Twiga Katoroka, kajiheshimu
(The Giraffe has escaped, with its respect dignity)

Nimemkosa
Sikumuona.
Akisimama wima,
Kama askari,
Na kiburi chake.

Kwa heshima na taadhima,
Akiimba kwa sauti nyororo:
“Mabibi na Mabwana,
Nawakaribisha kwenye
ndege hii ya Serengeti,
ndege ya Shirika la Ndege la Taifa.”

Twiga kakimbia,
Kenda kwao.
Kwao upo?
Mahali pake mkiani
Peupeeeee ….!
Nyeupe ya rangi,
rangi ya ubaguzi.

Ninashindwa,
kumeza.
Mkate na mayai, yao:
Prepared and Packed
in Pretoria.

Nimeinamisha kichwa.
Ninatetemeka kwa aibu.
Nawaona kwa kuibia,
dada zangu wawili,
Wanyonge.
Bila tashi wala tamaa.

“Here we’re,
Carlesberg for you, sir.”
“na…na … naomba Safari.”
Sorry… er…

Twiga katoroka,
Kenda na heshima zake.
(Kajiheshimu)
Katorokea wapi?
Mbuga zao,
Watalii wao,
Ndege yao.
Kibendera chetu!

“Jjambo!
Captain Roaming Rogue speaking.”

Buriani Twiga.
Kwaheri za kuonana.
Kama sio kesho,
Keshokutwa.

~~~

The Giraffe has escaped, with its respect dignity

(Twiga[1])

I miss her
I haven’t seen her
Standing up straight
Like a soldier
Full of pride

With all due respect
Singing softly:
‘Ladies and gentlemen
I welcome you
Onto this Serengeti aeroplane
Of the National Air Company”

The Giraffe has fled off
Gone home
Home, you hear?
On its position at the tailplane
It is all whiiiiiiite…….!
The colour white,
The colour of discrimination.

I can’t swallow
Their ‘egg and bread’:
Prepared and Packed
In Pretoria.

I lower my head
Shaking with shame
I steal looks at them
My two sisters
Humble.
Having neither desire nor wish.

Here we’re,
Carlesberg for you, sir.”
“Can…Can … Can I please have a Safari.”
Sorry… er…

The Giraffe has escaped
Left with her respect
She respects herself
Where did she escape to?
Their parks
Their tourists
Their plane.
Only the tiny flag is ours!

“Jjambo!
Captain Roaming Rogue speaking.”

Farewell Giraffe
We shall see each other
If not tomorrow
Then the day after

April 3, 2003


  1. Twiga, giraffe, was the emblem which adorned the tail of Tanzania’s Air Tanzania. Written on the occasion of the privatisation of Air Tanzania to a South African company.

License

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

Share This Book