Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

The Calling

Enlarge poem

SPEAK! Speak or forever hold your peace,
Speak in poetry or forever hold you piece
For poetry is the language of the gods
And if you breathe the breath of God
Like you claim, then speak in rhyme!

Speak from love not financial persuasion
Lest you be a harlot and lot a lover,
Lest you be a mercenary not a soldier,
Lest you be like the desperate housewives
We have seen during the day of our lives
Who are running around having
Sex in the cityÖflash forward:
We have generations of scandal!

Many serpents will come unto thee,
Some bearing the likeness of a friend,
They shall strike with their forked tongues
But pay no attention to the torturous
Taunting and teasing that attempts to tame thee,
Yours is the gift of fierce articulation,
Be the torch of the nation, wear your heart
On your sleeve and pack a hearty punch!

Speak the word,
Speak the word but donít forget the cause,
Speak the word but donít forget the source!
Speak the Word! For everything is everything
Through the Word for instance the word
Commanded the world into existence!
For in the beginning was the word
And the word was with God and the word was God!
If you breathe the breath of God then speak the word!
SPEAK THOSE VIOLENT THOUGHTS THAT EVEN THOR NEVER THOUGHT!
Or speak those silent thoughts that even angels have forgot.

Philani Amadeus Nyoni

Featured Poem:

African Thoughts

Enlarge poem

Africa is that vast stretch of land within my soul
Undefiled by the stride of the colonial lion
Hunting down the gazelle of my being.
It’s the common darkness of our skin,
Night; speckled with dots of light
Different languages, cultures, identities
All beaming around the common moon of
Ubuntu, Chivanhu, Humanity.

It’s this ‘darkness’ which they tried to defile
With their light, borne by Moffat and Livingstone,
Sent to rape our identities in missionary position
Then fail to explain what colour the Father is
If the ‘son is white’, thus Africa
Is that part of me that doesn’t belong to
Jesus of Nazareth, whose holey hands
Have sent more tumbling to the pits of hell
Than they have saved!

Often I say these things and my own people
Get cross and want to crucify me,
They call me sacrilegious ’cause I have the balls
To read the Bible upside-down
And say what it’s saying when it’s saying
What they are not saying it’s saying;
Who’s insane?! Why not call me mean, because I mean
What I say and I say what I mean and what I mean is
Jesus is not the menace, no,
It’s those that used his stripes to bind our eyes,
Aye! Like those powdering the bones
Of Nehanda and Kaguvi to poison our minds:
I’m talking about you Gabriel, Lucifer!
And all you other angels turned demons,
All you fools of empty promises,
Yes you ho smile for the camera and frown
As you toast civil servants baking in the sun
For daily bread.

You see the African I am is not a Google definition,
But how do I wean my siblings off the nipples
On the internet and make them face books
And realise that they are more than just a Facebook profile?
That Africa is not straight caps, baggy jeans and cheap
Fifty cent rhymes, no! It’s the song of Bambatha,
And that beating beast beneath my breast
That bellowed ‘AMANDLA!’
While Desmond was shooting his mouth like a 2-2.
When dubul’ ibhunu was the right thing to say,
Apologies white folks for any ricochet.

philane

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Biography

Philani Amadeus Nyoni is a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and actor. His writings have been published in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday News, Zimbabwe Metro, South Africa Metro, Consciousness.co.za and Ghana Poetry Foundation.

In 2006 he was awarded a First Class Award in the ‘Girls’ College Literary Competition, the following year he was awarded ‘Honors’ and won the Best Poem Award in the senior category. In 2010 his poetry was read at a cultural night in Wales organised by Kushinda Publishing, in the same year he co-wrote and acted in Cletus Moyo’s stage play titled And Now We Speak. He took part in the Drama For Life Festival in South Africa where he was part of the ‘A Lover And Another Poetry Slam’ where he represented Gauteng in the national championships.

In 2011 he co-wrote an opening act with Simo Mpapa-Majola for the festival. In that year he also featured in Lindela, a short film written and directed by Lilly Million about Lindela camp in South Africa where illegal immigrants are held before being deported to their respective countries. In 2012 he was part of the team that resurrected “Mlom’ Wakho Poetry Slams” in Bulawayo which was the second poetry slam in Zimbabwe after ‘House Of Hunger’ in Harare. He took part in the ‘Breaking Barriers Poetry Slam’ held in Harare during the Shoko Festival and also shared his works at Intwasa Festival. He is working with John Eppel as an editor on Philani’s first book, a forty-five poem anthology entitled Once A Lover Always A Fool.

Philani Amadeus Nyoni

philane
philane

Biography

Philani Amadeus Nyoni is a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and actor. His writings have been published in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday News, Zimbabwe Metro, South Africa Metro, Consciousness.co.za and Ghana Poetry Foundation.

In 2006 he was awarded a First Class Award in the ‘Girls’ College Literary Competition, the following year he was awarded ‘Honors’ and won the Best Poem Award in the senior category. In 2010 his poetry was read at a cultural night in Wales organised by Kushinda Publishing, in the same year he co-wrote and acted in Cletus Moyo’s stage play titled And Now We Speak. He took part in the Drama For Life Festival in South Africa where he was part of the ‘A Lover And Another Poetry Slam’ where he represented Gauteng in the national championships.

In 2011 he co-wrote an opening act with Simo Mpapa-Majola for the festival. In that year he also featured in Lindela, a short film written and directed by Lilly Million about Lindela camp in South Africa where illegal immigrants are held before being deported to their respective countries. In 2012 he was part of the team that resurrected “Mlom’ Wakho Poetry Slams” in Bulawayo which was the second poetry slam in Zimbabwe after ‘House Of Hunger’ in Harare. He took part in the ‘Breaking Barriers Poetry Slam’ held in Harare during the Shoko Festival and also shared his works at Intwasa Festival. He is working with John Eppel as an editor on Philani’s first book, a forty-five poem anthology entitled Once A Lover Always A Fool.

The Calling

Enlarge poem

SPEAK! Speak or forever hold your peace,
Speak in poetry or forever hold you piece
For poetry is the language of the gods
And if you breathe the breath of God
Like you claim, then speak in rhyme!

Speak from love not financial persuasion
Lest you be a harlot and lot a lover,
Lest you be a mercenary not a soldier,
Lest you be like the desperate housewives
We have seen during the day of our lives
Who are running around having
Sex in the cityÖflash forward:
We have generations of scandal!

Many serpents will come unto thee,
Some bearing the likeness of a friend,
They shall strike with their forked tongues
But pay no attention to the torturous
Taunting and teasing that attempts to tame thee,
Yours is the gift of fierce articulation,
Be the torch of the nation, wear your heart
On your sleeve and pack a hearty punch!

Speak the word,
Speak the word but donít forget the cause,
Speak the word but donít forget the source!
Speak the Word! For everything is everything
Through the Word for instance the word
Commanded the world into existence!
For in the beginning was the word
And the word was with God and the word was God!
If you breathe the breath of God then speak the word!
SPEAK THOSE VIOLENT THOUGHTS THAT EVEN THOR NEVER THOUGHT!
Or speak those silent thoughts that even angels have forgot.

Featured Poem:

African Thoughts

Enlarge poem

Africa is that vast stretch of land within my soul
Undefiled by the stride of the colonial lion
Hunting down the gazelle of my being.
It’s the common darkness of our skin,
Night; speckled with dots of light
Different languages, cultures, identities
All beaming around the common moon of
Ubuntu, Chivanhu, Humanity.

It’s this ‘darkness’ which they tried to defile
With their light, borne by Moffat and Livingstone,
Sent to rape our identities in missionary position
Then fail to explain what colour the Father is
If the ‘son is white’, thus Africa
Is that part of me that doesn’t belong to
Jesus of Nazareth, whose holey hands
Have sent more tumbling to the pits of hell
Than they have saved!

Often I say these things and my own people
Get cross and want to crucify me,
They call me sacrilegious ’cause I have the balls
To read the Bible upside-down
And say what it’s saying when it’s saying
What they are not saying it’s saying;
Who’s insane?! Why not call me mean, because I mean
What I say and I say what I mean and what I mean is
Jesus is not the menace, no,
It’s those that used his stripes to bind our eyes,
Aye! Like those powdering the bones
Of Nehanda and Kaguvi to poison our minds:
I’m talking about you Gabriel, Lucifer!
And all you other angels turned demons,
All you fools of empty promises,
Yes you ho smile for the camera and frown
As you toast civil servants baking in the sun
For daily bread.

You see the African I am is not a Google definition,
But how do I wean my siblings off the nipples
On the internet and make them face books
And realise that they are more than just a Facebook profile?
That Africa is not straight caps, baggy jeans and cheap
Fifty cent rhymes, no! It’s the song of Bambatha,
And that beating beast beneath my breast
That bellowed ‘AMANDLA!’
While Desmond was shooting his mouth like a 2-2.
When dubul’ ibhunu was the right thing to say,
Apologies white folks for any ricochet.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

The Calling

Enlarge poem

SPEAK! Speak or forever hold your peace,
Speak in poetry or forever hold you piece
For poetry is the language of the gods
And if you breathe the breath of God
Like you claim, then speak in rhyme!

Speak from love not financial persuasion
Lest you be a harlot and lot a lover,
Lest you be a mercenary not a soldier,
Lest you be like the desperate housewives
We have seen during the day of our lives
Who are running around having
Sex in the cityÖflash forward:
We have generations of scandal!

Many serpents will come unto thee,
Some bearing the likeness of a friend,
They shall strike with their forked tongues
But pay no attention to the torturous
Taunting and teasing that attempts to tame thee,
Yours is the gift of fierce articulation,
Be the torch of the nation, wear your heart
On your sleeve and pack a hearty punch!

Speak the word,
Speak the word but donít forget the cause,
Speak the word but donít forget the source!
Speak the Word! For everything is everything
Through the Word for instance the word
Commanded the world into existence!
For in the beginning was the word
And the word was with God and the word was God!
If you breathe the breath of God then speak the word!
SPEAK THOSE VIOLENT THOUGHTS THAT EVEN THOR NEVER THOUGHT!
Or speak those silent thoughts that even angels have forgot.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.