Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Ombwe

Enlarge poem

Ombwe, a bottomless pit of nothingness, a creation of that familiar stranger, the goddess of creative thought.
Of nothing! Said she,
What a phrase, what a thought… fecund with meaning, this contradictory duality of no and thing that she ordained.
This our familiar strange goddess of creative thought!
Of nothing, no more to say, nothing invoked by this new creation of the English language commanded into being by this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought?
Like the void it is, out of its empty bowel, nothingness conjured rhymes ranging from spirituality to the torturous tale of a people heavy laden with the weight of their perpetual defeat.
Imagine a bottomless pit of nothingness!
Yet again imagine, out of the ashes of what once was, behold three breakups and a damsel flipping her wings of self assuredness. Damsel after damsel bearing their souls at the altar of this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought…
Intriguing this emptiness out of which rises a rallying call for resurrection, peace, pride and rootedness; and Imagine why I read culture and another life, incredible offering to the goddess of creative thought!

Demere Kitunga

Featured Poem:

Whack!

Enlarge poem

Whack!
A lash rips her skin open
Slut!
Comes out of the prodigal tongue
Of her loving father’s mouth

Whack!
I shudder at the sound of another lash
Tongue tied
Mother and I watch, immobilized
Like marble frozen, mute!

Whack!
Heart pounding, mouth dry
I close my eyes and will my tears to flow
A floodgate of memory of humiliation,
Mine, hers, ours!

Whack!
Another lash, harsher than the previous
A sound I can no longer bear to hear
In a furor of action I mingle, angry
No longer stupefied!

Whack!
Tables turn a switch grabbed and flung at him
It misses!
Rancor settles at the sound of her voice
No more…

A shudder…
Inexplicable sense of guilt
All this cruelty as punishment
For the most natural of all emotions
And we let it happen?

Frustrated…
Teeth clenched we claw and rake
Root it out we call and sing together
As we match and stamp and shake…
Walls of oppression past and present!

Impotent ‘tis his turn for stupor
Pride plummeted…
He seeks to negotiates space
At the dawn of an era alien to him.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Demere Kitunga is a feminist activist and advocate for literacy. She engages with literature and knowledge generation in various forms and through it mentor young people to become free thinkers and creative communicators.

She is the head of E&D Readership and Development Agency popularly known as Soma (synonym for read and learn in Kiswahili), a not for profit outfit which runs Soma Book Café, a literary hub for leisure, culture and learning.

She shares her poems individually and in relevant platforms including: Tanzanian and African feminist collective; Fanani Flava, Kisima cha Mashairi (an online poetry collective); and Waka Poetry Consortium. Her published poems include but are not limited to: a translation into Kiswahili of A new Initiation Song by Elizabeth Khaxas first published in Sister Namibia; and a few in Diwani ya Kisima Juzuu la I a Swahili anthology I co-edited with Kahabi Isangula published online (available on Amazon).

Demere Kitunga

Biography

Demere Kitunga is a feminist activist and advocate for literacy. She engages with literature and knowledge generation in various forms and through it mentor young people to become free thinkers and creative communicators.

She is the head of E&D Readership and Development Agency popularly known as Soma (synonym for read and learn in Kiswahili), a not for profit outfit which runs Soma Book Café, a literary hub for leisure, culture and learning.

She shares her poems individually and in relevant platforms including: Tanzanian and African feminist collective; Fanani Flava, Kisima cha Mashairi (an online poetry collective); and Waka Poetry Consortium. Her published poems include but are not limited to: a translation into Kiswahili of A new Initiation Song by Elizabeth Khaxas first published in Sister Namibia; and a few in Diwani ya Kisima Juzuu la I a Swahili anthology I co-edited with Kahabi Isangula published online (available on Amazon).

Ombwe

Enlarge poem

Ombwe, a bottomless pit of nothingness, a creation of that familiar stranger, the goddess of creative thought.
Of nothing! Said she,
What a phrase, what a thought… fecund with meaning, this contradictory duality of no and thing that she ordained.
This our familiar strange goddess of creative thought!
Of nothing, no more to say, nothing invoked by this new creation of the English language commanded into being by this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought?
Like the void it is, out of its empty bowel, nothingness conjured rhymes ranging from spirituality to the torturous tale of a people heavy laden with the weight of their perpetual defeat.
Imagine a bottomless pit of nothingness!
Yet again imagine, out of the ashes of what once was, behold three breakups and a damsel flipping her wings of self assuredness. Damsel after damsel bearing their souls at the altar of this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought…
Intriguing this emptiness out of which rises a rallying call for resurrection, peace, pride and rootedness; and Imagine why I read culture and another life, incredible offering to the goddess of creative thought!

Featured Poem:

Whack!

Enlarge poem

Whack!
A lash rips her skin open
Slut!
Comes out of the prodigal tongue
Of her loving father’s mouth

Whack!
I shudder at the sound of another lash
Tongue tied
Mother and I watch, immobilized
Like marble frozen, mute!

Whack!
Heart pounding, mouth dry
I close my eyes and will my tears to flow
A floodgate of memory of humiliation,
Mine, hers, ours!

Whack!
Another lash, harsher than the previous
A sound I can no longer bear to hear
In a furor of action I mingle, angry
No longer stupefied!

Whack!
Tables turn a switch grabbed and flung at him
It misses!
Rancor settles at the sound of her voice
No more…

A shudder…
Inexplicable sense of guilt
All this cruelty as punishment
For the most natural of all emotions
And we let it happen?

Frustrated…
Teeth clenched we claw and rake
Root it out we call and sing together
As we match and stamp and shake…
Walls of oppression past and present!

Impotent ‘tis his turn for stupor
Pride plummeted…
He seeks to negotiates space
At the dawn of an era alien to him.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (1)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Ombwe

Enlarge poem

Ombwe, a bottomless pit of nothingness, a creation of that familiar stranger, the goddess of creative thought.
Of nothing! Said she,
What a phrase, what a thought… fecund with meaning, this contradictory duality of no and thing that she ordained.
This our familiar strange goddess of creative thought!
Of nothing, no more to say, nothing invoked by this new creation of the English language commanded into being by this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought?
Like the void it is, out of its empty bowel, nothingness conjured rhymes ranging from spirituality to the torturous tale of a people heavy laden with the weight of their perpetual defeat.
Imagine a bottomless pit of nothingness!
Yet again imagine, out of the ashes of what once was, behold three breakups and a damsel flipping her wings of self assuredness. Damsel after damsel bearing their souls at the altar of this, our familiar stranger goddess of creative thought…
Intriguing this emptiness out of which rises a rallying call for resurrection, peace, pride and rootedness; and Imagine why I read culture and another life, incredible offering to the goddess of creative thought!

Comments

Your email address will not be published.