Anguish at Sea Point

Red rose, pink rose,
What’s in a name, they say.
The rose smells the same,
by whatever name.

Yes, indeed!
Living apart (apartheid), living alongside (post-apartheid),
(Where a few live, many exist.)
What’s in packaging, branding, naming.
The shit stinks the same,
however perfumed.

Forgive me friends,
I’m only a guest.
Not from Europe, but from Africa.
Where Kwame’s and Mwalimu’s words,
are itched in our hearts:
So long as an inch of Africa lives under unfreedom,
the rest of Africa cannot breathe freedom.

What’s in borders, they said.
Africa is one,
Africa is the same.
Binadamu wote ni sawa, Afrika ni moja.

What more can I say, comrades.
Except affirm my loyalty,
to Amilcar’s solemnity:
So long as imperialism exists,
independence can only mean,
the national liberation movement in power.
Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika, Mungu ibariki Afrika.

Issa Bin Mariam
Sea Point, September 28, 2017


Poems for the Penniless Copyright © 2019 by Issa G Shivji. All Rights Reserved.

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