Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Touting taxi

Enlarge poem

Touting taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
from Zola
to Jozi
music background
loud and loud
pep talk
trace toilet tissue
tracks van bo
ke bona dibono
ka se bone
beng ba tsona
taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
constant thuggery
criss cross
cross pollination
christianity charged
shot cit corner
magomosha style
corner
Market and Nugget
taxi topsy turvey
pep talk
drinking Beefeaters
eyes of melting bazookas
meaty juice
ba harela jwala
eke ba kgaohile maoto
kwala molomo lovey
ke mametse
touting taxi topsy turvey
pep talk

Isabella Motadinyane

Featured Poem:

Nonhlanla

Enlarge poem

Nonhlanla is gone
tears pearls laughter
dreads survey my toes
touch of anguish
pat my mind
the target is found
Nonhlanla is gone
they nailed her
pink nails oozing
they dragged her
reshuffled her
off the ground
pinned her tongue
hanging loose
blood pool flooded
to dry up heavens
Nonhlanla is gone
staring
into the dark
tired of Nkosi Yami
go away
biting my lips
my dark room walls
caressing the belt
to end the beginning
of a faraway song
in my mind
Zion bells ring
bayavuya
umoya wami
uyakathazeka
voices crying
in the dark
darkness
swallows the light
my heart has stopped beating
no mercy in Zion
Nonhlanla is gone

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

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Biography

Isabella Motadinyane was born in 1963 in Mofolo Central, Soweto. She went as far as Grade Five in her formal schooling. She studied piano at the so-called “Five Roses Bowl” and attended dance and acting classes in Jozi. As a result of creative writing workshops she wrote the poem One leg in which contains the phrase die is mos botsotsos. This phrase afterwards gave rise to the name of the Botsotso Jesters, the poetry performance group of which she was a founding member in 1994, and whose publishing arm, Botsotso Publishing brought out the two collections, We Jive Like This (1996) and Dirty Washing (1999), from whom the poems in this collected works are taken.

She was brought up by her grandmother and adopted the surname Motadinyane even though, when she traced her roots and the whereabouts of her absent father, she discovered that he was from the Mabalane family of Meadowlands and Ndofaya. At the time of her death on 19 February 2003 – her fortieth birthday – she was living with her mother in Orange Farm.

As a stage presence she was unique – confident, varied, vivacious. Her rich voice both sang and spoke, infusing her poems with great musicality; as significant, they worked equally convincingly on the page. Her voice is captured on the Botsotso Jesters cd, Purple Light Mirror in the Mud (2001). Indeed, Isabella Motadinyane used Isicamtho and Sotho to create a powerful legacy of performance, poetry and song. A collection of her poems (as previously published with the Botsotso Jesters) entitled Bella was published in 2007.

Isabella Motadinyane

Biography

Isabella Motadinyane was born in 1963 in Mofolo Central, Soweto. She went as far as Grade Five in her formal schooling. She studied piano at the so-called “Five Roses Bowl” and attended dance and acting classes in Jozi. As a result of creative writing workshops she wrote the poem One leg in which contains the phrase die is mos botsotsos. This phrase afterwards gave rise to the name of the Botsotso Jesters, the poetry performance group of which she was a founding member in 1994, and whose publishing arm, Botsotso Publishing brought out the two collections, We Jive Like This (1996) and Dirty Washing (1999), from whom the poems in this collected works are taken.

She was brought up by her grandmother and adopted the surname Motadinyane even though, when she traced her roots and the whereabouts of her absent father, she discovered that he was from the Mabalane family of Meadowlands and Ndofaya. At the time of her death on 19 February 2003 – her fortieth birthday – she was living with her mother in Orange Farm.

As a stage presence she was unique – confident, varied, vivacious. Her rich voice both sang and spoke, infusing her poems with great musicality; as significant, they worked equally convincingly on the page. Her voice is captured on the Botsotso Jesters cd, Purple Light Mirror in the Mud (2001). Indeed, Isabella Motadinyane used Isicamtho and Sotho to create a powerful legacy of performance, poetry and song. A collection of her poems (as previously published with the Botsotso Jesters) entitled Bella was published in 2007.

Touting taxi

Enlarge poem

Touting taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
from Zola
to Jozi
music background
loud and loud
pep talk
trace toilet tissue
tracks van bo
ke bona dibono
ka se bone
beng ba tsona
taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
constant thuggery
criss cross
cross pollination
christianity charged
shot cit corner
magomosha style
corner
Market and Nugget
taxi topsy turvey
pep talk
drinking Beefeaters
eyes of melting bazookas
meaty juice
ba harela jwala
eke ba kgaohile maoto
kwala molomo lovey
ke mametse
touting taxi topsy turvey
pep talk

Featured Poem:

Nonhlanla

Enlarge poem

Nonhlanla is gone
tears pearls laughter
dreads survey my toes
touch of anguish
pat my mind
the target is found
Nonhlanla is gone
they nailed her
pink nails oozing
they dragged her
reshuffled her
off the ground
pinned her tongue
hanging loose
blood pool flooded
to dry up heavens
Nonhlanla is gone
staring
into the dark
tired of Nkosi Yami
go away
biting my lips
my dark room walls
caressing the belt
to end the beginning
of a faraway song
in my mind
Zion bells ring
bayavuya
umoya wami
uyakathazeka
voices crying
in the dark
darkness
swallows the light
my heart has stopped beating
no mercy in Zion
Nonhlanla is gone

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Touting taxi

Enlarge poem

Touting taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
from Zola
to Jozi
music background
loud and loud
pep talk
trace toilet tissue
tracks van bo
ke bona dibono
ka se bone
beng ba tsona
taxi
topsy turvey
pep talk
constant thuggery
criss cross
cross pollination
christianity charged
shot cit corner
magomosha style
corner
Market and Nugget
taxi topsy turvey
pep talk
drinking Beefeaters
eyes of melting bazookas
meaty juice
ba harela jwala
eke ba kgaohile maoto
kwala molomo lovey
ke mametse
touting taxi topsy turvey
pep talk

Comments

Your email address will not be published.