Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Gcina Mhlophe

Featured Poem:

Praise poem for Nokukhanya Luthuli

Enlarge poem

If I were to stand on top of a hill
And raise my voice in praise
Of the women of my country
Who have worked throughout their lives
Not for themselves, but for the very life of all Africans
Who would I sing my praises to?
I could quote all the names
Yes, but where do I begin?!
Maybe, maybe, I would choose a name
Just one special name that spells out light
That of Mama Nokukhanya Luthuli
Maybe if I were to call out her name
From the top of the hill
While the moon is shining bright;
No-ku-kha-nya!
NO-KU-KHA-NYA!
Maybe my voice would be carried by the wind
To reach all the other women
Whose names are often not mentioned
The ones who sell oranges and potatoes
So their children can eat and learn
The ones who scrub floors and polish executive desktops
In towering office blocks
While the city sleeps
The ones who work in overcrowded hospitals
Savings lives, cleaning bullet wounds and delivering new babies
And the ones who have given up
Their places of comfort and the protection of their skin colour
Marian Sparg, Sheena Duncan,
Barbara Hogan, Jenny Schreiner.
And what of the women who are stranded in the homelands
With a baby in the belly and a baby on the back
While their men are sweating in the bowels of the earth?
May the lives of all these women
Be celebrated and made to shine
When I cry out Mama Nokukhanya’s name
NO-KU-KHA-NYA!!
And we who are young, salute our mothers
Who have given us
The heritage of their Queendom!!!

gcina mhlope

No audio file loaded.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (9)
  • Pride (16)
  • Optimism (7)
  • Anger (6)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (10)
  • Captivation (7)
  • Peace (11)
  • Amusement (3)
  • Sorrow (4)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (10)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. Lovely poem. This should be the anthem of Mothers Day!!

    I shall better celebrate my mother who has been all a mother could ever be. Thank you!

    Siyanda Qoto

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Iconic and award-winning Kwazulu-Natal storyteller and poet, Gcina Mhlophe has been writing and performing for over twenty years. Known for her engaging stage presence, she has written numerous award-winning childrens books as well as poetry, short stories and plays, including Nozincwadi Mother of Books, African Mother Christmas, Fudukazi’s Magic and Love Child. Gcina Mhlophe has received Honorary Doctorates from the London Open University as well as the University of Natal and awards from BBC Africa Service for Radio Drama, The Fringe First Award in the Edinburgh Festival, the Josef Jefferson Award in Chicago, and OBBIE in New York. Her work has contributed to the revival of indigenous storytelling in South Africa.

Gcina Mhlophe

gcina mhlope
gcina mhlope

Biography

Iconic and award-winning Kwazulu-Natal storyteller and poet, Gcina Mhlophe has been writing and performing for over twenty years. Known for her engaging stage presence, she has written numerous award-winning childrens books as well as poetry, short stories and plays, including Nozincwadi Mother of Books, African Mother Christmas, Fudukazi’s Magic and Love Child. Gcina Mhlophe has received Honorary Doctorates from the London Open University as well as the University of Natal and awards from BBC Africa Service for Radio Drama, The Fringe First Award in the Edinburgh Festival, the Josef Jefferson Award in Chicago, and OBBIE in New York. Her work has contributed to the revival of indigenous storytelling in South Africa.

Featured Poem:

Praise poem for Nokukhanya Luthuli

Enlarge poem

If I were to stand on top of a hill
And raise my voice in praise
Of the women of my country
Who have worked throughout their lives
Not for themselves, but for the very life of all Africans
Who would I sing my praises to?
I could quote all the names
Yes, but where do I begin?!
Maybe, maybe, I would choose a name
Just one special name that spells out light
That of Mama Nokukhanya Luthuli
Maybe if I were to call out her name
From the top of the hill
While the moon is shining bright;
No-ku-kha-nya!
NO-KU-KHA-NYA!
Maybe my voice would be carried by the wind
To reach all the other women
Whose names are often not mentioned
The ones who sell oranges and potatoes
So their children can eat and learn
The ones who scrub floors and polish executive desktops
In towering office blocks
While the city sleeps
The ones who work in overcrowded hospitals
Savings lives, cleaning bullet wounds and delivering new babies
And the ones who have given up
Their places of comfort and the protection of their skin colour
Marian Sparg, Sheena Duncan,
Barbara Hogan, Jenny Schreiner.
And what of the women who are stranded in the homelands
With a baby in the belly and a baby on the back
While their men are sweating in the bowels of the earth?
May the lives of all these women
Be celebrated and made to shine
When I cry out Mama Nokukhanya’s name
NO-KU-KHA-NYA!!
And we who are young, salute our mothers
Who have given us
The heritage of their Queendom!!!

No audio file loaded.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (9)
  • Pride (16)
  • Optimism (7)
  • Anger (6)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (10)
  • Captivation (7)
  • Peace (11)
  • Amusement (3)
  • Sorrow (4)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (10)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. Lovely poem. This should be the anthem of Mothers Day!!

    I shall better celebrate my mother who has been all a mother could ever be. Thank you!

    Siyanda Qoto

Your email address will not be published.