Underestimate me not – a photo-poem series

To celebrate the extraordinary nature of women, not that the world doesn’t know it but it often needs to be reminded – this photo-poem series highlights the greatness of women. The photography is by Ray Manzana while the poem is written by Tamara Lesabe who says women are underestimated and more often than not, they’re more than what they’re assumed to be. While the world has no problem diminishing them, this poem speaks to their resilient nature and reiterates what we all know but don’t always acknowledge.

“It is about being more than the physical and woman breaking bearers beyond their looks and what people have always expected to do. Doing away with the limitations put on woman because they do not believe that woman are capable of doing a “man’s job”. It is also about exposing the beauty of the mind and creativity.” says Tamara.

Underestimate me not

I intimidate

I threaten and throw you off your tracks

Blindsided by ego and a lack of respect

You never thought I had it in me to retaliate

How could it be?

In your validated bravado, accolades and strength

Bested by quick wit and a brazen smile

Intelligence and a soul too deep

Your shallow mind could never read

The intricacies and nuances of higher knowledge

Only elevated thinking could acknowledge

There is more to me than this

There is more to me than this frame you see

This skin, this hair

These hands and this flair

Behind the beauty and smile

Is a mind worth more than your while

You hold me to a limited stature

Of basic looks and flattering conjecture

Choosing to focus merely on what is seen

What you perceive, assume and fill in

And ignore all that maketh me

But I am made of more than looks and simple thoughts

My creativity ebbs and flows like rivers into waterfalls

Psyche made of convolutions and depressions

Surface deep has never left much of an impression

Understanding of the world with skin its harshness couldn’t peel

A wild spirit, a mixture of fire and feels

Sensitivity to heal, hear me; I am a woman

Interwoven with longing, jubilance and spontaneity


Photography: Ray Manzana

Model: Palesa Williams

Poetry: Tamara Lesabe


Between 10 and 5