“Belinda, why are you late for school today?” the teacher asks. He gives me three lashes on my buttocks as my punishment and I head towards the Primary 5 classroom for my normal school activities. I was an average student trying hard to get a place in the top five (5) position in the class even though i was at the 25th position. During break, we play till we are told to get back into the classroom. I was always the first person to get to the school's canteen immediately when the bell rang for break before I started playing ‘Amped’. After a break there is always ‘mental’ to check the sharpness of our brains and when you didn’t answer correctly you would receive some lashes on your buttocks. These daily buttocks lashing led to my school uniform tearing because it was washed on Wednesday and Saturday. The quality of my uniform became so low that my mom started patching the buttocks. We did move around much with a torn uniforms. Anytime we get to school we had to put on our pullovers to cover the torn part. For us, pullover meant ‘pull over the eye’. The school authorities realised that we were always wearing pullovers and instructed us to remove them even though I told them our reason for having them on.
At 08:10am my sister and I will be seen coming late to school. We would be lashed and that will again result in the patched part of the uniform tearing again. On such a day, we had to move around the school's compound with the 'Two Eyes’, one patched uniform on each of my buttocks and that of my sister. Some of my mates will put their hands in the patched uniform just to tease us and make others laugh and the teacher could not advise them to put a stop to it. My hands were on my buttocks till school closes because the moment I am seen, the students will shout "Two eyes" and those around will burst into laughter and follow us till we get to the classroom.
I stopped answering questions in class, taking the class Prefect position and even walking up to a teacher to have a conversation with him. I became a shy person even though I knew I wasn't shy. I started changing slowly, became very inactive in my studies because I couldn't move to the canteen to buy food during break and play till the bell was rang.
Eventually, I got used to and accepted my situation. I became comfortable with my new lifestyle. I started coming to school early and joining assembly with no shame of what was going on around my buttocks even though I knew my underwear could be seen and heard some of the students laughing undertone while in the queue I didn't mind. I had patched it so much that I could not patch it anymore but to let it be. I went for a break to buy my food and lived my life as a normal student without thinking about that part of my uniform around my buttocks exposing my underwear and drawing laughter from the students and some teachers. My mother could not sew a new uniform for us because she was unemployed and we had to endure even though we were uncomfortable.
Back then i just thought........
I had two eyes
On my buttocks
Making the students laugh
Calling me two eyes
It was a torn uniform
With two patched side
I couldn't speak in the class
Neither could i answer
A teacher's question
Because when I stood up
They will laugh shouting
My two hands were always
On my buttocks
Covering them up in shame.
I was too embarrassed
Moving on from that stage, I became a fan of tattered dresses and I saw it to be part of me. I could wear tattered jeans and shorts to occasions without feeling any sense of embarrassment. My mother and teachers would talk to me to put a stop to that lifestyle but I saw it to be a part of me. When they complained, I asked “…but did I not wear a patched uniform in school without any of you complaining and students laughing? Why can't I wear similar dresses to occasions I am invited to now?” No one warned me about it because it was funny and a source of laughter for the students.
What do we see now? A lot of young people wear tattered dresses as part of their lifestyle and a form of fashion to many occasions and even in our churches. Such a lifestyle has become so serious such young people expose parts of their bodies indecently and the elders in our communities are complaining. If I had someone to tell me that wearing a uniform that exposes your underwear is bad for the young generation, I would not have adapted to such a lifestyle.
now I know....
I was ahead in life
I was ahead of time
Two Eyes was the future
I was in the future
I became a part of it
but i didn't see it
I didn't know it
No one told me
two eyes on the buttocks
fashionable as it is now
Was the Future and was in me
I was the future
And I am in it
I will always know the future.
Those who laughed back then are now in tatted dresses showing it to me, forgetting they laughed at me back then. They had no idea about the future,they had no idea about me. I.......am.....the...... future......
Copyright © Belinda Arthur
Belinda is the co-founder of Girl's Pride, an organization dedicated to empowering young girls in the areas of education, health, sanitation, and technology.
She adores her twin sister and co-founder Bernice Arthur, very much. Belinda completed and graduated from Shama Senior High School and the Peter B.A. Holdbrook Smith Academic Complex.
Through behavioral programs, she has had a significant impact on the lives of young girls in her Company as a warrant officer with the 3rd Elmina Company (Brigade). Belinda enjoys participating in the regimental band, volleyball, and soccer. Her soul is most strongly impacted by the music of Whitney Houston and Nina Simone.
Belinda and her twin Bernice have qualified for university education but cannot meet the cost. Her goal is to find a scholarship ship or sponsor for her university degree in Technology.
A Poem In Which I Am A Gunfire
I am drinking a serax with this poem—I mean my body is up against me,
wiggling my nails to the grave.
I am writing this poem in awe— jaw dropping
like the sentiment of my neighbor's child,
twirling like a cavort to hum for food
after mother's meal but comes back with remorse—hunger eating
his lungs into sinking shafts.
These days, I am becoming a burning desert—
feeling every buzz of helpless names sauntering around
This evening, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation headline read,
eclipse of rain & fire interrupting the moon,
lurking around the benign cloud & far places than the Jubilee house.
This poem is encapsulated with black revulsion bullet
counting into every line. Some days, it averses like a nightmare,
bruises your eyes for unlearning from its origin.
Sometimes, you wake up to see a tornado hurrying
into a boy.
In my country everything is a dying-to-live
this poem aligns with a leader who your wish were betrothed—
you marry danger then luck keeps rewinding into its origin. Somewhere,
silence glows between tyrants—two
moons cracking conflict with hugs of scar-bruise.
—'In Akuapem', this is a poem of royalties but how do kings assume
the throne decorated with blood bongers, eating bodies into maltose;
a body packed like sardine with a fist, still affirming
a country's flag?
Let us resume mourning into visual contrition or
what do you call this country into—
These words reverberate. There are routes through each letters
where blood is shed. Say, 1983 was a year of monks & beasts
each living a dead living to appease fine coffins,
each body speaking tongues into graves. The dead is
still alive—our dead are worth living.
Call it power enjambment or what do you call a priest
who swears an oath of curse to befall a docile land?
This crust & norms intertwined, that is to say, our voices are
raised in tight knots & only loose when a Judas
is present. Name this into
wingless birds, trample over our clamour. Our blood is not concocted.
Our spirit is not mild,
we are performing rituals to burn every crust of
imbecilic nut in this cola-space.
This is how my mother broke into silence; when the news came
she unsurpliced her headgear & formed
a mucus out of it. When the butcher
she broke into war—
an abattoir she became after her rival
with Satan. Her eyes sunken from hearing the noise
which said her last breath has buried
in water. On some days, Kweku became her
beloved sun—a flower
she was readily welcomed from her womb.
Hear him cry over his shadow, after a wound &
mother will storm curses as rebuttal;
'set this earth on fire
turn this body into ashes
let me change to chameleon
shooting with executioners'!
Then a flower plucked from her eyes & conjured
her siblings from graves. It is 8pm & mother still
dozed off with an eye opened,
waiting for a mosquito to bring him good news. The night crept tenderly
on her body & heaven extended
to split saliva. Mother, still in sorrow,
for the worse to come. When dawn stroke, a plump of
bellied men stood in silence—
whispering the taboo...their hands
felt acidic. Their eyes
groan with each other's mind.
'It is true, woman; the
gods have been appeased. There
are only left with conks
& bongers of blood'. Mother
stood & gazed
into God's eye, 'I will assemble
his bones into life,
again & fly him to Ezekiel'.
Portrait of a breathless boy
Let me begin with a bruised body
that knows not to supplicate
after he is tossed by the storm into
the bellied stream of
this skin is an appendage of limbos.
Or a myth buried in God's eye.
This skin is a bald forest that walks the bullied shores.
I spread this poem like butter / unto a tumbling body
that echoes from a moth /
& I munch it into a bitter slop—moth tired of watching
time translates into worms.
Every night, I swallow a galaxy
stars—stars that only emit the beauty of grief.
I twip these words like an acne
that crisp my face senseless. Face like a buron.
Tell a boy to reminisce pain as
a new hymn for morning birds.
I am not green. I do not rain—I mean
I am a faggot / &
I become an ocean in mother's eye
whenever it rains.
Today, I exhume this body from the blank.
A screech in gloom.
Grief knows no sadness.
When I mention sadness,
I mean grief has no counterparts.
Say, this poem is an orifice to velvets changing into endless tunnels / relics
tucking in its abdomen—
how do I manoeuvre from this microscopic scape
that only gifts migraine
as presents. I'll memorize a boy like a lesson,
perhaps doing that will wind me through nostalgic chrysanthemums
to do away with my blues.
Copyright © K. Asare-Bediako
Albert Kweku Asare, writingas K. Asare-Bediako is an up and coming Ghanaian writer, teacher, coach, poet, philanthropist and a legal aspirant.
He writes from Anum-Boso, a suburb in the Eastern part of Ghana.
He chose writing as therapy to aid him breathe away the thoughts of his unseen father from birth. He is the author of PORTRAIT OF MANY COLORS, (Ghost City Press) 2022 summer series. His recent publications have appeared on forthcoming in Ghoatshed Press, Contemporary Ghanaian Writers Series, Writers Project of Ghana, African Writer Mag, The Stripes, Fevers of the Mind, Ngiga Review and elsewhere.
He listens to songs, learns songs, watches TV, reads and sleeps leisurely.
He tweets, @Asarewrites
Facebook; Phaa K. Asare-Bediako
After a thorough and careful examination
I was finally convinced, I'm trapped
Cajoled into a circle-edge tapestry of numbers with no ambiguous counts,
yet an overly exaggerated expectation of a moment
Lonely walks in a never-ending merry go round,
covered with road signs and pressure maps to a destination unknown
I have exhausted my rest, and I'm still less enthused for my next steps
Yet I'm expectant of the slow whips that tickle my feet forward
I carry this burden each moment, with my breath suspended in questions
Quench it! if I must be trapped in this tarrying of no return
Smiles are new fashion brands and laughter a change of color codes
So, cheers to the rotation, I might just be green on the next round
A strange land of real-life tales and rare myths
This is a calculated recipe for anticipation and palpitation
My heart is failing from the unsupervised additions of salty advice
From the calculations of why equations, with no exegesis
Now I'm drenched from the cold pressing and squeezing of my cortexes
Telling me Become! Become! Become!... Become what?
A question my existence has failed to address
They say we are stuck in time
Trying to remember if we must walk or pace
Trying to remember how to live or die trying
Trying to remember how to be free in our submitted freedom
No questions were asked, but they celebrated and told me welcome
Now I ask to what?
An unending tik tok of 12 numbers with superpowers
That has carved an arena of every imaginable emotion
Mostly pressure, anticipation and expectation
Time joyfully ushered me, yet sings melancholic echoes to my death
So, who here is on my side?
I ask, what is this for?
Copyright © Forchibe Ethelyn Echep
Forchibe Ethelyn Echep, also called Noble Echep (Pen name) is an Agricultural Entomologist, writer, singer and spoken word artist.
She uses writing as a means to express herself and also to relate to others walking a similar path to hers. As the CEO of aRt30 (an art organisation that seeks to empower young women to be expressive through art) and an Assistant Programs Manager of Ehalakasa Ghana, Noble Echep works as an arts facilitator in schools, communities and organisations.
Forchibe is a versatile writer finding her voice in different societal retractions, and uses poetry to advocate for food safety, sustainable environments, women, and mental health amongst others. She believes that ‘when you find the path, dare to walk it’.
Sometimes I wonder
will there ever be another like him, …Ali?
On days when blood flows
from between my thighs especially.....
…a smile from the well meaning lady
on the side walk.
The smell of the perfume
on the man standing next to me.
”Excuse me Sir,
You smell like my lover.",
Sometimes I want to say.
I love the way he loved me
…how he never missed a joke
no matter how bad I told it.
The not so picnic 'picnics we had '
I have conversations with him in my head.
Half of the day, I spend talking to him.
Why he left so sudden, he never answers.
How hard it is to let go without closure.
I miss him....
Grief, “it gets better with time”
I think not. Grief is time
Ticking away like a clock,
till the alarm goes off.
I wake up, it's a new day.
My lover, still gone.
Till we meet again...
Death is a thief,
who steals our joy from us.
Copyright © Hasiat Abubakar, Accra 2022, Written on world poetry day
Fight Or Flight?
Way back when I was in junior high school, my friends and I formed a three-woman squad . One we regarded as prestigious, the basis for admittance into our circle were only two; Be rich, be brilliant , or be both. This new girl who had just come was overqualified, she was not just rich, she was so rich she bought us food and ice cream …for all three of us during break. She was exactly what we were about. No questions asked , we enjoyed our new found best friend. It was all fun till it wasn't. One day, we got called out of the classroom to the staff common room where all the teachers sat when they didn't have lessons to teach. Now if you attended a public school, you'd know being called into the staff room in the middle of a lesson meant one thing, trouble, big trouble. It was Raqeeba's father. He was there to find out who was helping and encouraging his daughter to steal money from his shop. That fateful day, no amount of explanation saved us. We were flogged and asked to work on the school compound. It didn't end there, our troubles had just begun. Raqeeba, who had found a new squad and apparently hurt that we asked her to leave us alone , decided she and her squad would fight us. We were given two options, fight or get beaten. Fighting was the reasonable option of the two so we chose to fight. On the day of the fight, we agreed on a venue. Now if you've had your basic education in Wa, you'd know the famous St. Andrews school park (well, not exactly the park). There was this place that would hold water when it rained (more like a dam) and served as a grazing ground for cattle when the water dried. So at the location, we came to an agreement, to have a fair fight, we'd each fight with a member of their group in turns. I was at the end of the queue of course. The strongest amongst us three was first to go and boy was she beaten! They beat her and stuffed cow dung in her mouth. That's just how fights were then, the loser ate the dung. The second person was on the floor now and what did she do, she said she wouldn't fight. Her reason, her religion preaches peace and even Jesus says to turn both cheeks to be slapped on (or something like that). They slapped her of course, beat her up really good . It was my turn now and I was ready to fight, only my method was different. I hatched a plan, I knew someone had to live to tell the story so I turned and I started running. As I ran, they ran after me , shouting " catch this thief " . I was crying now, I ran and cried till I got to the first house, it was the home of a woman who sometimes came to sell things at my school. I ran into her room and my pursuers stopped outside. I narrated the story (with some exaggeration of course) and she allowed me to stay till they left. I was there till sometime in the evening and she took me home . Of course my mom was there the next day and justice was served .... When I look back at that day and what happened, I can't help but be proud of myself. I did what Yaa Asantewaa did, only this time, differently. I am a hero, one without a cape. To us who fought for independence!
Copyright © Hasiat Abubakar
Hasiat Abubakar is a young Ghanaian female writer , teacher and aspiring clinical psychologist.
She was born in Wa, a town in the northern part of Ghana. Her works are mostly short nonfictional writings about her growing up as a young Ghanaian female in a rural community, and the experience it comes with.
She believes in humor as a tool to sell important social topics.
Currently, she lives in the Central region of Ghana where she works as a basic school teacher and also as a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager for brands .
I’m amongst the souls that chose to solely live in solitude
Recklessly casting away connection from high altitudes
I speak from a peak that tries to sneak through the clouds’ grills
Through the bars of the sky as I narrate from atop hills
In pursuit of a quietness unknown to those below
Who scroll across screens making noise in screams and echoes
There are hidden truths in the seams of silence and quiet
High above the chaos and riots
There’s a beauty in this peace, a place where the influence of the like button would cease
I am seized by the knowledge that I need not your approval
With this silence I have chosen a conjugal life, I exchanged it for love’s right
That only those who climbed with me to this height
Will be blessed by its might
I declared my satisfaction with silence and dwell in the abode
Of gold that God saw fit to bestow on us all
We choose to be chaotic, enticed by the erotic nature it brings
As we marvel at the beauty of a pig wearing a septum ring
Behold you have been shown the glimmer in the quiet,
The peace in the silence, the harmony in the low key, the accord of soundless chords
Oh how cute it is to salute the mute environment through which we commute
I contribute to the tales of how beautiful peace and quiet is in the midst of scenes
Painted on screens amongst those who dwell on the ground,
And I know for sure I am not missing out
© Musenga Katongo
Musenga Katongo is a Zambian award winning creative arts entrepreneur and founder of creative arts platform, Colour Culture Arts. He is a three time international and local poetry slam champion, TEDxLusaka Performer and an award nominated author. His creative entrepreneur journey began in June, 2019 when he successfully launched his creative arts platform ‘Colour Culture Arts’ that has held multiple arts activities targeted towards youths. The aim of these activities is to educate young people about Zambian culture and history through poetry and visual arts with the vision of creating a society that celebrates cultural diversity..
As a spoken word artist, he emerged victorious in the 2017 Bittersweet Poetry Slam and was officially crowned Bittersweet Poetry Slam Champion which earned him the opportunity to represent Zambia at an African Poetry Slam held in Chad. He has also opened for American international spoken word poets Ezekiel Azonwu and Joseph Solomon on two separate occasions. Internationally, Musenga has represented Zambia in the first and third editions of Digipoems, a collaborative programme that involved poets and digital artists from across the Southern African region and the United Kingdom, in 2019 and 2021 respectively. He is also the first non-Zimbabwean to win the 2019 Intwasa Poetry Slam held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. , He emerged victorious at the inaugural Alliance Francaise de Lusaka Talent Show in the ‘Spoken Word’ category. In 2020, he received the ‘Cultural/Artistic Achievement Award’ from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child Development and National Youth Development Council for his outstanding contribution to culture and arts in Zambia.
In 2021, he was a finalist and runner-up in President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s Presidential Poetry Contest. In the same year he performed at TEDxLusaka where he performed his original poem entitled "Walking Museum". He was also interviewed by BBC World Service and was the only Zambian that featured and performed as a special guest at the BBC Contains Strong Language Festival in the United Kingdom.
As a fiction and poetry writer, his short stories and poetry have been featured in various publications including ‘Sister Wives’ for his story ‘Redeeming Chilufya’, The Writers Space Africa Magazine, ‘Pain’ for his poem ‘Five Senses of Envy’ and in ‘Short Stories from Zambia’ for his short story ‘Dreams for Dowry’ which has been translated into Arabic. He has also released his own publications such as ‘Memento Mori’ which was nominated under the Best Poetry category at the Tell Your Own Story National Book Awards in 2019 and he co-wrote the short story series ‘Lindiwe and the Maniac’.
The gods hate woman
Simply because without her;
They cannot create
Without her tears in prayer;
They do not exist
They plague her with plight
And she in turn weeps on her knees for their mercy.
© Yeukai Winnie Benhura
Yeukai Winnie Benhura is a Zimbabwean Writer with a mission to sound out the plights of women in the world and hopes that will give them strength to fight for their own.
She is a holder of an Honours Degree in Political Science which peaked her interest in advocating for the oppressed.
Yeukai is Zimbabwe Women Writer’s Chairperson, an organisation built on a zeal to empower Women Writers in Zimbabwe. She is also the Co-Founder of African Cradle an organisation that seeks to record African History through fine art and literature.
She hopes for a world where as an African Woman life would be less prejudiced.
With the creator born the creation
Each creature, miniature of its distinction
With the word we adorn emotion
With greed we sing refrains of misery
With the egocentrism we dance the waltz of earthly poverty
Live without charity a crime to humanity
There are 1000 vanities,
but to love is a necessity
The peace, forgiveness and happiness ripen the hearth
But only in love (creator) does humanity find salvation
Sun of Humanity!
© António Baptista Magaia Júnior
António Baptista Magaia Júnior artistically known as Bathist Dmc is a poet, rapper, actor and screenwriter born on October 21, 1986 in the city of Maputo. He has a degree in Technologies and Information Systems from São Tomás of Mozambique University.
His passion for literature began at an early age, but he started writing in 2004, the year he started writing poetry and prose. He attended literary events such as Poetry at ICMA, Ntsindya, Ascendente Bar and later, Palavras são Palavras. Bathist is the leader of 1 Day of Hip Hop artistic movement (1DdHH) made up of poets, rappers, and thinkers who are dedicated to social initiatives such as: Raising children's books and Graffiti in primary schools, Debate events, poetry, Street dance and Networking .
He graduated in Theater at Mozambican Brazil Centre Culture. António Magaia is Co-Author of Anthologies: Poems +258 vol. 1 Anthology of Mozambican poetry, World Anthology Days of Reclusion, Poems in Tautoindriso from Aurora to a manifest, was recently Selected for the International Anthology - For a Better World to be launched in 2021 in the United States in Los Angeles. He was a finalist in the 1st and 2nd Edition of the largest Poetry Battle Contest – Moz Slam as a reciter poet.
On July 12, 2021, António was hired by Progresso Association as a writer to join a team in a children's book production workshop project financed by the Canadian embassy that lasted 3 months. This year, on 02 of April 2022, António Magaia will launch his first book entitled: “How to overcome your parents' divorce” with GiMacu publisher in Maputo City.
One day when the scary truth announces to denounce our existence.
We, all be mourn unfinished symphonies!
Our tears are not for leaving the beautiful lie (life)
But of the unfinished symphonies that will taunt us to toast us to the last!
As we realize that inflation was our self-sabotage (when we thought we were better)
Unfinished symphonies we shall play on the memory lane as the beautiful lie, slowly sighs away. Our flutes shall play of a realization to cease from being to nothingness.
But memory held images and words of our beautiful lie.
Unfinished symphonies we shall hold as our last treasure.
Time will be precious more than gold or silver.
The ugly truth of non-existence (death) will be our last treasure.
How I wish we could all sleep away silence to simmer the bitter reality!
Not so for our unfinished symphonies that will send us back to the reply disc of the beautiful lie! Eugene S. Miti
Love a fool’s game
Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
There we lay and here we lie.
Under the spreading chestnut tree we fooled each other.
Was it out of ignorance?
That I didn’t see through you and neither did you.
Guess it must have been love that fooled both of us.
The summer’s heat had us fooled under the spreading chestnut tree.
It is there that we made promises of a lifetime.
The shed was our witness.
As the autumn leaves dropped we made our vows.
If not for love then we would have been stupid not listen to love’s call
Now look at us we are shuddered and frail at the face of love.
Love is a fool’s game.
Wish I could say all I want of us
But it doesn’t matter now
A life’s thread of love has but roads that led me to your heart.
Love is a powerful emotion,
Love is an indescribable feeling
Only fools play the game.
In their foolishness they become masters.
Now I sit and watch on as the sun goes down.
All wrinkled I count the treasured youthful days.
Looking at the reflection in the mirror
I slowly smile at our youthful bodies.
Love took us together and made us fool each other in a golden reality.
Now I inevitably smile and say…..
“Indeed love is a Fool’s game and is only mastered by Fools,
The wise fools say it’s all a joke a thing of empty reality, yet it lives and fools”
© Eugene S. Miti
I am a young Catholic Religious Brother, in the institute of Brothers of the Sacred Heart an international institute aimed at educating, instructing and evangelizing more specially the youth. I am a aspiring poet with hope of getting to publish some of my works at some point. Aside from aspirations of being a writer, I am currently a student at Tangaza University College, doing my BEd in Education and specializing in English/literature. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, in a family of three, two boys and being the second born. I am multilingual in Ndebele, Zulu, Shona and English. I grew up in the second largest city of Zimbabwe called Bulawayo in the Matebeland north of the country. Growing up I have always had a keen interest in reading, which resulted me doing arts subjects during my secondary school years, it there that the love of writing poetry begun. Am a renowned poet popularly known as EugeneTheSongBirdofPoetry through my facebook page. Currently I have sought to develop the skill of writing by engaging with other writers in various platforms like the Writers space Africa as well as a group of young people called pen pals. Having inspired by the nature of a bird, I then sought to create my own facebook page as way of letting my writings out there. I was really intrigued by the nature of the bird and how it sings in the morning and any part of the day depending on what has triggered the outburst of its sound, either soothing, joyful or mournful, likewise I have since written poems on whatever subject might have arisen on account of the muse. Currently I am living in Kenya, Nairobi were am undertaking my studies.
Cycles In the perfection of Life,
Varied and ephemeral as breath
You are I, reflecting
Majesty and splendour
As star dust
In frog and leaf
I am you, reflecting
Her as them
Teeming with breath
Only alive and alive
Him as us
Birth and death as revolving doors
Ash to dust,
In the peace of storms
The secrets of consciousness
Whispered in the ears of the deaf
Spoken by dumb tongues
Seen only through blind eyes
Laid plain but unseen
In the still of silence
The heart knows
Revealing only Truth
Ever into eternity
The cycles spinning life to life
© Marita Banda, 2021
Marita Banda is a multilingual (Tumbuka, English and French) published poet (Telling It Like It Is, 2017) and author (Traditional Zambian Etiquette for Modern Living - Youth Edition, 2019). The latter has since been adopted as a core textbook at the Zambia Institute for Diplomatic and International Studies.
Currently, she is working on several manuscripts. She is also participating in a year long art mini-lab at the Livingstone Office of Contemporary Art where she is exploring the theme of identity of indigenous societies in Africa in the global context.
Marita is a respected member of the literary community in Zambia and has served in various leadership capacities including the positions of chairperson of the Zambia Reprographic Rights Society (ZARRSO) and is founding chairperson of the Zambian chapter of the Writers Space Africa, WSA-Zambia.
She is also a member of the Zambian chapter of Pen International. Marita is co-founder of Sotrane Publishers.
We bow down to the whims of time all the time
All the time we hope time will give us best times
But time gives us an equal measure bitter sweeter
times at times
In the long run, we seem to convince ourselves that we
cannot run away from time
When time from the west caught up with us,
it ambiguously brainwashed
and corrupt our cultural values in the society
Time from the west said, why don’t you try our fashion?
And society said yes!
Time from the west said, why don’t you go and build on top of soche,
Ndirande, mpingwe hills And society said yes! Yes!
And that is how, time from the west shaved our natural coat shrubs
And so, time from the west in the society just connive all the time
It draws up tyrannical laws we abide by without questioning all the times
All the time boundaries built of concrete separating the worlds of time and society
Making our culture born in the fertile fields of rosy dreams in our minds
And sadly, dies a suffocating death in the depth of our expectant bellies
What a travesty!
I wish we could control our own time in the society
I wish we could have our own dawn and sunrise
Our own breaking new ground
Our own mustard seed growing to the heights
Our own peg in a square society that we can fit in
Sadly We are authorizing time from the west to hold us back
And We cannot drive our society in our own time
Copyright © Luckie
Soche: name of township and hill in Blantyre city
Mpingwe: name of township and hill in Blantyre city
Ndirande: name of township and hill in Blantyre city
Luckier Chikopa is a young Malawian female performing poet, electrical engineer and a trained social entrepreneur.
She was born in Balaka district, southern region part of Malawi. She is the last born and has only two brothers. She has performed in different events and festivals in Malawi as well as in Lusaka Zambia at Tirembe Literary Festival in 2019. Her poems have been published in Teferet Journal of the United States of America, Libre Magazine and PEN Malawi Publications.
Luckier is the chairperson for Poetry Association of Malawi in the southern region chapter. She has worked with Blantyre Arts Festival as Arts Programs Manager and Public Relations Manager.
Currently she lives in Thyolo district where she is working with the Malawi Government as a Lecture in Electrical installation and Electronics at a Community Technical College of The Ministry of Labour Skills and Innovation.
They've told me to repent
And the mistakes never repeat
From up above, you'll hear my cries
And my sins many you'll cleanse
They've judged me
Because it has been several months
…since I last visited your house
The devil is a liar,
Right? …at least I know
That's what your book says
…I am no devil lord that I know
So, I won't be glorifying the devil
…from Monday to Saturday
Then on Sunday,
…come in your presence and lie
Tell you I am sorry knowing I'm not
Seek your forgiveness knowing my ways
I won't mend
Lord, you know I love you
But the world's sweeter and I am trapped
Every time I try to run away from its ways
I find myself back on its path
So lord, please forgive my ‘not repentant heart’
I'd love to kneel in your presence and cry buckets
Ask you for your forgiveness
Plead for your mercies
But the sinner in me is stronger
Or so I think, my mind itself is hell
And in my heart, demons dwell
I'd love your cleansing
yet, …hell feels more of home
I won't tell you I am sorry
I won't tell you I regret
I won't ask for your mercies
I won't seek for a place in heaven
I'll only tell you I love you
And your perfect world sounds sweet
But hell's sweeter
...sweeter than honey and milk
So, dear lord, …
Watch over me as I trend the evil paths
Guard me in my demons
Fill me with love that I love so deeply
I am still your child
Only a rebellious one
And a parent never casts away their child.
Copyright © Mercy Mukami
Mercy Mukami is a third year student at Masinde Muliro University of science and technology where she's pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work. She's a lover of poetry and posts most of her pieces on her Facebook timeline and on her page, The Wildflower poetry.
She is working towards her first anthology ‘Insanity Tagged Love’ to be published by AdinkraLinks Publications under Meli Creatives. Mercy says she writes mostly to release stress. Her poems are mostly stories of broken hearted girls.
Her inspiration comes from all aspects of life including, people, places, and events …anything can be an inspiration. She is currently aspiring to complete her degree and a second publication of a book before the year 2022 ends.
A friend sends a message,
Seeking me to gather courage,
For what he heard is true,
Balla’s life was through
My heart goes Tik! Tik!
My mouth turns into a beak,
My tongue fails to speak,
Like a threatened bird I scream,
And it is all not a bad dream.
The Pastor said,
“We will see him at the next dawn”
So I am left alone,
Balla won’t be there to listen,
Balla is whole gone.
They say you are dead,
I call out for you aloud,
The lips don’t smile,
The beard is still,
Your face is pale.
They have given you a simple shirt,
It is just plain,
I know you love patterns,
At least you won’t suffocate,
In a tie and full suit.
Six feet under,
No light no thunder,
My thought wonder,
If your mind will surrender,
To the void and not wander.
Without you to understand,
I can not foster another friend,
I shall speak to the wind,
So that I do not lose my mind.
I still stay up and cry,
Tears refuse to dry.
Diana is a PhD Candidate at the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Political and Historical Studies. She began painting in her teens and kept at this art form until graduate school. From 2012 onwards she has been channeling her creativity through poetry and sociopolitical commentary.
She writes on a wide range of subjects from personal relationships to African politics
She is coffee in the morning with
Two teaspoons of brown sugar
At noon, with the way
The sun hits her skin, she is
Chocolate that makes the heart swell
And coil inwards with delicious sweetness
And at night, she is obsidian in the flesh
The midnight sun that lures the
Moon seductively with its light
It is easy to attack yourself when
Wearing your kinky hair like a crown
And being unapologetically melanin
At the same time is the newest crime
As if corrupting your glow is the only way
For them to grow to accept you
When familiar faces throw at you rags of
Their images of “Perfection”
Crushing your self-esteem with the soles
Of their hypocritical shoes
Their judgmental mirrors pointing out
Your flaws and your insecurities
Until you truly start to believe you’re nothing
But a heap of cheap hand me downs
A pimple is enough to make your face rough
You cannot be too skinny or too inflated
Like most African currencies, pounding on every cheese you see
You may defy the rule of ICT: Garbage in, garbage always in
Stretch marks on your body ought to be artistically sketched
Like a map to spark interest, even in the dark
You cannot tone up too much or too little
Be too tall or accurately perpendicular to the ground
How dare you be allergic to those amazing African curves
Yet pile up the disgusting belly fat?
A flat ass (behind) has no mass and would have no space
In the world to occupy and if they called you
Barbie Girl, it wouldn’t matter
If it was pun intended or not
You can pretend those words do not
Cut thru and wound you like a sharp-edged sword
Swallow your pride even though you’re flaming inside
Bury the tears within the depths of your eyes
And hide it with a smile and the lies
Allow them to win while you die within
Can you expect society to accept you when
You keep tossing yourself the rejection note?
While you have the answer, will you still allow
Their tongues to eat away your emotions like a cancer?
Society would never be perfect, but you are
So allow the rays to make love to your melanin
Bathe in the sun’s irresistible glow and caress
Your pimples with sinful kisses that cause even
Your own heart to tremble
Embrace those stretch marks wholly
Wave your kinky hair like a flag
Celebrate your flaws like an anniversary and
Keep them sacred like a holy matrimony
Slowly put the broken pieces of yourself together
And tattoo them in the center of your heart
Loving yourself may be labelled vanity
But it’s the one step towards sanity
So please love yourself,
At least, for yourself
At least, for yourself
©Bonkua - 2021
Grace Nkrumah-Buandoh, who writes as Bonkua, is a graduate of the University of Ghana and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with Mathematics. She started writing short stories at the age of 10 when a classmate suggested they put their imaginations down on paper for fun. She entered into the poetry community in 2018 with Ehalakasa. She has since performed on various stages including the National Theatre. She was a performer at the 2020 Black History Month held by the African American Association of Ghana in collaboration with Ehalakasa at the W.E.B DuBois Centre. She has also appeared on the Obaagogetter Network, a platform for empowering and supporting ambitious and goal-oriented women in their respective careers, as a guest performer. She ventured into artistic activism with ActionAid Ghana in 2020. She has a keen interest in addressing issues such as Environmental protection, Gender-Based Violence, Rape, Menstrual and Reproductive Health, as well as Mental Health.
Through her love and passion for volunteering and teaching, she has engaged in several workshops that seek to promote writing and reading culture. Among these are the Books on the Streets Campaign in 2019 and the Nubuke Foundation Community Engagement for children in 2020. When Bonkua is not writing, she spends most of her time reading novels and webtoons and watching movies. As a lover of theatre also, she is currently with Dzomoko Productions, a production house that educates and entertains through stage plays and film.
Bonkua believes that an artist is screaming in everyone’s mind. We just have to listen and scream along with it. She aspires to be a writer who leaves her footprints on the hearts of wandering souls so they can find their way back home. Bonkua is one of the selected poets collaborating on the third volume of the Adinkralinks Poetry Anthology Series Nkyinkyim 'Turning and Twisting We Come Out Right'
You can connect with Bonkua on Instagram Twitter: @iambonkua Facebook: Nana Yaa Bonkua