My father was the first man to be buried in our village. His death coincided with my birth and my mother’s sadness. The other villagers knew this, so they stretched my name from Kwena to Ke-wena when they spoke to me, as if saying ‘It is you who has caused our lives to be this way.’
It is blasphemous to enquire the origins of your maker, you will hardly find yourself anyway. For It is said that she is an oblivious kid chosen by the universe, nonmalleable to time’s haste for death, casting immortal spells as if skipping stones on a lake.
The true enquiry therefore becomes “from what was I made?”
Part I: The Pilgrim
Burdened by this ghostly cargo,
The carnal leakage too far gone.
Lucid dreams swindle my rest,
A timely vent for a smothered soul on a prodigal quest.
I self-mutilate like a vandal,
A nagging summoning to let myself go.
Delay my demise another day,
To feign control over mortality.
It’s 2008. A biting winter and a lonely heart. Beige is the colour of the season and you wear yours with olive. Last night I told my friend about how ready I am to try again and I wake up to convince myself that I am ready to try again.
Sjamboks! Tear gas! Policemen in vans and others are forming hedges of defence for Authority.
“Where have I seen this before?”
Song. Chants. Revolutionary dances.
“This looks familiar.”
The boys in my street are singing struggle songs again.
And prison songs.
No one knows where or when they learnt these prison songs. There is an irony where these melodies meet. There is so much passion in their voices, you can tell that something dies inside them when these words reach their lips.
I started the year with a writing team of five writers, but due to unforeseen circumstances three have pulled out of the team. I’m sad to compile this collection but I’m so proud of the work that the writers produced during their stay here at Naane le Moya. I continue to wish them only the best as far as their writing and their creative careers go.
My machete wielding white neighbor absolutely makes me sick.
We got to Johannesburg and we drove to every single student accommodation there was on the internet, and few of them actually looked like the pictures they put up online.
Some had caretakers who were old enough to be needing to be taken care of themselves, the irony. Some communes had holes in the kitchen ceilings, blood stains on bathroom walls, champagne splattered all over some bedrooms! Christ! What do the people here get up to?
We had heard about what they had done to the other villages, these demon possessed men that killed without any conscious. Those who managed to escape came to tell us how they tore open the bellies of pregnant women, how they set their shrines alight and how they gave the village a new name every time they moved on. We lived in fear for we knew that they were coming to our village, Battlemount.