Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Make Them understand

Enlarge poem

A friend of mine once told me, I’m a young man with wisdom of an old man.
Ever since then it has been imprinted on my mind that an old soul once resided in this body and when he passed on he left parts of his soul and brain, and sometimes he reveals himself.

Recently when I was rummaging for another poem I found a letter written by this old hand, titled “Make them understand”.
It reads: when my forefathers lost their land, they fought hard to retain it, but time and death became their enemy, so when their bodies could no longer take it and their projected voices of protest lost volume, they became old man muttering words into wombs of our mothers so that we could cry revolution at birth.
At first sight we were burden with the responsibility of saving this land.
My teenage years were riots and rebellion, petrol bombs and teargas.
1960 I was a young man still burning with revolution, 69 died in Sharpeville, gloom almost blinded our sight for liberation but our hands ignited a torch of new dawn, freedom.

Some of our younger comrades raised their fists at 19, 76 uprising.
The struggle continues but those flames inside me are slowly burning out, the torch in my hand is dim and my demise is catching up with me.
When die tell my grandchildren about our past, make them understand it is not their fault they were born poor, that they dwell in former dumpsites with fly infested playgrounds.
Tell them with these hands I tried, they have bled while kissing Gold and Platinum for a foreign pale man, they have worked Suburbia gardens under the name of ìgarden boyî, they have cultivated lands and worked the fields for 70 Rands a day.
Tell them I have sweated my brow but I still couldnít make enough rand to buy back the land or even a piece of land.

Tell them we will rejoice for our first black president not knowing that he negotiated a contract with cryptic errors that will be decrypted in a form of strikes and violence in the future.
Tell them the TRC will fail to reconcile us, in fact it will provoke wounds and leave them to ooze memories of lost loved ones.
Tell them the Liberation movement will be broken into pieces of small parties, it will elect a corrupt and scandalous president twice as punch line to the whole government joke.
Tell them service delivery and unemployment will frustrate people, we will attack our own and call it Xenophobia, we will burn our own and the man in blue will watch and laugh.
Tell them our police will become bullies, they will open live fire on civilians, 34 miners will die for a salary increase, and a man will be tied to a police van, dragged around until he dies and his video will continuously play on our screens to remind us that they no longer serve and protect.

Tell them this land will forever be a place of blood spill, even internationals will come here to orchestrate deaths of their wives; sports starts will forever be surrounded by scandals and bad publicity. Make my grandchildren understand that it is not their fault that this soil is cursed.
We stopped singing the revolution songs too early.
Tell them to hum new songs when they have become one, burst out in song, sing so much that their grandchildren will not be prone to singing the same songs.
And in the end if they still live in a shack, tell them it because they are still shackled under the same system disguised in Black.

Mbongeni Nomkonwana

Featured Poem:

Homage

Enlarge poem

We are natural Wonders.
We are natural wonders gifted with abilities that puzzle our fellow human beings.
We can transport our vision beyond the four corners of this Earth; hence we know that the moon and the stars are not just sources of light,
That we are energies who reflect themselves in the sky to look at each other at night.

I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.
Those who infuse their eyes with yours to make you see the world in theirs.
Who utter naked words because truth haunts them, and truth is an oath that will bring you closer to God than any religion ever will.
Whose tongues decipher musical notes into lullabyís of Hope for single mothers and fatherless children.
Who use nature to curve their words into shapes and images that even language struggles to comprehend.
Play Cd-Jays and Vynals with a single hand.
Turn abandoned walls into galleries, strike chords and keys, play strings to heal broken souls
Those who know that air gives life to melody and that music is a universal language.

I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.
Those who know that exposure is a Trojan horse that leaves them wondering when is exploitation going to end.
Whose music still make our playlists but died poor and penniless, Branda Fassie and Mahlathini.
Those who left their families cursing and hating the path we have chosen forbidding their children to embrace the same journey.
Blinding their future by having a blurry vision to the present as a side effect of the past.
Those who are sometimes declared unstable or banned from their countries because of they have to say.
Artists who exhibit their hearts and minds uncensored, who know that Rain is God overwhelmed by Art.
Every tear drop carrying a message for his chosen children, strengthening us to never give up
We are soldiers who do not conform to society norms of a nine to five answering calls, because this our call, our vocation.
I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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  • Pride (4)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Mbongeni Nomkonwana is an actor, playwright, theatre director, poet and sometimes standup comedian who has performed at the former Vodacom Funny Festival (2007) now Jive Funny Festival.

This multi-talented performer is always willing to try new things and has special gift with words. He started his performing, writing and directing career at Sophumelela Theatre Group where he still is to date. He holds a performing Arts Certificate from New Africa Theatre Academy (2007). He has written and directed four plays for them which one of them Bendingazi was performed at the 2009 National Arts Festival.

He has acted in two international films alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Hakim Kae Kazeem, he has done some local cameo roles with penguin films. He has done children’s theatre with Arepp Theatre for Life (2010-2011) touring the Eastern Cape and is now working for Okuhle Media doing educational school roadshows.

Winner of Cape Town DFL LOVER+ ANOTHER poetry challenge, he has since then performed at OFF THE WALL poetry sessions and Inzync Poetry by Stellenbosch University, 2012 HEAIDS Conference at UCT, Jam That Session, Brand House Marketing Campaign and Last Poet’s: Rhythm Poetry1.

Co-Founder of a Cape Town based poetry and music movement, Lingua Franca. In 2013 he teamed up with Lwanda Sindaphi to coordinate the Poetry for the annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival at Baxter Theatre.

He also teamed with Linda Kaoma to coordinate the 2013 DFL Lover+Another Poetry Challenge.

Mbongeni Nomkonwana

Biography

Mbongeni Nomkonwana is an actor, playwright, theatre director, poet and sometimes standup comedian who has performed at the former Vodacom Funny Festival (2007) now Jive Funny Festival.

This multi-talented performer is always willing to try new things and has special gift with words. He started his performing, writing and directing career at Sophumelela Theatre Group where he still is to date. He holds a performing Arts Certificate from New Africa Theatre Academy (2007). He has written and directed four plays for them which one of them Bendingazi was performed at the 2009 National Arts Festival.

He has acted in two international films alongside Kiefer Sutherland and Hakim Kae Kazeem, he has done some local cameo roles with penguin films. He has done children’s theatre with Arepp Theatre for Life (2010-2011) touring the Eastern Cape and is now working for Okuhle Media doing educational school roadshows.

Winner of Cape Town DFL LOVER+ ANOTHER poetry challenge, he has since then performed at OFF THE WALL poetry sessions and Inzync Poetry by Stellenbosch University, 2012 HEAIDS Conference at UCT, Jam That Session, Brand House Marketing Campaign and Last Poet’s: Rhythm Poetry1.

Co-Founder of a Cape Town based poetry and music movement, Lingua Franca. In 2013 he teamed up with Lwanda Sindaphi to coordinate the Poetry for the annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival at Baxter Theatre.

He also teamed with Linda Kaoma to coordinate the 2013 DFL Lover+Another Poetry Challenge.

Make Them understand

Enlarge poem

A friend of mine once told me, I’m a young man with wisdom of an old man.
Ever since then it has been imprinted on my mind that an old soul once resided in this body and when he passed on he left parts of his soul and brain, and sometimes he reveals himself.

Recently when I was rummaging for another poem I found a letter written by this old hand, titled “Make them understand”.
It reads: when my forefathers lost their land, they fought hard to retain it, but time and death became their enemy, so when their bodies could no longer take it and their projected voices of protest lost volume, they became old man muttering words into wombs of our mothers so that we could cry revolution at birth.
At first sight we were burden with the responsibility of saving this land.
My teenage years were riots and rebellion, petrol bombs and teargas.
1960 I was a young man still burning with revolution, 69 died in Sharpeville, gloom almost blinded our sight for liberation but our hands ignited a torch of new dawn, freedom.

Some of our younger comrades raised their fists at 19, 76 uprising.
The struggle continues but those flames inside me are slowly burning out, the torch in my hand is dim and my demise is catching up with me.
When die tell my grandchildren about our past, make them understand it is not their fault they were born poor, that they dwell in former dumpsites with fly infested playgrounds.
Tell them with these hands I tried, they have bled while kissing Gold and Platinum for a foreign pale man, they have worked Suburbia gardens under the name of ìgarden boyî, they have cultivated lands and worked the fields for 70 Rands a day.
Tell them I have sweated my brow but I still couldnít make enough rand to buy back the land or even a piece of land.

Tell them we will rejoice for our first black president not knowing that he negotiated a contract with cryptic errors that will be decrypted in a form of strikes and violence in the future.
Tell them the TRC will fail to reconcile us, in fact it will provoke wounds and leave them to ooze memories of lost loved ones.
Tell them the Liberation movement will be broken into pieces of small parties, it will elect a corrupt and scandalous president twice as punch line to the whole government joke.
Tell them service delivery and unemployment will frustrate people, we will attack our own and call it Xenophobia, we will burn our own and the man in blue will watch and laugh.
Tell them our police will become bullies, they will open live fire on civilians, 34 miners will die for a salary increase, and a man will be tied to a police van, dragged around until he dies and his video will continuously play on our screens to remind us that they no longer serve and protect.

Tell them this land will forever be a place of blood spill, even internationals will come here to orchestrate deaths of their wives; sports starts will forever be surrounded by scandals and bad publicity. Make my grandchildren understand that it is not their fault that this soil is cursed.
We stopped singing the revolution songs too early.
Tell them to hum new songs when they have become one, burst out in song, sing so much that their grandchildren will not be prone to singing the same songs.
And in the end if they still live in a shack, tell them it because they are still shackled under the same system disguised in Black.

Featured Poem:

Homage

Enlarge poem

We are natural Wonders.
We are natural wonders gifted with abilities that puzzle our fellow human beings.
We can transport our vision beyond the four corners of this Earth; hence we know that the moon and the stars are not just sources of light,
That we are energies who reflect themselves in the sky to look at each other at night.

I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.
Those who infuse their eyes with yours to make you see the world in theirs.
Who utter naked words because truth haunts them, and truth is an oath that will bring you closer to God than any religion ever will.
Whose tongues decipher musical notes into lullabyís of Hope for single mothers and fatherless children.
Who use nature to curve their words into shapes and images that even language struggles to comprehend.
Play Cd-Jays and Vynals with a single hand.
Turn abandoned walls into galleries, strike chords and keys, play strings to heal broken souls
Those who know that air gives life to melody and that music is a universal language.

I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.
Those who know that exposure is a Trojan horse that leaves them wondering when is exploitation going to end.
Whose music still make our playlists but died poor and penniless, Branda Fassie and Mahlathini.
Those who left their families cursing and hating the path we have chosen forbidding their children to embrace the same journey.
Blinding their future by having a blurry vision to the present as a side effect of the past.
Those who are sometimes declared unstable or banned from their countries because of they have to say.
Artists who exhibit their hearts and minds uncensored, who know that Rain is God overwhelmed by Art.
Every tear drop carrying a message for his chosen children, strengthening us to never give up
We are soldiers who do not conform to society norms of a nine to five answering calls, because this our call, our vocation.
I want to pay homage to I and those who walk the same path as I.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (4)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Make Them understand

Enlarge poem

A friend of mine once told me, I’m a young man with wisdom of an old man.
Ever since then it has been imprinted on my mind that an old soul once resided in this body and when he passed on he left parts of his soul and brain, and sometimes he reveals himself.

Recently when I was rummaging for another poem I found a letter written by this old hand, titled “Make them understand”.
It reads: when my forefathers lost their land, they fought hard to retain it, but time and death became their enemy, so when their bodies could no longer take it and their projected voices of protest lost volume, they became old man muttering words into wombs of our mothers so that we could cry revolution at birth.
At first sight we were burden with the responsibility of saving this land.
My teenage years were riots and rebellion, petrol bombs and teargas.
1960 I was a young man still burning with revolution, 69 died in Sharpeville, gloom almost blinded our sight for liberation but our hands ignited a torch of new dawn, freedom.

Some of our younger comrades raised their fists at 19, 76 uprising.
The struggle continues but those flames inside me are slowly burning out, the torch in my hand is dim and my demise is catching up with me.
When die tell my grandchildren about our past, make them understand it is not their fault they were born poor, that they dwell in former dumpsites with fly infested playgrounds.
Tell them with these hands I tried, they have bled while kissing Gold and Platinum for a foreign pale man, they have worked Suburbia gardens under the name of ìgarden boyî, they have cultivated lands and worked the fields for 70 Rands a day.
Tell them I have sweated my brow but I still couldnít make enough rand to buy back the land or even a piece of land.

Tell them we will rejoice for our first black president not knowing that he negotiated a contract with cryptic errors that will be decrypted in a form of strikes and violence in the future.
Tell them the TRC will fail to reconcile us, in fact it will provoke wounds and leave them to ooze memories of lost loved ones.
Tell them the Liberation movement will be broken into pieces of small parties, it will elect a corrupt and scandalous president twice as punch line to the whole government joke.
Tell them service delivery and unemployment will frustrate people, we will attack our own and call it Xenophobia, we will burn our own and the man in blue will watch and laugh.
Tell them our police will become bullies, they will open live fire on civilians, 34 miners will die for a salary increase, and a man will be tied to a police van, dragged around until he dies and his video will continuously play on our screens to remind us that they no longer serve and protect.

Tell them this land will forever be a place of blood spill, even internationals will come here to orchestrate deaths of their wives; sports starts will forever be surrounded by scandals and bad publicity. Make my grandchildren understand that it is not their fault that this soil is cursed.
We stopped singing the revolution songs too early.
Tell them to hum new songs when they have become one, burst out in song, sing so much that their grandchildren will not be prone to singing the same songs.
And in the end if they still live in a shack, tell them it because they are still shackled under the same system disguised in Black.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.