Machozi yakamtiririka
(And tears streamed down)

Twiga hakurudi
Karejeshwa
Kwa hela za wananchi
Kwa tashi la wenyenchi.

“Karibuni Selous”
Kawasikia wenzie kwa furaha na raha
Wenzake wa nyumbani
Kasoro rubani.

Kusikia kasikia,
Kuelewa kashindwa
Lugha ya nyumbani
Lafudhi ya kigeni

Nikaagiza Safari
Lahaula nikaletewa Safari
Tena la kopo,
“Canned in Lesotho

Twiga kanama chini
Kaangazia ardhini
Marafiki zake akina ole Timamu
Wakivuja jasho, machozi yakamtiririka.

Sitaki, sitaki,
Sitaki kuruka
Mnizike kwangu
Nirutubishe majani
Chakula cha nyumbani,
Ladha ya Umaasaini

~~~

And tears streamed down

The giraffe did not return
She was returned
Through the money of the country’s subjugated
Through the power of the country’s subjugators

“Welcome to Selous”
Full of happiness, she heard her peers
Her very own kith and kin
Except the captain.

She heard
But couldn’t comprehend
This language from home
With a foreign accent

I ordered a Safari
Goodness, I was brought a Safari[1]
Actually a canned one
“Canned in Lesotho.”

The giraffe bows down
Staring at the earth
Her friends, the likes of Ole Timamu
Sweating, tears streamed down

I do not want, I do not want
I do not want to fly
Bury me at home
So I fertilise the greenery
Home food
With the taste of Maasai land

October 4, 2016


  1. Popular beer brand first produced by the nationalised Beer Company

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

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