Poetry Workshop by Luka Lesson in Harare Library, Khayelitsha

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Pranishka was asked to perform something . . . This is probably when she was still thinking about it.

 

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Zukisa Bikisha was one of those who came to the workshop, saying that he could not have missed a workshop in his own ‘hood”

 

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Even published writers came through to the workshop

 

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Poetry workshops must include a bit of writing, right?

 

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Someone whispered, “back to school”

 

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An unforgettable workshop, indeed. Luka even gave away his CD for free to all those who were present.

Luka Lesson and Mike Schreiber at Bolo ‘bolo

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Ziphozakhe Hlobo of Radikal Xpression hosted the event on Tuesday, 25 March.

 

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Luka Lesson was one of the performers. He is an Australian SLAM champion and he was extremely humbled by those who had gone to watch the event.

 

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Mike and Luka were selling their books, True Hip Hop and Future Ancients.

 

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One of the performers was Ras Jahfield, blessing the crowd with some Peter Tosh sounds.

 

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Certainly a night to remember.

Hosted by Radikal Xpression, 4D Multimedia and Underground Disciples in association with SLIP.

Photos courtesy of 4D Multimedia’s photographer, Yonela.

 

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Event, 25 March

Event, 25 March

Luka Lesson and Mike Schreiber will be touring South Africa in March, and will be with us at Bolo’bolo Anarchist Infoshop on Tuesday 25 March. In Lower Main, Observatory, Cape Town. Entry is free.

Luka is one of the best spoken word artists to come out of Australia. He won the Australian Poetry Slam in 2011 and has performed and hosted at some of the great poetry spaces such as the Nuyorican poets Cafe, Sydney State Theatre, The Malthouse, performed at a multitude of writer’s festivals and events all around the world. He has also published his first book “The Future Ancients” and will be releasing an album later this year.

Mike has taken photos for most of Hip Hop royalty throughout his years. He has a book called True Hip Hop, which showcases some of his best photographs, most you will recognize as they used in album covers, magazines and other publications.

They will be sharing the stage with local acts; Solitude, Sim, Ziphozakhe Hlobo, Ma Bra, and Ras Jahfield.

Hosted by The Underground Disciple, Radikal Xpression, 4D Media, in partnership with SLiP (Stellenbosch Literary Project).

Zabalaza Festival (Women Narratives)

ImageZiphozakhe Hlobo

 

Two women, Ziphozakhe Hlobo and Nondumiso Mpesani presented a poetry production called Women Narratives, conceptualized by both of them.

 

ImageNondumiso Mpesani and Ziphozakhe Hlobo

 

They worked tirelessly compiling the pieces they presented at the show, where they were invited by Lingua Franca Poetry Movement to take three slots on 10 and 11 March, at the Masambe Theatre in Baxter. Ziphozakhe heads Radikal Xpression, and is its found, and therefore was very proud to be presenting something for the first time at Baxter. She hails from Port Elizabeth, where she grew up, and has been working hard in establishing the Radikal Xpression brand in Cape Town. She met Nondumiso not so long ago through a friend, and Nondumiso comes from KwaZulu Natal, where she grew up, but now stays in Khayelitsha.

 

Perhaps the most touching moment of the perfromance was when the two women performed their merged piece called Letters To My Father. While Ziphozakhe expressed the longing for a father, reciting letters a girl writes to her absent father, she also touches on the dire state of black families, which she politically references to Apartheid.

 

When writing this piece, she says she had listened to the stories about her grandfather, who worked in the Johannesburg mines, and who would leave the family for years destitute. He would leave by train and not go back to his wife and children. From this, she integrated the piece with her own experience of never having felt she had a father and wrote it down.

 

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Little did she know that another young woman was going through the same thing, and had a piece written in isiZulu, where she questions her father by saying Ungubaba Onjani. Nondumiso says she does not feel good after telling this story because it evokes emotions in her, and during the rehearsals, she would cry.

 

Perhaps this is the reason they brought their audiences to tears during their performance, overcome by emotions, it seemed the two women felt pain for the fact that they lacked father figures in their lives.

 

Ziphozakhe says that society needs to construct a new black man, one who takes care of his family and does not run away from responsibility. There are good black men out there, but it is sad that this absent fathers issue is so normal. That it is second nature to see a single black mother on welfare.

 

Ziphozakhe Hlobo

 

Letters to my father by Ziphozakhe Hlobo

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Dear daddy,

The skies are grey,

Leaves have turned to a deep brown colour,

Dusty autumn winds awake the river;

The river makes thunderous sounds throughout each day

 

Mama’s letters to God are stacked inside

Her chest of drawers;

And she only asks one thing of Him,

To bring you home this Christmas,

And we will forget that you did not return last time,

That our smiles at the train station turned to eyes blurred by tears,

Until the guards dragged us out,

Saying there were no more trains coming.

 

I have learned so many new games we can play,

I would love to hear what you have to say

 

*****

 

Dear daddy,

Miners are on holiday!

The Newspapers say

 

We went to the train station today,

Mine workers arrived in droves,

Brought goats and sheep,

Embraced their families

Newborn babies with eyes that sparkled,

As they found true love in meeting their fathers,

 

We looked through each and every carriage,

Hoping you would be there;

 

Then I watched her jaws drop

As tears found their path through her wrinkled cheekbones,

To her chest,

All she could do was attempt to convince me that

You were still to come next Christmas.

 

*****

 

Dear daddy,

Things are okay-ish

I have… I have started mens… menstruating

It’s really wiered

I keep going to check the pads

To make sure the blood has not stained my pants

When I cough or laugh, I feel it coming out;

 

Mama was hit by a car,

I did not know her whereabouts for three days,

They gave me her clothes,

Full of blood,

The funeral was packed,

I wore a black dress,

People looked at me different.

Like they were thinking what I was thinking;

“What will happen to me?

 

 

*****

 

Dear daddy,

I live on the streets,

There is always a stench of yellow urine

And a smell of dipers and green static water,

Extra large cockroaches all over

The woman living at the back always puts her gabbage outside

And has different men every night out here

Some boys I have never seen came by yesterday

And wrote “Bitch” on her door,

Smashed her window and shouted “bloody whore!”

They saw me looking through the window,

One of them kicked my door, grabbed me,

Lips pressed to mine

He said he will come back for me if I tell

 

******

 

“Dear daddy,

She is hooked on drugs.

She moved out.

I did not know where she was

Until I saw her this morning,

She lives under a highway bridge,

She looks frail

I doubt she is well

The conspiratorial whispers are that she has AIDS

And it does not really look like anyone cares.

 

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Dear daddy,

She confessed to being a bitch,

Fucking different men for survival,

And wrecking homes

 

But she said her true confessions are hidden in undiscovered corners of the boulevards of her soul,

She said she is rotten,

And that all we did was strip her naked to find faults,

 

She says her life felt like death

And maybe death will feel like life

 

I found letters to her father stacked inside her chest of drawers,

Neatly placed next to her suicide note

Where she wrote

 

“Dear daddy,

I don’t know which one I hate more,

You or the sound of a train,

 

My story began when you left and never returned

It unfolded to me and mamma waiting at the train station for you,

Hoping that you would be on the next train,

Or the next one,

Or the next one,

Till we would silently agree that you were not coming,

And we would walk back home for hours

 

With only the sound of our footsteps

And melody of the trains returning to the city”

 

Walking Corpse

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Christie FossilSoul copyright 2013

Marred & dictated to,
by none that created I.
Jailed into faculties that were insisted upon,
way before my existence.
Pathways of Myself,
pre-determined by structures
that had lesser understandings
of the complexities of human.

Born and raised into the basic savagery of pro-creation based sexuality,
eliminating all of the emotional & spiritual intelligence of companionship.
“The man and the wom(b)man must carry on the lineage of humanity”
A questionable sentiment when overpopulation is said to exist,
symbiotically paired with the highest rates of selfishness and greed existent to this day.
Power they say…
What is all powerful about oppression?
I don’t see the oppressor being raped & beaten to death
for compromising humanity.

The notion is that all shall feed into a social classing;
texted into us through race, gender, academics, power & economic politics.
We tread on to further understand the makings of human
& find eurekas of innerstanding to allow us the freedom of being.
Yet we refuse the responsibility of applying this in overstanding to another soul.
As self-defined as we are.
A blatant contradiction,
to which we can can do away with not finding alignment for,
because culture says
‘that’s the just the way it is’

We urge our evolution to an understanding that
even though we are still trying to even out the playing fields,
raced does not define who we are,
money does not define the wealth of our lives,
politics does not determine the laws of our existence
& neither does gender determine our sexuality.
Not looking to destroy the cultural aspects that pulverize us daily,
is in fact encouraging the art of questioning the ‘lesser evils’.
When the query should actually be how it is that…
a human being’s decision that affects no aspects of another’s life negatively
can gain so much intolerance;
yet the one that dictates to another’s life & deprives them of their rights to life,
is so highly feared to the point of proven loyalty to evil.

My rapist, chauvinist, womanizing brother,
is still considered to be my brother
— this actually defining his manhood.
My prostituting, forced to lay on her back to feed a child – sister,
due to the unjustified failure of a government to educate her
& the baby daddy who walked out last night…
is said to be a disgrace to womanity
even though her motherhood is picture perfect.

The failure to nurture a collective consciousness,
that is aware of the limping psyche of its existent sectors,
is the reason why we have to ask…
Sister, where is your voice?
Certainly not in the fists of his patriarchal association to you.
Certainly not in the dick of his lacking sexual discipline.
Brothers, where are your voices?
Your consciousness says Sankara’s stand
is that the woman is the heart of the nation…
GIVE HER A CHANCE!
At present, his heart bleeds at his teachings abolished,
his nation drowning in a mental and social poverty;
& as we stand Africa…
The words of Interrupt magazine say that
‘a body of a black ,queer woman is considered as a walking corpse’

Steve Biko wrote what he liked,
it is time we evolved
to do what we like.

WRITTEN FOR THE BLACK REDEMPTION LAUNCH SPEAKING FEMINISM INVOLVING THE LGBTIQ SECTOR.
PEACE

Silence

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When I’m silenced by fear
When I need you to be my voice
Where are you

04/06/13
Copyright Siphumle Botya

Bio:Siphumle Botya born on the 1st of jan 1993.I’m from Mount fletcher but currently staying in mtata.I’m a poet,dancer,singer,acter and I’m also into fashion.

SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS RADICAL ANTI-WHITE SUPREMACY POLITICS TO REVERSE THE APARTHEID LEGACY

Ziphozakhe Hlobo

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So, yesterday we visited Hasie Ismail, table tennis coach in Grassy Park. He was at the board of SACO and was obviously an anti-apartheid activist, using mainly sport to resist. Which means, they refused all the international opportunities to play (as an entire sports board) because they wanted to alarm the world that not all was well in South Africa. I admire how brave he was; he said as a sportsman (young at the time) afforded such great international opportunities, it was not easy to turn them down because as a sportsman, Olympics are the ultimate goal, but that they had to weigh what was most important. Was it to go and play and give the world the illusion that things were okay? Or was it to stay in South Africa, so that when announcing world sports representatives, the Olympics boards could say “The South African representative is not present because of the country’s political instability”? He said that was the remuneration of their boycott, among other things, that the world would know about it. And so, he told us, apartheid is the reason black South African families are so broken – they couldn’t survive such political trauma, and those who were too involved in politics neglected their families. “I regret that, neglecting my family. I neglected my wife and daughter like you would never believe, I was never here. That’s the one thing I am sorry about,” he told us. He says he first played internationally in 1997, “it brought tears to my face,” he said, because sometimes, he did not know that that moment would ever come, which makes me admire him more because sometimes he was fighting for something he was not sure he would live to see. On his wall, he has Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. I asked him why and he said there is a commonality among the three, that they were peaceful struggle heroes. Actually, Hasie resembles Gandhi, he admires Gandhi so much that he has a stick like Gandhi’s in his living room. But, abruptly, he says that Nelson Mandela did not cooperate with white supremacy, but collaborated. He says cooperating would have meant that white supremacy leaders recognize that land must be shared equally, and they would have worked with Mandela to ensure that this is done to end apartheid. However, Mandela collaborated, which means he played along with the already created white supremacy structure and nothing was changed. He said the good thing at the time was that no blood was shed anymore, but he says now, it was not worth it, because black people still own nothing. The hope that the ANC gave black people in 1994 cannot be explained in words because even as he says it, I cannot imagine it, I was born in 1991 and a “democratic” South Africa is all I have known. He tried explaining it by reminding us of that picture of Mandela when he voted for the first time, it did shed a little light, I started imagining how emotional it must have been. Nelson Mandela had never voted in his entire life, neither had Hasie at the time. But, having been at the forefront of the struggle, Hasie is not pleased by Mandela’s deal with the whites, neither is he happy with the current ruling party. Not only are the policies liberal instead of radical, there is a lot of corruption, politicians became business men. “I wish we could count the money that has been misused in this country, it could probably amount to trillions.” he said. He says apartheid still exists, the only thing missing is the oppressive legislature that asked people to carry passes around, and this virtual apartheid makes it very difficult to fight it, because it is under guise. He said though he is a peaceful man and admires the three heroes on his walls, South Africa needs to realize that there are certain things that need to be claimed back from white supremacy, and that this will cause tension, violence even, but, that is a step that needs to be taken to equalize wealth.

I was morethan pleased with his loyalty, so much that he said last Friday, he sat with a guy who valorized the ANC and saw no faults in its policy and decided he was not going to go to the same gathering with that guy again. I was so pleased that we can now admit that we need radical politics to remove the clots of white supremacy that taint Sout Africa. I think Mandela and the ANC at large were misled in thinking that the transformation process should please everyone. In truth, something has got to give, and it is the greedy politicians who have failed to turn things around and the rich whites who benefit the most from South Africa’s wealth. Where I disagreed with Hasie is that Mandela should have cooperated with the white government, simply because there is not one single bone in my body that believes that there are any white supremacists who benefit so much from their white system that would want to cooperate in transporting the economy towards the hands of blacks.