Buriani Chachage
(Farewell Chachage)

Ndugu yangu
Rafiki yangu
Kamaradi Chachage:

Nani kasema umetuacha?
Eti umefariki!

Kwani mwili ndiyo maisha?

Maisha ni fikra.
Maisha ni vitendo.
Maisha ni ubinadamu.
Fikra zako,
Vitendo vyako,
Ubinadamu wako,
Utadumu.
Leo, kesho, keshokutwa na milele.

Vitendo vyako tutavienzi,
Ubinadamu wako tutauiga,
Fikra zako tutazieneza.

Msomi wa Afrika,
Mtetezi wa wanyonge,
Mshabiki wa fikra za kitabaka,
Tabaka la wavujajasho.

Nimetumwa.

Nimetumwa na Wasomi wenzako
Wa Afrika kupitia CODESRIA,
Nikuletee Salaamu zao.

Wameniambia, nikuage.
Nimekataa.
Sikuagi.

Nitakusindikiza tu.

Uwaone Wazee Wako,
Majirani zako,
Watu wema wa Njombe.

Uchanganyike na viumbe
Wa ardhi na bahari,
Viumbe visivyo na ubaguzi,
Mipaka,
Unyonyaji,
Ukandamizaji.

Uwashawishi,
Wafundishe wanadamu
Maana ya ukombozi.
Kama ulivyokuwa unatufundisha sisi
Daima.

‘Ewe Issa, kwani, Shivji siyo mwana wa adamu?’,
Ukanitania,
Ukichota kutoka hazina ya ucheshi wako
Bila uchoyo.

‘Umejipachikia majina haya yote ya Miungu!
Mlimbikazi, we Issa!’

‘Mungu wa Waislamu
Na Mungu wa Wakristo,
Mungu wa Wahindu
Na Mungu wa Wasambaa.

Unataka wapigane?
Wachinjane.
ETI moja ni –a,
Mwingine ni –ji!’

‘Futilieni mbali ushenzi wenu wa kubaguabagua!’, ukakasirika.
‘Unganeni kujikomboa’, umetusihi,
‘kutoka kwa makucha ya ubeberu na ubepari,
Unyonge na udhalilishaji.’

Buriani ndugu yangu,
Buriani rafiki yangu,
Buriani Kamaradi Chachage.

Ufike salama.
Upumzike na Viumbe visivyonyumbishwa
Na vituko vya Wanaadamu.

Nakuahidi.
Nitaufikisha ujumbe wa maisha yako.
Kwa wanaudasa,
Kwa wanacodersia.

Kwa Wana wa Tanzania,
Kwa Wana wa Afrika

Buriani

~~~

Farewell Chachage

My friend
Comrade Chachage:[1]

Who said you have left us?
That you’ve passed on!

Is the body life?

Life is thoughts.
Life is actions.
Life is humanity.
Your thoughts,
Your actions,
Your humanity,
Will live on.
Today, tomorrow, the day after and forever.

We will treasure your deeds,
We will copy your humanity,
We will spread your thoughts.

African scholar,
Defender of the wretched,
Follower of class outlook,
The class of those who sweat.

I have been sent.

I have been sent by your fellow scholars
Of Africa from CODESRIA,[2]
To bring forth their greetings.

They have asked me to bid you farewell.
I refuse.
I will not bid you farewell.

I will just walk with you.

To Meet Your Elders.
Your neighbours,
The good people of Njombe.[3]

That you may mingle with beings,
Of land and sea,
Beings that do not discriminate,
Without restrain,
Exploitation,
Oppression.

So you may persuade them,
To teach humans
The meaning of liberation.
As you had taught us
Always.

‘O Issa, is Shivji not a son of Adam?’,
you teased me,
taking from your treasure trove of humour
without greed.

‘You stuck on yourself all those Godly names!
What a hoarder, o Issa!’

‘God of the Muslims
and God of the Christians,
God of the Hindus
And God of the Sambaa.

You want them to fight?
Slaughter each other?
You say one is –a,
The other is –ji!’

‘Get rid of your barbaric discrimination’, you got angry.
‘Join hands to be free’ you insisted,
‘from the claws of imperialism and capitalism,
Wretchedness and humiliation.’

Farewell my brother,
Farewell my friend,
Farewell Comrade Chachage.

Arrive in peace.
May you rest with the beings that stand firm
From the dramas of humans.

I promise you.
I will spread the message of your life.
To the scholars of USADA,[4]
And those of CODESRIA

To children of Tanzania,
To children of Africa

Farewell

July 12, 2006

 


  1. Tribute to close friend and comrade Chachage Sethi Chachage who passed on July 1, 2006.
  2. CODESRIA, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, a pan-african organisation of African intellectuals based in Dakar, Senegal.
  3. Njombe, a small town in Iringa region of Tanzania where Chachage was born and buried.
  4. University of Dar es salaam Staff Association of which Chachage was the Chairman.

License

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

Share This Book