Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Khadija Heeger

Featured Poem:

Citizen Minus

Enlarge poem

Suffering has a black skin
How am I to be now that I am made of glass
And my words have no sound except for those uttered in a past
Sometimes I’m black when politics parodies truth and quantity is king, sometimes I am black
Sometimes only in the vaguest sense do I have history, a memory, a cultural reality
Easier to keep me in the dark, easier to talk about the Indian ocean slave trade as if it were one of the stepsisters
Easier to say that I almost suffered, am almost one thing not quite another
Somewhere between here and there between 1994 and the present I was lost on the periphery of a South African story because if memory serves the historical themes it seems my people were never participants in the resistance
Never marched , never fought, never died
Coloured anomaly, forcibly removed, survivors of slave ancestry
The sum total of my past coined thus and by degree I’m the not so bad off progeny
We won’t omit you completely, we’ll just play with the lighting so it won’t look so frightening
Pieces of a story just enough said so you’ll go quietly to bed
Citizen not quite black
Ek is mos ve’koep deu’ my manskap
‘n gove’ment wat alwee’ praat van equality and freedom
ma’ hie’sie ding die vinge wys ve’by daa’ waa’ ek bly issie soe bad offie, makkie saak hoeveel gengsters en drug addicts da’ issie it kommie vannie strugglelie
and is by definition not defined as an apartheid crime
citizen wassie da’ nie Maggie kla’ nie vrek van pille roek met ‘n apartheid spoek
and now 15 years later left with a democratic hangover and a negotiated new South Africa, I find that ‘not an apartheid crime’ ruining the length and breadth of most coloured youth
filling the gap between yesterday with a smell not unlike that of the underdog
unity in diversity becomes a travesty if we omit just one you see
but history it seems is a commodity something dressed for a particular emphasis sold to the appropriate buyer
“but it’s not that simple” they tell me, “ there are complexities if you please, don’t over simplify!”
is it complex to lie, makeover, storyboard, edit so you don’t see the ones slipping through the cracks till suffering has one colour and prosperity another and I become the pain you see through now that I am made of glass
and the skeleton of my ancestors can be seen in the faces of the young
we carve a dubious future at best
but I like a ghost will not rest until equal means what it is and recognition is fair and suffering has not colour
till I have no more gooseflesh in these modern day prisons of freedom for all where we create more underdogs for the next struggle
hoeko’ gat o’s da’ in ‘n blind doek vas gevang
gemang deu’ ‘n fucked up sense of identity
hoeve’ aluta, hoeve’ continua
ek is mos ve’koep deu’ my manskap
‘n government was alwee’ praat van equality and freedom
maa’ hiesie ding die vinger wys verby daa’ waa’ ek bly issi soe bad offie maakie saak hoeveel gengsters en drug addicts daa’ issie it kommie vannie strugglie and is by definition not defined as an apartheid crime
citizen wassie daa’ nie, Maggie kla nie, vrek van pille roek met ‘n apartheid spoek

khadija heeger

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Biography

Khadija Tracey Carmelita Heeger was born Cape Town. She was raised on the Cape Flats in the township of Hanover Park. She started performing when she was nine years old, her dream was to be an actress, but at 15, she started writing seriously and this is how she expresses herself now. She is a well-known and popular performance poet.

In 2007 she was commissioned to write a multidisciplinary theatrical poetry piece in collaboration with indigenous soundscape artists, Khoikonnexion, for the Spier Poetry Festival in 2008. These performances were greeted with standing ovations. This piece was later taken to Grahamstown Festival in 2009 (funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa).

Beyond the Delivery Room is her first collection of poems. Beyond the Delivery Room is the first part in a trilogy called Separation Anxiety. She is currently writing the second, Blood Words, following the crooked lines of DNA. She has also performed in Amherst in the USA, as part of an artist’s exchange programme.

Khadija Heeger

khadija heeger
khadija heeger

Biography

Khadija Tracey Carmelita Heeger was born Cape Town. She was raised on the Cape Flats in the township of Hanover Park. She started performing when she was nine years old, her dream was to be an actress, but at 15, she started writing seriously and this is how she expresses herself now. She is a well-known and popular performance poet.

In 2007 she was commissioned to write a multidisciplinary theatrical poetry piece in collaboration with indigenous soundscape artists, Khoikonnexion, for the Spier Poetry Festival in 2008. These performances were greeted with standing ovations. This piece was later taken to Grahamstown Festival in 2009 (funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa).

Beyond the Delivery Room is her first collection of poems. Beyond the Delivery Room is the first part in a trilogy called Separation Anxiety. She is currently writing the second, Blood Words, following the crooked lines of DNA. She has also performed in Amherst in the USA, as part of an artist’s exchange programme.

Featured Poem:

Citizen Minus

Enlarge poem

Suffering has a black skin
How am I to be now that I am made of glass
And my words have no sound except for those uttered in a past
Sometimes I’m black when politics parodies truth and quantity is king, sometimes I am black
Sometimes only in the vaguest sense do I have history, a memory, a cultural reality
Easier to keep me in the dark, easier to talk about the Indian ocean slave trade as if it were one of the stepsisters
Easier to say that I almost suffered, am almost one thing not quite another
Somewhere between here and there between 1994 and the present I was lost on the periphery of a South African story because if memory serves the historical themes it seems my people were never participants in the resistance
Never marched , never fought, never died
Coloured anomaly, forcibly removed, survivors of slave ancestry
The sum total of my past coined thus and by degree I’m the not so bad off progeny
We won’t omit you completely, we’ll just play with the lighting so it won’t look so frightening
Pieces of a story just enough said so you’ll go quietly to bed
Citizen not quite black
Ek is mos ve’koep deu’ my manskap
‘n gove’ment wat alwee’ praat van equality and freedom
ma’ hie’sie ding die vinge wys ve’by daa’ waa’ ek bly issie soe bad offie, makkie saak hoeveel gengsters en drug addicts da’ issie it kommie vannie strugglelie
and is by definition not defined as an apartheid crime
citizen wassie da’ nie Maggie kla’ nie vrek van pille roek met ‘n apartheid spoek
and now 15 years later left with a democratic hangover and a negotiated new South Africa, I find that ‘not an apartheid crime’ ruining the length and breadth of most coloured youth
filling the gap between yesterday with a smell not unlike that of the underdog
unity in diversity becomes a travesty if we omit just one you see
but history it seems is a commodity something dressed for a particular emphasis sold to the appropriate buyer
“but it’s not that simple” they tell me, “ there are complexities if you please, don’t over simplify!”
is it complex to lie, makeover, storyboard, edit so you don’t see the ones slipping through the cracks till suffering has one colour and prosperity another and I become the pain you see through now that I am made of glass
and the skeleton of my ancestors can be seen in the faces of the young
we carve a dubious future at best
but I like a ghost will not rest until equal means what it is and recognition is fair and suffering has not colour
till I have no more gooseflesh in these modern day prisons of freedom for all where we create more underdogs for the next struggle
hoeko’ gat o’s da’ in ‘n blind doek vas gevang
gemang deu’ ‘n fucked up sense of identity
hoeve’ aluta, hoeve’ continua
ek is mos ve’koep deu’ my manskap
‘n government was alwee’ praat van equality and freedom
maa’ hiesie ding die vinger wys verby daa’ waa’ ek bly issi soe bad offie maakie saak hoeveel gengsters en drug addicts daa’ issie it kommie vannie strugglie and is by definition not defined as an apartheid crime
citizen wassie daa’ nie, Maggie kla nie, vrek van pille roek met ‘n apartheid spoek

No audio file loaded.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (6)
  • Pride (4)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (2)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.