Here are a few poems from last reading at Kitwe Little Theatre. Tonight's poetry was supposed to be combined with a jazz night but has been cancelled because there will be a play from Lusaka at the theatre.
My lost African girl,
When I don’t kiss your lips
And hold you by your golden hips
You call me ignorant
Ignorant of modern love.
When I don’t touch your breasts
And attend to your expensive tastes
You call me selfish
Selfish in the game of love.
Because I can’t use forks and knives
And take you on romantic jives
You call me anti-social
Anti-social in a world of change.
Because I am not dressed in style
You keep me waiting for a while.
I have to chase you for a mile,
While you shoot me a treacherous smile.
You paint your finger nails,
And do your hair in curls
You paint your lips
An always swing your golden hips.
Your dressing is a scare,
And you don’t seem to care,
Truly you are a lost African girl.
You’ve ignored the wisdom of the chisungu drums,
You say they are just noise to your eardrum.
You’ve discarded the chitenge from your waist
Exposing your thighs on no request.
See the way your aging mother cries,
Can’t you pity her swollen tearful eyes?
You are not like her in her prime.
So she cries for you all the time.
My lost African girl
You know my love for you so well,
But cursed be that vulture,
That devours our culture,
A culture lost through ‘Euro-Americanemia’.
Read by Moddy Muponisi
Meaningless, meaningless, says the Teacher
Utterly meaningless. Everything is meaningless
What does man gain from his labour
At which he toils under the sun?
Generations come and go but the earth remains
The sun rises and the sun sets and hurries back to
where it rises.
The wind blows to the south and turns to the north,
Round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea never gets
The place the streams come from there they return
All things are wearisome more than one can say.
The eyes never have enough seeing, nor the ear its
fill of hearing
What has been will be again
What has been done will be one again.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
Look this is something new?
It was here already, long ago, it was here before our
What is twisted cannot be straightened and what is
lacking cannot be counted.
There is no remembrance of men of old, not even
those to come.
Much wisdom brings more sorrow of men of old
Not even those to come.
Much knowledge brings more grief.
Really, does life have a purpose?
I believe so! I don’t know about ‘you’.
MIXED RACE GIRL
Read by Barney Kanjela
This is the one I read on radio. It's complicated being
in the middle, both black and white
Green eyes and pale skin but curly hair and that
THING that make me black.
I can relax my hair and have black friends
But still I have a complex of whether I fit in with my
My White ends my Black beginning
Of Africans beating drums and singling
Speaking a vernacular that my almost white tongue
And just like that 'I'm not black' I announce
Almost embarrassed till I remember I'm half white, if
After all I'm English yeah?
But in Cape Town 'no you bushy neh?'
I'm not bushy, yellow, black, white or mixed
I'm not a race or colour that's fixed.
And you know it's complicated being in the middle
The middle of a battle of acceptance and conformity
And xenophobia has become an Africa reality
And me with my half Zambian, half English, South
I don't know whether living in this country suits me.
However I will salute inter-racial couples I see around
Now maybe I won't have such a complexity and my
peace of mind can be found.
You know it complicated being in the middle
In a rocky boat that sways between the black sea and
Deciding whether to do the 'booty hop' or be in a rock
But sometimes I don't give a * and I'm not so bleak
After all my colour makes me unique.
My identity and were I belong may still be a question
But till I know who I am I don't have a better
Than to speak my mind until I find not WHAT but
WHO I really am
As the earth turns over
The clocks are ticking
Sun is shining
People too are moving
And life keeps on living
Look at you
How nice it is for me to know you
But there is something we all have to know
People like you
Do not grow on trees
They hang from them
And every eye see and cherish