Rusho
A performance from Rushongoza’s recent show “Rusho in Light” at Makerere Univeristy./Photo credit Begumya Rushongoza

To enter any room

You must come on your knees and not your feet

To enter any room

You must come with lips pronouncing please and not a palm prepared to push

Stand by the door

And humbly introduce yourself

Say

You are a beautiful room

And I believe the best air I will ever breathe is inside of you

Please, I beg to come in

The room will say to you

You have permission to approach the door

Hold the door knob and wait for further instructions

Throw away your violence based understanding of masculinity

For some tenderness

Hold the door knob

And soothe it

Slowly

Patiently

Only patient people enter locked rooms

Soothe it

Slowly

Patiently

Say

I know many men have come to enter this room

I have come to worship

Please let me in

To which the room will say

But there is no God here

To which you must say

Yes, there is something purer than God

And I have come to kneel before it

To which the room will say

Turn the door knob once

And wait for further instructions

To enter any room

You must come on your knees and not your feet

To enter any room

You must come with lips pronouncing please and not a palm prepared to push

Turn the door knob once

And say

I have come in peace

I have come with love

I have come to touch your walls and regain life in my hands

I have come to breathe in your air and feel it cleanse me

I have come to become a different man

Please allow me enter you

To which the room will say

Take off your clothes

This is holy ground

To which you must take off your clothes

To which the room will say

Turn the door knob once again

And walk in

When you are allowed to walk into a closed room

Be gentle

Be sensitive

Be respectful

Remember to come with flowers

Remember to wear your best clothes

Remember to be gentle

Remember to be sensitive

Remember to be respectful

To enter any room

You must come on your knees and not your feet

To enter any room

You must come with lips pronouncing please and not a palm prepared to push

Remember that women are closed rooms

Remember to ask for consent

Remember that a short skirt is not an invitation to treat

Remember that consent is an emphatic yes

Remember that force de-sanctifies closed rooms

Remember that you are not wind which forces its way even to funerals it wasn’t invited

Remember that you are sunshine

You only come in when you are invited

Remember to come in only when you are invited

Remember that when you are not invited

To walk away

And ask to worship another time

Humbly, yet passionately

Remember not to forcefully enter closed rooms

Remember that women are closed rooms

Remember to ask to come

This is God’s most enduring commandment

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