Tag Archive: transportation

…last night’s rain lashed the city less like a whimper and more like a good solid hearfelt cry

while lightning whipped and cracked through the jo’burg sky

as the rain-gods of africa blessed us with their bounty from way up high

they say the gold beneath our feet attracts the electrical storms that are so fierce

the very tempests that stab my soul and into my fragile heart pierce

for the thunder that rolls and rumbles is loud enough

to proclaim that the hard rains that are gonna fall are going to be biting and rough

and though the streets of jozi empty rather soon

the clouds darken and the smell of humid hope inflames our oflactorial senses as we await the miraculous boon

and then all hell breaks loose and roams the streets of my beloved jo’burg wild and free

and the rawness of it all is a sight to hear and sense and feel and to in awe see

for the rain and the thunder and the lightning is frightening at times

slashing through the ash-hued skies and stripping me of my pitiful rhymes

for the force of nature is then pure and clear to behold

and in silence we stand and watch as the water drenches this crazy beautiful city of gold

a jo’burg shower is a sight to soak in and to absorb and to feel

for it has the primal energy to dazzle and frighten and make each and every one of your senses reel

and so…

I hope it rains again on this overcast and cool saturday

so to the gods of africa I say a silent prayer and say

all praise to you for blessing us with a land and a sky and a people so true

ngiyabonga, kea-leboga, ndo-livhuwa, siyabonga, dankie, thank you

thank you

thank you…


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.


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.

Vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

though eyes aren’t needed to behold

the flowing tears of those of us, left out in the cold


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

the time to turn your back is long gone

no time now to pander and no time now to fawn


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we the people are hungry, angry, and our skin is torn

though we say it loudly, unbowed we are, and not forlorn


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we may be invisible and tucked away far from you

but we are here, still, waiting for the promise of freedom to come true


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

you see us sometimes, though you avert your gaze

come on now, compatriots, awaken from your complacent daze


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we are the open wound that festers on your ostentatious display

band-aids won’t do anymore, we are here, and we are here to stay


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

as you roll down your windows and toss us some coins, look in our eyes

we are your slumbering consciences, we are the famished proof of your lies


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

forget us not as you tuck your pretty children in, and turn off the lights

we too are the children whose mothers, fathers fought for all our peoples’ rights


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

don’t think that we are bitter and livid for no reason or cause

we have been waiting and waiting, for days and a decade, without any pause


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

vula amehlo

mothers and fathers

vula amehlo

brown and white and all shades of this rainbow so bright

we repeat what we said, we are not going to melt away into the night

vula amehlo

one and all

our patience is being tested from day to day, year to year

we have listened to your promises and we now demand that you hear

vula amehlo

open your eyes

and see us, and hear us clearly, and hear us today

band-aids won’t do anymore, we are here, and we are here to stay


vula amehlo

open your eyes


I’ll have none of it.

The glittering vulgarity on crude display,

puffed-up egos wrapped in vacuum-sealed packs,

adorning the sterile aisles of shining malls with their endless racks.




I’ll have none of it.

The broken & battered souls swept up in the tide,

of holidays by the sea and drinks on the ninth hole of the course,

deaf to all cries & whimpers but for the closing bell of the bourse.


I’ll have none of it.

The endless parades of ostentatious pomp and raucous laughter,

deadened spirits aspiring for nothing more than an unquenchable greed,

haughtily trampling the ‘other’ in the crass pursuit of what next desire to feed.


I’ll have none of it.

the wilful silence of the privileged few among the numberless many,

so eloquently articulate and quick-witted in hour upon hour of polite chatter,

yet mute and hushed by sips of Chivas when the raging war outside doesn’t matter.


I’ll have none of it.

None of this nauseating mockery and none of this reeking sham,

I’ll have none of it for I was there once and lapped up the vulgarity of it all,

I’ll have none of it now, though, so you may as well put me up against the wall.

I’ll have none of it now for I was there once and soaked in that intoxicating air,

I’ll have none of it now, though, so if tonight I sleep forever, I’ll be the last one to care.


(For Guru Dutt, 1925 – 1964)

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