Darisalama II
(Dar es Salaam II)

kijiji changu darisalama
nikupe pole au hongera
sijui
nimechanganyikiwa

mabenki yanakomboa
majengo yanashindana
majina yako Mwalimu[1]
yamepamba vituo vya BiAraTi[2]
na vioski vya Vodakomi

nikuiteje, wangu darisalama
bandari ya wasalama?
au ya walafi na walofa?
sijui
nimechanganyikiwa

~~~

Dar es Salaam II

My village Dar es Salaam
Shall I pity or congratulate you
I don’t know
I am confused

Banks liberate
High-rise compete
Your name Mwalimu[3]
decorates BRT[4] stops
and Vodacom kiosks

How shall I call you, my Dar es Salaam
Haven of Peace?
Or of greed and loafers?
I don’t know
I am confused

December 24, 2017


  1. Reference to Julius Nyerere.
  2. BRT = Bus Rapid Transit
  3. Reference to Julius Nyerere.
  4. BRT = Bus Rapid Transit

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

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