Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

If I could Sing

Enlarge poem

Write me a song
About the illusive music
Of a woman’s thong
Write me a song
About the hard music
Of a single parent’s spinal fluid
Write me a song
About the blind poet
Who sees music in words
Write me a song
About the battered wings of township birds
Swallowed by the emptiness of the sky
Yet live to escape the earth’s lie
Write me a song
About the bump and grind
Of a musician’s plight
Write me a song
About a ballerina
Who can see the music
And hear the dance
Write me a song
About Azaniana’s forgotten name
Write me a verse
About a woman’s shame
Tamed by the lame
Touch of a man’s game
Write me a song,
Write about the notes
Of dead flutes
And the unfair dirt
On our soldier’s boots
Write me a song
About the haunting cries
Of a Khoisan’s decaying smile
Write me a symphony
About the soil’s history
Coz how will future scholars
View us
What will they sing
Of our names
Will their lyrics finger our faults?
Write me a lullaby
For my unborn baby
To sleep peaceful tonight
Coz my flaws
Will soon choke his doors
So write me a song
About a father’s shoes
And a mother’s barren womb
Coz I don’t want my child to be born in a tomb
Write me a song
About the cruelty
Of the ghetto’s depression
Write me out of this chord progression
Coz I am tired of singing the same song
Write me a poem
About this promised land
Where our cultures have been torn
Coz we don’t belong
So write our names on the sun
For tomorrow’s music to shine
Even through the storm
Coz music is the keeper of a people’s time
A place where we were born.

Maakomele Manaka

Featured Poem:

Unchain our minds.

Enlarge poem

You…
Who stand with their backs
On these walls
Step up front and jazz
And You…
Who stand facing the exit
Step outside,
And dance to your nightmares
This moment comes once
You..
Who love to hear words
Turning into beats
That silence the violence in our streets,
Raise your fists
And ignite those lighters
For those that fought and died
In the name of peace
Love like revolution has no age
So please plant that sensitive seed with love
From an early stage.
I lost my father to the wind
Before I could write to understand
Before I could be a man
Though my mother taught us
How to walk with the sun on our hands
And that blood is thicker than water
For us to fight with ourselves any longer.
‘Home is where the fire burns for us all’
So look at your self first
And keep the peace at home young soldier
Unchain your heart from street politics
And listen to her when she speaks
Life wasn’t meant to be easy
Even for the rich.
On a table of discipline and respect
I learned,
The price for happiness is painful
For years we hid our struggles and pains
Behind illusive smiles and angry tears of joy
And in our homes some of our parents
Passed on this struggle to some of us
Who refused to encourage it
Rather we learn from it
While respecting the opportunities it gives
Yet everyday we lose beautiful flowers from it
So You..
Who hate guns,
Where u at?
You
Who says no to drugs
Where u at?
Cos the good die innocent
And the young rot in jail
For hustling a cent,
Someone please fax me some sense,
Soweto is now an amusement park for tourists.
Well singing cows are good for the country
But without free education
The innocent die young
Trying to get that cheese.
My parents were not rich
And as artists,
Life was not always bliss,
Though they hustled us food
And made everything seem good.
Point is
Truth has no boundaries
And survival by any means
Is a fact that lives to haunt economists.
Today white business,
Is now on the black market
Giving birth to dealers everyday
On our televisions and billboards on the highway
Who is the target?
Too many thugs in our pockets
Ripping us off
And talking black empowerment
So you
Who stand with their backs
Against these brainwashed walls
Step up front
And lets go tag our names
On the president’s heart.
Leave signs and posters over the parliaments art
That shout, ‘Free education for all’.

mak_manaka

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (20)
  • Pride (14)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (5)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (3)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (5)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (6)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (5)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. It’s outstanding wish to co intact you face to face. Make it happen.
    Ngoako Sekgota
    polokwane(bochum)

    sekgota. M.n

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Maakomele Manaka , was born in Diepkloof zone 6, Soweto in 1983. The first of two boys born to artistic parents. Mak, as he is widely known is the son of the late Matsemela Manaka a well known visual artist, poet, play write and black consciousness activist . His mother, Nomsa Kupi Manaka is a pioneer of African dance, an established dancer,choreographer, and actress in South Africa. With a natural artistic gift as a poet and writer and a strong artistic heritage , Mak was destined to be an artist.

South African icon Don Mattera says, “If genius can be genetically connected and if it flows from generation to generation, then Mak Manaka is the epitome of it. He comes from a dynasty of talented, creative and gifted people Nomsa and Matsemela”.

At the age of 5, he received a Young Artist Award at the once famous Funda Arts Center in Soweto . He started writing poetry at 14 yrs old , just two years after his near fatal accident which left him in a wheelchair for a year and a half. He started performing at the age of 15 on crutches, debuting in 1998 in Lugano, Switzerland at a tribute for his late father.

In 1999, he performed at the Windybrow Arts Theater with British poet Benjamin Zephaniah and South African poet Dr Don Mattera. In 2000 he performed for Arnold Shwaznager on his visit to South Africa at the Takalani Home for the mentally Handicapped school.

In 2001, he performed at Horror Café in a show called Urban Voices with Grammy award winning American poets Sarah Jones and Steve Coleman along with other young and aspiring South African poets. This was to become a milestone poetic performance for Mak – as it formerly introduced him as an integral part of the local spoken word scene .

In 2002 he performed for the former president of South Africa Mr. Thabo Mbeki at the SABC in a live program called In conversation with the President hosted by Tim Modise and during that year he compiled all his works for publication of a poetry book, If Only. During the subsequent years he become a sought after poet as well as headliner for various festivals and events including the annual international Urban Voices Poetry Festival which took place nationally in SA. Over the years on various Urban Voices stages he has performed with international and locally acclaimed poets including the likes of Mutabaruka, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Saul Williams, the Last Poets, Ursula Rucker, Lesego Rampolokeng , Keorapetse Kgositsile and various other poetic icons.He was commissioned to perform for the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela at the launch of a primary school in Soweto. Later that year, Mak toured Cuba and Jamaica with poets Don Mattera and Lebo Mashile representing South Africa in celebrating 10 years of democracy. .

In the 2004 he was nominated for The Daimler Chrysler Poet of the Year 2005 Award. This year also saw Mak Performing in Holland, at the Crossing Borders Festival.

In February 2005 he spent a month in Germany on an island called Sylt and performed in Hamburg and Berlin. Later that year he played a character also called Mak and who was facing disability issues in the children’s television program Soul Buddies on SABC.

In June 2006 he performed at schools around Soweto as part of the campaign for the We Remember June 16. In the same year, he performed in Germany, Berlin for the
heads of state at the closing ceremony of the 2006 World Cup. In Kohln he shared the stage with talented poets, Lebo Mashile and Gcina Mhlophe, He also shared the stage with some of South Africa’s legendary artists, Johnny Clegg, Jabu Khanyile, HHP and
Freshly Ground.

In 2008, in pursuance of this goal, Mak launched his debut cd entitled Word Sound Power!!Word Sound Power!!  an album of quality music and Conscious lyrics, was certainly a milestone album for spoken word in South Africa. Produced by Melody Muzik Sound Productions, the music reflects a deep range of reggae rhythms together with hip hop and jazz. International and local musicians have contributed and collaborate on Word Sound Power!! including The Royal Kushite Philharmonic Orchestra featuring L Michell, H Izachaar, L Beckett and mixed by K M Tafari

In 2009 Manaka launched his second anthology In Time, in Italy at a Literature festival in Mantova. The anthology sold out months after its release.

In 2010 he performed at the Zwakala Festival for deaf children, and he also performed at the annual languages awards, The Pen-Salb Awards. He also launched a writers program in the same year to encourage self-esteem in young people

In 2011 He performed at the MNET awards, the Television awards for Good (TAG).

In 2012, Mak performed in Padova, Italy at the Porsche Live Festival. In June 2012, Mak represented South Africa at the 18th Genoa International Poetry Festival in Italy. In the same month he performed at the Listros Gallery in Berlin, Manaka also facilitated workshops at the prestigious Humboldt University called Poetry 101 with Mak Manaka. He also performed at The Moving Poets in Berlin with an installation of a Berlin based South African visual artist, Liz Crowley. He also performed at Badilisha Poetry X-change’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

Maakomele Manaka

mak_manaka
mak_manaka

Biography

Maakomele Manaka , was born in Diepkloof zone 6, Soweto in 1983. The first of two boys born to artistic parents. Mak, as he is widely known is the son of the late Matsemela Manaka a well known visual artist, poet, play write and black consciousness activist . His mother, Nomsa Kupi Manaka is a pioneer of African dance, an established dancer,choreographer, and actress in South Africa. With a natural artistic gift as a poet and writer and a strong artistic heritage , Mak was destined to be an artist.

South African icon Don Mattera says, “If genius can be genetically connected and if it flows from generation to generation, then Mak Manaka is the epitome of it. He comes from a dynasty of talented, creative and gifted people Nomsa and Matsemela”.

At the age of 5, he received a Young Artist Award at the once famous Funda Arts Center in Soweto . He started writing poetry at 14 yrs old , just two years after his near fatal accident which left him in a wheelchair for a year and a half. He started performing at the age of 15 on crutches, debuting in 1998 in Lugano, Switzerland at a tribute for his late father.

In 1999, he performed at the Windybrow Arts Theater with British poet Benjamin Zephaniah and South African poet Dr Don Mattera. In 2000 he performed for Arnold Shwaznager on his visit to South Africa at the Takalani Home for the mentally Handicapped school.

In 2001, he performed at Horror Café in a show called Urban Voices with Grammy award winning American poets Sarah Jones and Steve Coleman along with other young and aspiring South African poets. This was to become a milestone poetic performance for Mak – as it formerly introduced him as an integral part of the local spoken word scene .

In 2002 he performed for the former president of South Africa Mr. Thabo Mbeki at the SABC in a live program called In conversation with the President hosted by Tim Modise and during that year he compiled all his works for publication of a poetry book, If Only. During the subsequent years he become a sought after poet as well as headliner for various festivals and events including the annual international Urban Voices Poetry Festival which took place nationally in SA. Over the years on various Urban Voices stages he has performed with international and locally acclaimed poets including the likes of Mutabaruka, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Saul Williams, the Last Poets, Ursula Rucker, Lesego Rampolokeng , Keorapetse Kgositsile and various other poetic icons.He was commissioned to perform for the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela at the launch of a primary school in Soweto. Later that year, Mak toured Cuba and Jamaica with poets Don Mattera and Lebo Mashile representing South Africa in celebrating 10 years of democracy. .

In the 2004 he was nominated for The Daimler Chrysler Poet of the Year 2005 Award. This year also saw Mak Performing in Holland, at the Crossing Borders Festival.

In February 2005 he spent a month in Germany on an island called Sylt and performed in Hamburg and Berlin. Later that year he played a character also called Mak and who was facing disability issues in the children’s television program Soul Buddies on SABC.

In June 2006 he performed at schools around Soweto as part of the campaign for the We Remember June 16. In the same year, he performed in Germany, Berlin for the
heads of state at the closing ceremony of the 2006 World Cup. In Kohln he shared the stage with talented poets, Lebo Mashile and Gcina Mhlophe, He also shared the stage with some of South Africa’s legendary artists, Johnny Clegg, Jabu Khanyile, HHP and
Freshly Ground.

In 2008, in pursuance of this goal, Mak launched his debut cd entitled Word Sound Power!!Word Sound Power!!  an album of quality music and Conscious lyrics, was certainly a milestone album for spoken word in South Africa. Produced by Melody Muzik Sound Productions, the music reflects a deep range of reggae rhythms together with hip hop and jazz. International and local musicians have contributed and collaborate on Word Sound Power!! including The Royal Kushite Philharmonic Orchestra featuring L Michell, H Izachaar, L Beckett and mixed by K M Tafari

In 2009 Manaka launched his second anthology In Time, in Italy at a Literature festival in Mantova. The anthology sold out months after its release.

In 2010 he performed at the Zwakala Festival for deaf children, and he also performed at the annual languages awards, The Pen-Salb Awards. He also launched a writers program in the same year to encourage self-esteem in young people

In 2011 He performed at the MNET awards, the Television awards for Good (TAG).

In 2012, Mak performed in Padova, Italy at the Porsche Live Festival. In June 2012, Mak represented South Africa at the 18th Genoa International Poetry Festival in Italy. In the same month he performed at the Listros Gallery in Berlin, Manaka also facilitated workshops at the prestigious Humboldt University called Poetry 101 with Mak Manaka. He also performed at The Moving Poets in Berlin with an installation of a Berlin based South African visual artist, Liz Crowley. He also performed at Badilisha Poetry X-change’s 100 Thousand Poets for Change.

If I could Sing

Enlarge poem

Write me a song
About the illusive music
Of a woman’s thong
Write me a song
About the hard music
Of a single parent’s spinal fluid
Write me a song
About the blind poet
Who sees music in words
Write me a song
About the battered wings of township birds
Swallowed by the emptiness of the sky
Yet live to escape the earth’s lie
Write me a song
About the bump and grind
Of a musician’s plight
Write me a song
About a ballerina
Who can see the music
And hear the dance
Write me a song
About Azaniana’s forgotten name
Write me a verse
About a woman’s shame
Tamed by the lame
Touch of a man’s game
Write me a song,
Write about the notes
Of dead flutes
And the unfair dirt
On our soldier’s boots
Write me a song
About the haunting cries
Of a Khoisan’s decaying smile
Write me a symphony
About the soil’s history
Coz how will future scholars
View us
What will they sing
Of our names
Will their lyrics finger our faults?
Write me a lullaby
For my unborn baby
To sleep peaceful tonight
Coz my flaws
Will soon choke his doors
So write me a song
About a father’s shoes
And a mother’s barren womb
Coz I don’t want my child to be born in a tomb
Write me a song
About the cruelty
Of the ghetto’s depression
Write me out of this chord progression
Coz I am tired of singing the same song
Write me a poem
About this promised land
Where our cultures have been torn
Coz we don’t belong
So write our names on the sun
For tomorrow’s music to shine
Even through the storm
Coz music is the keeper of a people’s time
A place where we were born.

Featured Poem:

Unchain our minds.

Enlarge poem

You…
Who stand with their backs
On these walls
Step up front and jazz
And You…
Who stand facing the exit
Step outside,
And dance to your nightmares
This moment comes once
You..
Who love to hear words
Turning into beats
That silence the violence in our streets,
Raise your fists
And ignite those lighters
For those that fought and died
In the name of peace
Love like revolution has no age
So please plant that sensitive seed with love
From an early stage.
I lost my father to the wind
Before I could write to understand
Before I could be a man
Though my mother taught us
How to walk with the sun on our hands
And that blood is thicker than water
For us to fight with ourselves any longer.
‘Home is where the fire burns for us all’
So look at your self first
And keep the peace at home young soldier
Unchain your heart from street politics
And listen to her when she speaks
Life wasn’t meant to be easy
Even for the rich.
On a table of discipline and respect
I learned,
The price for happiness is painful
For years we hid our struggles and pains
Behind illusive smiles and angry tears of joy
And in our homes some of our parents
Passed on this struggle to some of us
Who refused to encourage it
Rather we learn from it
While respecting the opportunities it gives
Yet everyday we lose beautiful flowers from it
So You..
Who hate guns,
Where u at?
You
Who says no to drugs
Where u at?
Cos the good die innocent
And the young rot in jail
For hustling a cent,
Someone please fax me some sense,
Soweto is now an amusement park for tourists.
Well singing cows are good for the country
But without free education
The innocent die young
Trying to get that cheese.
My parents were not rich
And as artists,
Life was not always bliss,
Though they hustled us food
And made everything seem good.
Point is
Truth has no boundaries
And survival by any means
Is a fact that lives to haunt economists.
Today white business,
Is now on the black market
Giving birth to dealers everyday
On our televisions and billboards on the highway
Who is the target?
Too many thugs in our pockets
Ripping us off
And talking black empowerment
So you
Who stand with their backs
Against these brainwashed walls
Step up front
And lets go tag our names
On the president’s heart.
Leave signs and posters over the parliaments art
That shout, ‘Free education for all’.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (20)
  • Pride (14)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (5)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (13)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (3)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (5)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (6)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (5)
  • Jubilation (2)

If I could Sing

Enlarge poem

Write me a song
About the illusive music
Of a woman’s thong
Write me a song
About the hard music
Of a single parent’s spinal fluid
Write me a song
About the blind poet
Who sees music in words
Write me a song
About the battered wings of township birds
Swallowed by the emptiness of the sky
Yet live to escape the earth’s lie
Write me a song
About the bump and grind
Of a musician’s plight
Write me a song
About a ballerina
Who can see the music
And hear the dance
Write me a song
About Azaniana’s forgotten name
Write me a verse
About a woman’s shame
Tamed by the lame
Touch of a man’s game
Write me a song,
Write about the notes
Of dead flutes
And the unfair dirt
On our soldier’s boots
Write me a song
About the haunting cries
Of a Khoisan’s decaying smile
Write me a symphony
About the soil’s history
Coz how will future scholars
View us
What will they sing
Of our names
Will their lyrics finger our faults?
Write me a lullaby
For my unborn baby
To sleep peaceful tonight
Coz my flaws
Will soon choke his doors
So write me a song
About a father’s shoes
And a mother’s barren womb
Coz I don’t want my child to be born in a tomb
Write me a song
About the cruelty
Of the ghetto’s depression
Write me out of this chord progression
Coz I am tired of singing the same song
Write me a poem
About this promised land
Where our cultures have been torn
Coz we don’t belong
So write our names on the sun
For tomorrow’s music to shine
Even through the storm
Coz music is the keeper of a people’s time
A place where we were born.

Comments

  1. It’s outstanding wish to co intact you face to face. Make it happen.
    Ngoako Sekgota
    polokwane(bochum)

    sekgota. M.n

Your email address will not be published.