Response from Ng’wanza Kamata

Ewe Issa Mwema,
wakiri wa mafakiri
Nimelisoma shairi
Lililojaa tafakuri,
Litasomwa na makuri,
na machinga mashuhuri,
Ukombozi wa dhahiri,
Ungali jikoni bado.

Ungali jikoni bado,
ukombozi wa wanyonge,
utashindana na unyonge,
utashinda dharau na kebehi za makuadi
eti hameni hameni
adresi mzipate
na saccos muanzishe
Bilioni mfaidie

hamkeni hamkeni
Machinga na wachingwa
Ikataeni kejeli
na miadi ya kikuda
Eti Mkurabitwe
Umasikini muuvue.
Ushauri ni mwanagenzi, japo ninajaribia.

~~~

Response from Ng’wanza Kamata

O Good Issa,
Man of the wretched [wakiri].[1]
I read your poem,
Of convictions.
To be read by dockers,
And famous hawkers.
The real revolution,
Is still in the oven, baking.

The liberation of the deprived,
Is still in the oven, baking
It will fight deprivation.
Will win over the disrespect and slander of the pimps
supposedly, move move
get addresses
start saccos
enjoy the billions.

Get up Get up enraged!
Hawkers and the hawked
Reject the slander
And penalties
Supposedly, subjects of Mkurabita,
And shake off poverty.
Advice is but fledgling, although I try.

January 2007


  1. The word ‘wakiri’ may have various meanings. First it could be that the poet used it to differentiate ethnicity since there are certain ethnic groups that replace ‘r’ with ‘l’ and vice versa. Hence ‘wakiri’ could be ‘wakili’ – ‘lawyer’ which happens to be Issa’s profession. The other meaning is derived from the verb ‘kukiri’ – to acknowledge, hence it could be that Issa is one who ‘acknowledges’ the poor. We chose the term ‘man of the wretched’ as we felt it carries both meanings.

License

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

Share This Book