Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

heirloom

Enlarge poem

She hushes herself; fighting back
tears, sighing aloud, speaking
incantations, now steady like despair
for a house with a man inside
who stays, which would stand on a street
scarred with memory and longevity –
like London’s streets on streets – but her own
filled with stories from her ancestry.
She looks at her child asleep in his cot
resolves to forge a home for him; even steal
a path to widen, in which to place cobblestones
or some other rock she can own.

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

Featured Poem:

Flag and Future

Enlarge poem

They declared black the colour of my people,
the Luo and the Taita and every shade within,
including them who chose here over past homes.
Green signified the land and its fertility,
of Marsabit and Muranga and Malindi,
every altitude and region between.

Red was the blood spilled till ’63 in wars
our own and not, every encounter known
and shrouded in silence a declaration
of our right to direct our destiny. White
was the way they hoped we would live
for posterity: in peace, love and unity.

But in the city blood spews as rocks fly
to kill kinship, and police in turn
set young limbs in their sights
every temple hot and righteous
vengeful fists on freedoms fields

and blood spews in the Rift Valley
an artery bearing a jagged rift cut
a century deep, so we fight and die today
to honor the memory though
there are healing-salts at Magadi.

Mourning, and being mourned,
I see the flag and hope aloud now:
white stripes – light this night
bring peace, love, bind us whole.

Let this rich blood build and heal us,
warm and show us how green
Mt Kenya, Turkana, Kibera,
how precious still Ancient Ones see them be.

ngwatilo mawiryoo

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (5)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

  1. Ngwatilo has presented poetry in a way that is both musical and voice-over like. I found this interesting. Thank you sister.

    Chukwuemeka

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Drawing from her musical background and her work as an actress, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo is acclaimed as “a priest of the art of performed poetry.” She has performed in venues in East Africa, Europe and North America, recently performing at the 2009 13th Stockholm Poetry Festival.

An undisputed young master of the written word, Ngwatilo’s first collection of poems Blue Mothertongue (2010) is “crafted with beautiful pace and intelligence,” “a worthy testament of her times.”

Her poems may also be found in literary journals around the world including Kwani? published by The Kwani Trust and The Literary Review published by Farleigh & Dickinson University.”

Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

ngwatilo mawiryoo
ngwatilo mawiryoo

Biography

Drawing from her musical background and her work as an actress, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo is acclaimed as “a priest of the art of performed poetry.” She has performed in venues in East Africa, Europe and North America, recently performing at the 2009 13th Stockholm Poetry Festival.

An undisputed young master of the written word, Ngwatilo’s first collection of poems Blue Mothertongue (2010) is “crafted with beautiful pace and intelligence,” “a worthy testament of her times.”

Her poems may also be found in literary journals around the world including Kwani? published by The Kwani Trust and The Literary Review published by Farleigh & Dickinson University.”

heirloom

Enlarge poem

She hushes herself; fighting back
tears, sighing aloud, speaking
incantations, now steady like despair
for a house with a man inside
who stays, which would stand on a street
scarred with memory and longevity –
like London’s streets on streets – but her own
filled with stories from her ancestry.
She looks at her child asleep in his cot
resolves to forge a home for him; even steal
a path to widen, in which to place cobblestones
or some other rock she can own.

Featured Poem:

Flag and Future

Enlarge poem

They declared black the colour of my people,
the Luo and the Taita and every shade within,
including them who chose here over past homes.
Green signified the land and its fertility,
of Marsabit and Muranga and Malindi,
every altitude and region between.

Red was the blood spilled till ’63 in wars
our own and not, every encounter known
and shrouded in silence a declaration
of our right to direct our destiny. White
was the way they hoped we would live
for posterity: in peace, love and unity.

But in the city blood spews as rocks fly
to kill kinship, and police in turn
set young limbs in their sights
every temple hot and righteous
vengeful fists on freedoms fields

and blood spews in the Rift Valley
an artery bearing a jagged rift cut
a century deep, so we fight and die today
to honor the memory though
there are healing-salts at Magadi.

Mourning, and being mourned,
I see the flag and hope aloud now:
white stripes – light this night
bring peace, love, bind us whole.

Let this rich blood build and heal us,
warm and show us how green
Mt Kenya, Turkana, Kibera,
how precious still Ancient Ones see them be.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (5)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

heirloom

Enlarge poem

She hushes herself; fighting back
tears, sighing aloud, speaking
incantations, now steady like despair
for a house with a man inside
who stays, which would stand on a street
scarred with memory and longevity –
like London’s streets on streets – but her own
filled with stories from her ancestry.
She looks at her child asleep in his cot
resolves to forge a home for him; even steal
a path to widen, in which to place cobblestones
or some other rock she can own.

Comments

  1. Ngwatilo has presented poetry in a way that is both musical and voice-over like. I found this interesting. Thank you sister.

    Chukwuemeka

Your email address will not be published.