Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed Nabhany

Featured Poem:

O’ Ye Birds on Wings

Enlarge poem

O’ye birds on wings, carry with you my sincere regards,
Ye who fly so fast into the horizon, and up into the sky,
When you reach there, descend upon her laps.

Tell her that I have no cheer, tell m dear that I am sad,
I am completely in a trance, I can neither eat nor asleep,
Thinking that today is the day, when I shall see you
But alas I cannot.

I have no wings, so I cant accompany them in their flight
I can’t reach you my dear, I can’t reach there rest on your
Thighs.
So that my heart’s rest restlessness is ended, as also my inner
Suffering.

But I have no such ability, so what should I do, dear
I sit thinking of you, and tears roll down my chest.
My longing for you makes me cry, you who are not in my sight

My dearest when oh when, will you return to me?
Please give a definite answer, so that my heart will be at peace
And so that I may wait with you at the door-step,
No need for you to knock.

Don’t leave me alone crying, and go on suffering,
And become over-come, with my heart full of torture
Please think of this for my sake, and show pity on me.

I have no one to cheer me up, but you so and so alone,
You alone can cure me of this sickness, which dominates my heart
You alone can give me company and cheer,
So that I may feel I am in paradise.

prof

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (6)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (5)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (4)
  • Peace (4)
  • Amusement (4)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (5)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. Greetings,
    I am so happy to see this site. I was a student of Sheikh Nabahani in 1999. I had a wonderful time in Kenya! I am still so grateful!

    Misty Sol
  2. If you are able to reach Poet Laureate Bingwa Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany, please tell me how best to do so. I am Jan Feidel who, in 1984, met, worked with and partnered some English translations of Mr. Nabhany with the help and supervision of the fabulous poet himself together with the lead translator of these works, Prof. Ibrahim Noor Shariff. I would like to place these translations with a publisher, and am trying to do so at this time.

    Jan Feidel

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Prof. Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed Nabhany, was born 27 November 1927 in Mombasa Kenya. He is affectionately known as the father of Swahili poetry.

A list of researchers Nabhany has assisted:

1. John W.T. Allen 1965 who was collecting Swahili manuscript, poetry, songs, and lullabies.
2. Prof. Ann Beirsteke 1983 who was researching Mwana Kupona and learning Swahili poetry.
3. Prof. Henebush 1989 who was learning Swahili poetry composed by Nabhany.
4. Prof.Ibrahim Noor Shariff 1984.
5. Prof. Chach n Chacha 1984 who was researching Swahili Poetry.
6. Dr. Marjorie Ann Franken 1986 who was researching, Ngoma, Swahili Poetry.
7. Prof. Rocha Chimera 1984 –  Istilani.
8. Prof. Deborah P. Amory 1985 – Kanga In Swahili Society.
9. Prof. Kingei – On Swahili Twarab 1989.

Nabhany’s Contribution on Islamic Swahili Arab Scripts:

1967 – Helped in the collection and recording of Swahili and Arabic Manuscripts by J.W.T. Allen for University of Dar-Es-Salaam.
1984-1987 Worked with Prof. Dammann in Hamburg University, Germany in translating Swahili Arabic manuscripts to Roman scripts.
1993 – Worked on Islamic manuscripts with Dr.David Sperling Lamu, Pate, Siyu in Kenya in the same year travelled to Comores Island. Project sponsored by Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation through our director in London, Dr. Shariff.
2004 – A team of Oman Television led by Mr.Mohamed Bin Ali Marjiby interviewed him on the history of the first Omani who came to Pate in Lamu Kenya, Suleiman bin Suleiman bin Mudhafar Nabhany in the 12th Century and from Oman Jabal-Ahdhar at Al-Makheri.

Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed Nabhany

prof
prof

Biography

Prof. Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed Nabhany, was born 27 November 1927 in Mombasa Kenya. He is affectionately known as the father of Swahili poetry.

A list of researchers Nabhany has assisted:

1. John W.T. Allen 1965 who was collecting Swahili manuscript, poetry, songs, and lullabies.
2. Prof. Ann Beirsteke 1983 who was researching Mwana Kupona and learning Swahili poetry.
3. Prof. Henebush 1989 who was learning Swahili poetry composed by Nabhany.
4. Prof.Ibrahim Noor Shariff 1984.
5. Prof. Chach n Chacha 1984 who was researching Swahili Poetry.
6. Dr. Marjorie Ann Franken 1986 who was researching, Ngoma, Swahili Poetry.
7. Prof. Rocha Chimera 1984 –  Istilani.
8. Prof. Deborah P. Amory 1985 – Kanga In Swahili Society.
9. Prof. Kingei – On Swahili Twarab 1989.

Nabhany’s Contribution on Islamic Swahili Arab Scripts:

1967 – Helped in the collection and recording of Swahili and Arabic Manuscripts by J.W.T. Allen for University of Dar-Es-Salaam.
1984-1987 Worked with Prof. Dammann in Hamburg University, Germany in translating Swahili Arabic manuscripts to Roman scripts.
1993 – Worked on Islamic manuscripts with Dr.David Sperling Lamu, Pate, Siyu in Kenya in the same year travelled to Comores Island. Project sponsored by Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation through our director in London, Dr. Shariff.
2004 – A team of Oman Television led by Mr.Mohamed Bin Ali Marjiby interviewed him on the history of the first Omani who came to Pate in Lamu Kenya, Suleiman bin Suleiman bin Mudhafar Nabhany in the 12th Century and from Oman Jabal-Ahdhar at Al-Makheri.

Featured Poem:

O’ Ye Birds on Wings

Enlarge poem

O’ye birds on wings, carry with you my sincere regards,
Ye who fly so fast into the horizon, and up into the sky,
When you reach there, descend upon her laps.

Tell her that I have no cheer, tell m dear that I am sad,
I am completely in a trance, I can neither eat nor asleep,
Thinking that today is the day, when I shall see you
But alas I cannot.

I have no wings, so I cant accompany them in their flight
I can’t reach you my dear, I can’t reach there rest on your
Thighs.
So that my heart’s rest restlessness is ended, as also my inner
Suffering.

But I have no such ability, so what should I do, dear
I sit thinking of you, and tears roll down my chest.
My longing for you makes me cry, you who are not in my sight

My dearest when oh when, will you return to me?
Please give a definite answer, so that my heart will be at peace
And so that I may wait with you at the door-step,
No need for you to knock.

Don’t leave me alone crying, and go on suffering,
And become over-come, with my heart full of torture
Please think of this for my sake, and show pity on me.

I have no one to cheer me up, but you so and so alone,
You alone can cure me of this sickness, which dominates my heart
You alone can give me company and cheer,
So that I may feel I am in paradise.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (6)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (5)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (4)
  • Peace (4)
  • Amusement (4)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (5)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. Greetings,
    I am so happy to see this site. I was a student of Sheikh Nabahani in 1999. I had a wonderful time in Kenya! I am still so grateful!

    Misty Sol
  2. If you are able to reach Poet Laureate Bingwa Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany, please tell me how best to do so. I am Jan Feidel who, in 1984, met, worked with and partnered some English translations of Mr. Nabhany with the help and supervision of the fabulous poet himself together with the lead translator of these works, Prof. Ibrahim Noor Shariff. I would like to place these translations with a publisher, and am trying to do so at this time.

    Jan Feidel

Your email address will not be published.