I was lucky enough to be a part of an incredible group called The Writers’ Movement in university – an eclectic mix of amazing individuals from across all walks of life in Grahamstown, a small town in the middle of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. People like Thembani Ma’at Onceya, Andile Ecalpar Nayika, Ulizwi Mvuyisi, Ayabulela Hodael Ngcelwane, Sinethemba Milisi Mimi Mtwa, Noxolo Mabona, Deborah Seddon, Sinethemba Bizela and Emma Jackson really got me thinking about, and writing, poetry seriously. Working with them has, to date, been the most formative part of any work I’ve done. Some do not have the exposure they so richly deserve, so this page is my (very small) contribution to a group of people who have personally inspired me.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Grahamstown on a Tuesday afternoon at 5pm, look out for the Cycle of Knowledge and find their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/376159405814534/?fref=ts
Their website will follow soon, keep a look-out for it!
In the meantime, here is a poem written by Ma’at. He is a unique poet and a good friend:
When I am in pain, feeling guilty and destroyed in my inside.
When I cried because the world was turning darker than I expected.
I discovered that time was against me,
I humbled myself and I accepted my conditions.
I saw rise and down falls of this country,
Raped and abused women and children,
Tortured and incarcerated lower classes,
Controlled and maintained conditions of divisions.
As I look closer, I saw dreaded hearts and deadened souls.
Spilling blood of massacres,
Created by inflicted perceptions of capitalism.
I saw brutal police officers,
Corrupt government officials,
Teachers who lack knowledge to teach.
Department of health with no doctors.
I can assure you that I saw pictures of apartheid syndrome,
Wounds of post-apartheid and neo- colonialism,
Scars of slave trade and atrocities of slavery,
Depicted in characters of many people.
As my Afuraka bleeds,
The system feeds with these artificial products of short times,
I saw programmed Homo sapiens, divided human beings
Brute and deception driven by lack of spirituality
As I get closer, I saw dusty foot philosophers
Organic intellectuals, and recited poems of true legends
I saw actors of their ideas and masters of their struggles
I saw you, me and of course us standing for BALANCE LIFE PROSPERITY AND HEALTH!!!