Archive for September 24, 2021


The video of the launch of my book “Struggle, Exile, & Love“, published by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and with a Foreword by South African National Poet Laureate Comrade Mongane Wally Serote and a Preface by Comrade Ismail Vadi.

South Africa: Heritage Day 2021.

The Winds of Africa.

A poem by Afzal Moolla.

I am the winds of Africa.

I am the winds whispered to by the ancients of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela,

the winds that have heard the murmurs of the ancestors at Great Zimbabwe.

I am the winds resting at Mapungubwe,
I am the winds of the Upemba,
I am the winds above Giza,

I am the winds of the Djenné-Djenno,
I am the winds of the Songhai,

I am the winds of the Numidia,

I have breathed across these lands,
these lands have breathed into me.

I have witnessed colonialists carving up my continent,

I have heard screams of mothers and children,

I have seen the slave-ships set sail,

I carry the memories of my people manacled, and bound in chains.

I have heard the shrieks of my people,
I have seen my lands plundered,

I have borne witness to genocide,
to notions of racial superiority,
to oppression,
to tyranny,

I have caressed far too many bruised bodies,
I have dried far too many tears.

I am the winds of Africa.

I embrace the hope my people carry,
I feel it thud-thudding in their veins,

I encompass my lands bathed with renewed spirit each dawn,

I encompass my lands infused with hope each morn,

as my Africa,
our Africa,
wraps us in her dazzling multi-hued, comforting shawl.

                    ____________________

– Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It’s known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. Carved out of rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem, and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. Many are joined by tunnels and trenches, and some have carved bas-reliefs and colored frescoes inside.

– Great Zimbabwe is an ancient city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo. It is thought to have been the capital of a great kingdom, although which kingdom is not certain, during the country’s Late Iron Age. Construction on the city began in the 11th century and continued until it was abandoned in the 15th century. The edifices are believed to have been erected by the ancestral Shona. The stone city spans an area of 7.22 square kilometres (2.79 square miles) which, at its peak, could have housed up to 18,000 people. It is recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

– The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was a medieval state in South Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. The name is derived from either TjiKalanga and Tshivenda. The name might mean “Hill of Jackals”.

– Lake Upemba is a lake in Bukama, Haut-Lomami District, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

– Giza is an Egyptian city on the west bank of the Nile, near Cairo. The Giza Plateau is home to iconic Egyptian monuments, including 3 tall pyramids built as royal mausoleums around the 26th century B.C. The largest, the Great Pyramid, is King Khufu’s tomb. The Great Sphinx is a vast sculpture of a man’s head on a lion’s body. The Solar Boat Museum displays a restored cedar barge found buried near the Great Pyramid.

– Djenné-Djenno is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Niger River Valley in the country of Mali. Literally translated to “ancient Djenné”, it is the original site of both Djenné and Mali and is considered to be among the oldest urbanized centers and the best-known archaeology site in sub-Saharan Africa

– The Songhai empire, also spelled Songhay, was a great trading state of West Africa (flourished 15th–16th century), centred on the middle reaches of the Niger River in what is now central Mali and eventually extending west to the Atlantic coast and east into Niger and Nigeria.

– Numidia was the ancient kingdom of the Numidians located in northwest Africa, initially originating from Algeria, but later expanding across modern-day Tunisia, Libya, and some parts of Morocco

copyleft 2021 am moolla

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