Tag Archive: African unity


tribute to my mother

reunion after 27 years






for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008.

(dedicated to exiles, refugees, and the brave South Africans who struggled against Apartheid tyranny within South Africa)




meeting after 27 years




My mother passed away after a lengthy battle with Motor-Neurone Disease, also called ALS.


This poem is also dedicated to all the brave souls who are courageously battling illnesses and terminal diseases, and to the families and those dearest to them who are taking care of their loved ones.

May we always salute them and their families’ courage in the face of indescribably hard circumstances






I remember the tears she shed,

as she longed for her distant abode,

she wept often then, as she pined for her children, Tasneem & Azad,

and felt the future looked bleak, on that dim, lonely road.



I remember the tears she shed,

when that telegram came one afternoon,

‘regret to inform you stop father passed away stop’,

She wept often after that, for their last goodbye had been said too soon.



I remember the tears she shed,

on that glorious day in a February not that long ago,

when the prisoner finally walked out, breathing the free air,

she wept less after that, for then she knew where they were to go.



I remember the tears she shed,

soaring high above the clouds heading back to her land,

those tears came out in soft sobs, but her eyes were smiling,

defiant and full of new hope, as she held tightly on to his wrinkled hand.



I remember the tears she shed,

some years later, on that peaceful late April morning,

when she stood and proudly bore the ink on her aging thumb,

she wept a lot that April evening, knowing that a new day was dawning.



I also remember that on a Thursday not long ago,

as she was slipping away slowly, she seemed not to weep,

after all the miles and places, and after all the tears that she had cried,

I remember that she wept little then, as she drifted off into an eternal sleep.



(for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008)




my mother and father

meeting comrade Nelson Mandela Johannesburg 2008

my father and comrade Nelson Mandela Johannesburg 1950s

my father with his comrade and friend Nelson Mandela




https://afzalmoolla.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/my-family-a-journey-through-the-years/



with late comrade Winnie Mandela talking about my mum and their friendship

courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

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Old Sof’town*

1.

In old Sof’town,
the jazz struck chords,

the jazz lived, it exploded,
out of the cramped homes,
rolling along the streets,
of old Kofifi,

in tune to countless blazing heartbeats.

In old Sof’town,
Bra’ Hugh breathed music, Sis’ Dolly too,
and Bra’ Wally penned poems that still ring true.

In old Sof’town,
Father Trevor preached
equality and justice,
for all, black and white and brown,

and all shades, every hue,
even as oppression battered the people,
black & blue.

In old Sof’town,
the fires of resistance raged,

‘we will not move’ was the refrain,

even as the fascists tore down Sof’town,
with volleys of leaden rain.

In old Sof’town,
the people were herded,
like cattle,
sent to Meadowlands,
far away and cold and bleak,
as the seeds of resistance,
sprouted and flourished,
for the coming battle.

In old Sof’town,
the bulldozers razed homes,
splitting the flesh of a community apart,
only to raise a monument of shame,
and ‘Triomf’ was its ghastly name.

2.

In Jozi today,
we remember those days,
and those nights of pain,
that stung our souls.
like bleak winter rain.

Yes, we remember old Sof’town,
as we struggle onward,
to reclaim our deepest heritage,
and build anew,
a country of all hues and shades,
of black and of white and of brown.

And yes, we will always remember,

and yes, we will never forget,

the price that was paid,
by the valiant sons and daughters,
of old Sof’town,

those vibrant African shades and hues,

of black,
of white,
of brown.

* Sophiatown was also called ‘Sof’town’ and ‘Kofifi’

         __________

http://www.sahistory.org.za/place/sophiatown

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophiatown

my maternal grandfather

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my maternal grandfather

the struggle continues, respected Bajee ✌👍✊

May the 10th, 1994

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President Nelson Mandela's Inauguration 1994

Madiba lives …

a child of war

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a child of war.

as she lies bleeding,
the girl who skipped, hopped to school,
all of nine and a half years old,
with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was her parent’s pride.

as she lies bleeding,
shrapnel lodged in her torn stomach,
she stares at her skipping rope,
as her blood soaks it the colour of cherries her mummy buys.

as she lies bleeding,
she sees people all around thick black smoke,
blurred visions of scattering feet, shoes left behind,
hearing nothing but the pinging in her smashed eardrums.

as she lies bleeding,
she slips away and then she is dead,
a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl,
whose laugh was her mother’s pride.

as she lies bleeding,
for even in death she bleeds some more,
shrapnel wedged in her torn stomach,
stealing the light from her bright little eyes.

as she lies bleeding …

in jallianwala bagh in ‘19,
leningrad in ‘42,
freetown in ‘98,
soweto in ‘76,
jenin in ‘02,
hanoi in ‘68,
beirut in ‘85,

raqqa now,
basra still,
gaza too.

as she lies bleeding,
a little nine and a half year old girl,
whose laugh was her parent’s pride,
we know she’ll bleed more,

tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn,

with shrapnel in her stomach,
ripped open and torn.

as she lies bleeding.

N O T
          I N
                M Y
                       N A M E …

Bra Hugh ✌👍✊

for more on Hugh Masekela:

http://www.hughmasekela.co.za

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Hugh Masekela - Giant of Jazz

The Valiant Ones

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Published in A&U Magazine, May 2013

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They left so abruptly,
the valiant ones.

Countless,
many known,
many more nameless.

The truest sons and singers,
husbands and poets,
lovers and wives,
daughters and farmers,
workers and sisters,
brothers and friends.

They left so abruptly,
with quiet pride,
a steely courage,

and a gentle dignity.

They left so abruptly,
leaving us our tomorrows,

brighter!
Hopeful!

filled with promise.

They left so abruptly,
so that we may breathe,

the breath of liberty!

The air of freedom!

The warmth of justice!

They left so abruptly,
leaving with us their parting gift …

freedom!
inkululeko!
swatantrata!
liberte!
azadi!
vhudilangi!
libertad!
esteghlal!

They left so abruptly,
yet we remember them all today,

and in the days to come,
their legacy will light our way!

They left so abruptly,
yet they remain!

Hewn into our memory and conscience,
engraved in our heart!

They left so abruptly,
and yet they endure,

with us,
within us,

now and forever more!

immigrant song

are we broken by spoken barbs spewing out of sewers cloaked beneath acceptable garbs while the blades of splintered humanity are sharpened into lethal shards of ‘my country right or wrong’ under the comfortable charade of clinging onto feigned piety dragged along weaving new lies obfuscating what’s right and what’s wrong waving flags like swords wielding swords to behead and to subjugate the many who’ve forever been on the wrong side of the gate shut out of the dream pummelled by untruths of working hard and doing more and shutting up because we need the money the greenback the notes the coins the oil the designer innerwear that barely shrouds the stench of putrid opulence of festering greed of capital and influence and power ripping out each seed by the by wishing a better life for all a hasty goodbye because when love and life and hopes and dreams and aspirations and desires and aches and yearning for something better just a bit better not much not much at all except for some grain for the famished and respite for the numberless banished cast away into the currents of the seas swept along islands of stillness breaking ashore with the waves of happenstance.

so yes
yes

“that’s how i got to be here”, the immigrant says …

hugging hope

years days moments minutes hours months weeks decades,

pockmarked,
weary,

skidding,
clinging onto,
raging roads,

hobbled,
shovelled,
dragged deep,

wrestling demons without,
within,

yet always,
always,

hugging hope,

as night yawns,
and a new day dawns …

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