This War Must Be Won

2

I grew up with pretty much nothing
learnt means of survival the hard way
Smiled even when there was nothing to smile about
“Do you see anything to smile about?” asks a reggae song
My people pretend to stay alive even when they died inside a long time ago
Inside this silver city

The idea of home is too close to homelessness
My people think they are poor because God has not blessed them
It is here where when crime increases
Where the state opens more police stations instead of increasing Job opportunities
Where ‘Utumishi kwa wote’ has changed to ‘tisho kwa wote’
Where they slaughter us in extrajudicial killings, calling us thieves
The same people defraud public funds
While we watch them hopelessly and helplessly get away free

Here is where folks love to read holy books and quote from them endlessly
Quoting verses like ‘“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Churches dominate this place like sand on the beach
Making my people to remain hopeful while they are starving
My people have truly embraced man made poverty
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” they quote the Bible again.
Tell me, why would the oppressive state not be happy with such desperadoes?

We have been told countless times that education is the key to success
Yet, they deny us this education
And then console us that ‘kazi ni kazi’
Afterall, my people will wake up at 3a.m on elections day
To vote for the same thieves
Politics is like a drug in this place
Politics have made my people result into horizontal violence
Violence against ourselves rules this side of town
We are killing each other while protecting thieves of the bourgeois ruling class
Funny how my people are afraid of going to hell while they live right inside hell

Political, economic and social consciousness is priceless
Yet it’s a privilege here!
Tell me if it isn’t mental slavery holding a gold medal for the great work the state continues to do
Inside silver city lives brain washed masses that awaits good life in heaven
While the state continues to marshal two powerful weapons
The bible and the Gun
Both creates fear
Isn’t that smart?

But out of this inhumane life
One day my people will be tired
They will resist and abolish this shit system
One day my people will arise and rebel
One day I will also live in heaven
Inside this silver city
One day, this silver city will be free
This war must be won

 

MURATHE’S POETRY 

By Murathe

 

Success

Zile idea za success,
Watu waliuziwa,
Ndo zinaleta stress,
Juu kila mtu anataka kuwa kitu,
Na definition ya kuwa kitu,
Ni kuwa na kakitu,
Dreams ni sare,
Lakini reality inakupiga vibare,
Ukicheki zile vitu umeweka uzito,
Zimekuwa mzigo,
Unazidi kushika nare,
Frustrations zinakuzidi,
Society inakulinganisha na watu,
Nafsi yako inapigana na maisha,
Mbona niko radar,
Na bado sina gari? sidungi? sina mkwanja?

Success ni side moja tu unafundishwa,
..ya economy,
Wanasemanga ,
Ukitaka kujua utamu wa njugu nikuila moja moja,
Sa wanasiasa wame breakdown system,
Hatupewi perspective mzima ya vitu,
Tunakulwa mmoja mmoja kama njugu,
Na hao wanaendelea wakiskia utamu,
Wakimanga mandugu,

Tuki rebel,
Wana pieces zote za puzzle,
Hata zile waliwapatia bado ni zao,
Juu economically.
Bado hao ndo wana muscle,
Umerushwa kwa maze,
Unaambiwa ujifind,
Na at the same time uko blind,
Na blindness zinaletwa na media,
Propaganda,ukabila,
Na siasa zile za gazeti hupigwa kwa kibanda,
Wewe ni mwerevu,
Unaeza unganisha facts,
But hujui uko kwa mchezo.
Na role unacheza,
So in real sense unakaa danda,
Unashikanisha unachezwa,
Sa ile unakosa rent,
Mtoi wako anachujwa chuo,
Madaktari wanagoma,
Unakosa food,
Na kitu unashikanisha ni kukosa haki,
Lakini mwanasiasa akicome na Range rover,
Na suti na tai,
Anakupiga rwabe ama punch,
Juu venye amedunga na gari anaendesha,
Unasahau shida zako ju amekuacha na taki

Na hivo ndo anajiondoa kwa ngori,
Juu wewe uko obsessed na venye anakaa na size ya pori
Juu wewe sai huoni shida zako venye unaeza zi address,
Unaona venye wewe unaeza taka kuwa kama yeye,
Hutajali nani unaumiza,pesa ngapi unaiba,
Juu kwako hio ndo unaiita success….

Magazeti.

Media extension ya government,
gazeti walisema ni za kufunga nyama,
watu wako njaa alafu wanasema tuna beef,
information unhealthy kwa system ya maskini,
media iki act tough once in a while iko out of order,
na politics za chama all year round ni front page,
na title sio za maana ,kupiga raia below the belt,
na wanajicrown machamps media referee na referee ni serikali,
accumulation ya clauses wamepatia mapolitician
imepita mshahara ya camera man civilian,
Akibonga kuhusu condition za mitaa
tunasema analack professionalism ama ana choma picha,
Ghetto features ziko featured kuitisha msaada sio kuraise questions za ufisadi,
Kuna hope, lakini story za hopelessness ndo wanazipatia captions,

Negativity ina sell wakati wa Christmas kushinda jingle bells,
magazeti na language ya editor ndo mitaani ndo zinashape mjadala,
na front page ni title za politicians,
Raia wanajifanya wajanja lakini wako accustomed kubishana vitu zimeandikwa kwa magazeti,
Baba mzima atashinda base ya gazeti kubig up mwanasiasa,
Sa ile ako chini kwa food chain,
Juu hao watu anapigia upatu,
wanabelieve it’s a man eat man society,
na ni reason yao raia kuwa chini,
Na hio ndo wanabelieve ni language ya kisasa,
Venye watu ni ma homeguards in the long run tunarealize sio mavazi,
kwa hii generation ya sasa,
hawajavaa vinyasa,
watasema ni shortcoming ya vijana kutojiunga na siasa
which sio sababu enough juu haiconnect na swali za mayouth,
kama wanatumia the same gazeti kupata answers,
So unapata hio disconnect ndio inatuconnect,
na nchi inakosa kusonga,
Na magazeti hata kama zinatuseti,
bado zinazidi kubonga,
Na raia juu ya ku argue vitu haziwasaidii,
ignorance inakuwa ya maendeleo na bidii,
Uzito ni kujua mwanasiasa alisema nini,
sio school fees,sio barabara,sio security ama mtoto wako atakula nini,
Kama mwanaspoti ndo anatueka kwa map,
na mapolitician ndo wanatutoa kwa map,
na mwanaspoti ako nyuma ya gazeti,
na mwanasiasa ako mbele ya gazeti,
jiulize kama hii si mchezo,
Na mashairi zetu hawaezi tupatia ukurasa, aya ama hata ubeti,
maisha imekuwa pata potea,
kwani huoni venye vijana wamepotea na betting?

 

LENA ANYUOLO’S POETRY 

By Lena Anyuolo

 

Maskini Hana Hasira, Ni Macho Tu Atakaza

Surrounded by the concrete of the university tower,
The brick of the theatre wall,
The trumpet sound of practising musicians,
A feeding program for poets to perform after lunch,
We sat as comrades,
Exes,
Maybe lovers,
Discussing the luxuries of university education,
Neoliberalism collapsing on itself,
The literature department was under siege,
To whom was the target?

I was rude to the guard at the gate on my way here.
I was late for a meeting,
Exasperated!
Couldn’t she see that?
An educated street sweeper,
That’s the difference between you and me!
I wanted to scream
I am an educated street sweeper!

I joined the petit bourgeoisie on the restaurant balcony,
Promiscuous to a fault,
I looked at the irony of the national theatre,
Me,
And educated street sweeper,
Now listening to the tragedy of neoliberal arts education,
At that moment, I felt like such a fraud!

A Morning March Through Kahawa West

The jungle is scary but I have no fear
We walk astride through the bush past a mystic black river
Green prison walls descend crashing against the tarmac,
We have fallen into a trance guided by our footfalls,
Left, right, left, right,
Into the ghetto,
We tread awakened from stupor
Eager to fight back,
We chant,
Free the people!
Free the land!
Abolition Now!

 

DORPHAN’S POETRY 

By Dorphan

 

3RD WORLD LIFE TRIANGLE

Big tummy
result ya taxpayer’s money
The same big tummy
kilio kwa mama
juu watoto wako already too many

Teardrops zimechora gullies kwa cheeks
Taxpayer ni kuku
Kentucky pia wako huku
so survival yake anaishuku
Itaendaje kwa chicks?

WAZO

Nawaza upendo
Naona umoja, naona Amani
Naona wingu la ujamaa likitanda angani
Naskia za furaha katika bustani
Ipo nia naona njia
Naona familia ya mama mmoja
Ngoja.

Tazama mwamko wa Ukoo Flani
Namwona Nkrumah, namwona Biko
Yumo Sankara na Mwalimu ndani
Nawaona Mau Mau na unyevu wa MajiMaji
Naona tukikuza na kutunza vipaji
Naona vyakula, naona maji
Naona baba akiheshimu mama na kujali wana
Naona fanaka kwa wote wazee kwa vijana
Naona mwanga wa mshumaa nimekataa kuona giza
Naona maisha yanavyokaa sioni wanavyoyigiza
Nachapa kazi kwa matendo singoji miujiza
Naona vichwa vyenye raha kwenye dibaji
Wanaona wanachotaka mimi naona nachohitaji
Nakupa ndoto na mawazo
maono yangu kwako
Je unaona?
Unaona Africa akivishwa taji?
Unaona?

BLACK BIRDS

Arise from the rubble
and dust your feathers
It’s time
It is time to dare the devil for your dues
Having worked the pitchfork to melt you flesh
Then adding fuel to the furnace to roast your bones
Time is right
The clock is done ticking
The Phoenix must arise
Arise!
Grab your shield on your left hand
and your spear on your right
You descend from warriors
Morans who take on lions without guns
Shaka must
Shaka has to deliver the Zulu
Arise and lead this flock of birds
Birds away from home
Birds that can’t find their way home
Birds that don’t know their way home
Birds that don’t know that they don’t know their way home
Misconceived, misinformed, miseducated
Harassed, adulterated, alienated
Open your eyes and see
Put your Optica optimized glasses on,
if you have to
Take a closer look
and see beyond the smokescreen
How did you get so blinded by your politricks
that you lost sight of your economics
that you lost a grip on your humanity
Realize your body has come of age
Stop playing these nestling games
Believe and spread your wings
Take a first leap and fly
Just Fly!

Your crown stands permanently on your head
like a rooster’s comb
Why question your royalty?
You are the son of a king
That makes you a prince Blackbird
The daughter of a queen
you are a princess Blackbird
Forget the news
I say scratch the news
you taught the world how to document words
Vital that you know what was said
but do you ever wonder on what was left unsaid?
Glad to see you appreciate your freedom
Sad, too sad to see you forget the cost we paid
You’re too fast to receive what they give
How about what you can get for yourself Blackbird?
I am concerned not for your body that’s free
but for a mind stuck in slavery
It’s long past resurrection
why torture your knees mourning at Calvary?
It’s morning again Blackbird
awake from your slumber
and reclaim the black bird glory
Abandon your fantasies
face this day
break to reality
and write the true black bird story
Wake up
Wake up Blackbird!!

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