Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mandela Smiled On His Birthday!

Dear Madiba wake up!

 I did not forget your birthday.
But the cacophonies of Xhosa melodies blocked my way
The chants of the mammoth crowd I saw on Thursday July 18
It was the most colourful scene I have ever seen
 Njengo mdudo ka Mapassa
Yes, Madiba Mandela
It was like the marriage feast of Mapassa.
I call it the euphoria of Pretoria
As they came with their bouquets of flowers
And also with their chaplets and hearts full of prayers
They kept vigils at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital
Many were having a carnival and others it was a revival
Including the uniformed Omasiza mbulala
The people who rescue and kill.

South Africans are holding a vigil outside Mandela’s former Soweto house. Photo: BBC Online.

Everyone was claiming to be your child or relation
But lest we forget what we always say in Xhosa
Izinto azimntaka Ngqika zonke
It is not every one who is a son of Gaika.
Ubukulu abubangwa
One does not become great by claiming greatness.

Then I saw one clown chanting Lukozo lomya! Lukozo lomya!
As he saw your beloved daughter Zindzi.
Yes, Dalibhunga, they were all there for you
Even the strange bed fellows from Mvezo with their warts and their flu
Kuhlangene isanga nenkohla
The wonderful and the impossible have come into collision.
Alitshonanga lingenandaba
The sun never sets without fresh news.
And they are still coming and coming from everywhere
Yinkungu nelanga
The mist and the sun are together.
I know you are not happy Mandla Mandela is in court
He is even snarling at Makaziwe with contempt
Umke namangabangaba aselwandhle
He has gone in pursuit of the (fabulous) birds of the sea.
Sova singasemoyeni
We shall hear, we are on the side towards which the wind blows.
Akuko nkanga idubula ingeti
There is no wormwood that comes into flower and does not wither.
But lest we forget, you told us:
There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.

Zindzi said she saw you smiling
So, Madiba, wake up! For your sun is still shining!

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Children of Heaven, Scarlet Tears of London, The Prophet Lied and other books distributed by Amazon and other booksellers.
The poem is a tribute to Nelson Mandela for his 95th birthday. And composed with proverbs from his native Xhosa language.

 © Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima. 2013. No reproduction in any format of media without the authorization and permission of the author.

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