nourishment, and security back then.  In our difference, we were the same and aspired for the same ideals that we knew the united states of Africa and united states of the Caribbean, would ultimately bring.

Our heroes and sheroes were Davis, Winnie, Lumumba, James, Makeba, Bishop, Manley, Nkrumah, John, Kuti, Marley, Jeffries, Diop, Shange, Welsing, Van Sertima, Angelou, Walker, Nyere, Biko, Morrison, Karenga, Collins, Iyapo, Baldwin, Gilroy, Zephaniah, Stuart and Yekwai….yes….Yekwai.  For you had penned our thoughts and told the world that we knew of their lies and actions towards us. Oh yes, you knew!

Travel safely over aunty and be well. Have the peace of heart, mind, and body that was denied to you in its entirety in this incarnation  A place that is denied to many of us who really know.

I love you and I hear your all-knowing energetically earthly laughter.

Walk good and rest until you come again.



Mbeke Waseme




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  1. What a beautiful tribute sis. It made me tear up!I
    Her presence and her energies will surely be missed.

  2. Sista Culcha

    Thank you sister Mbeke for this very moving tribute honouring and celebrating the life of our dear departed sister. It is important to take a minute to acknowledge the importance of these wonderful connections. Connections which have helped to mold and shape us into the individuals we are. I know how you feel about the nine night tradition, as it is an important part of our culture; coming together to honour our family and friends.

    Blessed love

    Sista Culcha.🌴🌸🌹🌺

  3. Yewande Ogunnaike

    How beautiful beloved Mbeke. I found out Friday evening coming up from Brixton tube and saw a beloved well known and respected brother elder who was dressed in white holding dearly close her obituary. I looked straight down at what he was holding and I saw aunty Dimela’s image and was instantly jolted.

    We take life for granted and she lived it to the very fullest

    Thank you again Queen.

    • MWaseme

      Yewande thank you! She is a special spirit who will continue to touch us x

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