Tag Archive: Winnie Mandela

love, finally found

I’ve walked many a mile, alone, desolate, aimless“, I said.

not anymore“, she said with a smile,

we have found each other, even though it may have taken a long while“.

art by Pablo Picasso

100% total schmaltzy mushiness 😁 …

She knows she has my heart in her palm, she knows she is my life’s soothing balm.

She knows she lives deep in my heart, she knows we cannot imagine being apart.

She knows her love is my shining light, she knows she blazes within me bright.

She knows all of this and more, 

she knows neither of us have felt a love so pure …


Nature at Peace …

Settling on a branch, the solitary bird sings of its desolate pain,

the leaves of the tree shielding the bird from the jabbing rain,

the delicate branch straining to bear the weight of the bird,

while all across the savanna, on countless branches, the echoes of plaintive birdsong can be heard …

… offering respite to the weary, rest for the weak, relief to those seeking a momentary escape from the scorching day,

the trees, sharing their bounteous shade, sweep the detritus of the day away …

… all of nature, in harmonious rhythm,

as gentle night embraces the savanna,

soothing all in a pristine feeling of ease,

as all of nature finds succour,

in the safe cocoon of nature’s comforting peace …

you have become my all.

my everything.

your love raging through my veins,

warming me during these desolate nights of piercing, stinging rains.

you are my all.

my eternal flame,

a constant beacon, drawing me ever closer,

sheathed in the glorious sunshine of your love,

a precious gift, bequeathed unto me by the generous heavens above.

you are my all.

my everything.

you are the radiant brilliance of a flowering rose,

your fragrance filling my being, merging as one with my soul,

as our hearts seek each others,

aching to be closer than just close.

your essence is soaked within my every pore,

i have never felt a love like this before.

so allow me to thank you for loving me so completely,

your blazing furnace scorching me,

as i have bathed in the ocean of your pure love,

a love so rare in this cruel time and empty place,

yet i am made whole,

as my hands caress the soft, gentle, beauty of your exquisite face.

you are my all.

you are my life.

you embrace me, as I do you,

shielding each other from the pain, the cold, the strife.

you have picked me up whenever i have stumbled,

as i continue to vow to do,

always lending you a hand,

as the wrinkles on our faces grow deeper, and as the years pall,

i will be by your side,

each time you slip,

and every time you fall … 

Mushy Rhyme

mushy rhyme …

your love reaches high above, as into the heavens it transcends, lending me a hand to climb out of the abyss where my being often descends,

your love is a warmth that in my void inspires, coaxing me gently in those desolate moments when hopelessness transpires,

your love is a lighthouse that through the mist of life shines bright, a constant in the fog of my blindness, always a beacon of hopeful light,

your love dispels the vacuum of every encroaching night, as it wraps me in your cocoon, a shawl warm and tight,

your love sprinkles flourishes of gentle joy, in the numberless times of skewering pain,

tending to my wounded spirit, a calm balm massaging the hurt out from the cold slicing rain,

your love is a breath that reaches inside me, instilling my world with renewed hope,

as the endless hours of reality jab and sting, guiding me through the seasons in which I fear I cannot cope,

your all-encompassing love holds me so very close, as I stagger under the burdens of excruciating, back-breaking weight,

it is your love that finally relieves me, by unburdening the detritus of cruel fate,

your love permeates all around, as I breathe your gentleness through every pore,

filling me with a once unknown bliss, a special tenderness that I have never felt before,

your love sweeps away the agony of losing my sight, my failing eyes driving me to anger, bordering on the insane,

it is your love that leads me to see that in the desert of blindness, there still falls the healing rain that is a balm to my pain,

your love warms me with your whispers of a truthful ethereal peace,

murmuring words of solace that this ache shall also cease,

your love reaches down into the pit of my gloom, extending your ever-comforting hand,

as you lift me up, from the bowels of despair, so that on my feet I may again  stand,

your love rests deep, in the recesses of my injured soul, 

gathering the shattered pieces, making them once again, whole,

your love sates the furnace, this blazing cauldron of passion in which I burn,

filling my restless nights with dreams I once chose to spurn,

your love is a torch, a shining light that leads me back to our shared pathway,

far from the thorns that on the boulevards of diamonds casually lay,

your love is a precious gift, far too special, a truth I shall always endeavour to cherish,

always and forever,

a treasure that stays within me,

an intrinsic part of my life,

without which I shall no doubt perish …

Peace Dove art by Picasso

rhyming love and anti-bigotry scribble …

We lie on a bed, stung by many an intolerant thorn,

our love dismissed with bigoted scorn,

rattling the foundations of every societal norm.

We scaled the hateful walls of divisiveness,

we banished the boundaries of race,

of gender,

of religion and of creed,

we have walked hand in hand, upright and never cowering,

refusing to feed the beast of sectarianism,

of communalism.

We have refused to feed the weeds of hate,

we have ripped out the roots of fear that keep human beings apart,

we may be only two, our love hardly piercing the putrid flesh of discrimination,

or the smiling facade of accepted segregation.

We know our union is strong,

standing firm, however harsh the storms that batter us,

we have cast off the shackles that bind,

for true love like this, is truly far too rare to find.

Our path ahead may be beset with the bile of holier-than-thou judgment,

with the jabs of barbed words callously spoken,

yet our bond, our tethered connection is firm,

we shall not let hate shatter us, our love shall remain unbroken.

We tighten every strand, to keep our love buffered from the choppy oceans of racist fungal minds, who spew misogyny, blinded by their twisted notions,

while we grow ever closer, sharing the years of our love’s emotions.

So we walk tall, hand in hand, always standing firm,

finding solace in the overwhelming humaneness of the vast majority of our shared human race,

taking heart of the tide that must change,

as bigotry gets swept away,

allowing us all to share a common,



prejudice and racist-free world,

as we inch by inch, keep on the fight, to raise the flag of hope,

so we may all bask in its comforting shade,

as it is, at long last,

unfurled …

the beauty in you …

My eyes have travelled across oceans, beyond valleys and peaks, across the vast savannah and swirling in murmuring streams,

my eyes have travelled far and wide in many kaleidoscopic dreams,

my eyes have travelled here and there, and through places in between, yet your beauty remains a constant, skipping off the most radiant sunbeams.

I have felt the touch, the wild deluge of the monsoons, drenching me in its cleansing rain,

I have felt the touch, of moonlight cocooning me, a soothing veneer, that has kept me sane,

I have felt the touch, of your body, your lips, your being a healing presence, your unspoken words a melodic refrain.

You come to me in moments alone, when this world seems empty, a chalice brimming with tears,

you come to me in moments dark, your delicate whispers banishing away all my dreadful fears,

you come to me in moments of splintered thoughts, your wondrous self offering shade from the scorching sun that sears.

The beauty in you lends a lifeline to me, dispelling my mute vacuum, raising me from life’s empty hole,

the beauty in you douses the flames of my self-immolating fire, breathing life into me to once more be whole,

the beauty in you is a sublime truth, a truth of love and of belonging, a truth that has firmly taken root, in my once barren soul.

art by banksy

lost echoes of our love …

In the garbage heap of torn dreams,

long doused embers now cold and dead,

lie festering wounds, choked by dread.

Lost echoes,

whip up raw wounds, tearing at the scabs excruciatingly slow,

flayed by dimmed memories of long ago,

twisted, mangled emotions in our garden where flowers no longer grow.

Lost echoes,

creeping along life’s blade,

skewered sunlight condemned to the bleakness of the shade,

leaving a cowering form, torn apart, and afraid.

Lost echoes,

brewed in a chalice of once sprinkled kisses,

simmering on the furnace of burnt out wishes,

separated by deep crevasses, slipping into today’s yawning fissures.

Lost echoes,

now mere incomprehensible trashed thought,

charred, stuttering, a love reduced to absolute nought,

in life’s bazaar, where love is not love, but a commodity to be haggled over and bought.

Lost echoes,

dimming, dragged down bleak alleyways of curdled hate,

blinded by destiny, all hope lost to the tick-tocking clock of fate,

knowing now that it is all much too late.

Lost echoes,

unfeeling, just numb streaming tears,

burdened by the hopeless detritus, of far away splintered fears,

our shells, this life we carry, into the crowd as engulfing flames sears,

while we stumble,

while we fall through the cracks, as agony chuckles and leers,

at the hopelessness of all these days and months of the passing years …

art by banksy

just talking life  …

walking through the thicket, nettles stinging our hearts,

ever on the lookout for pathways of promise, yet forever treading the beaten track.

the hands of fickle time, jabbing these bodies, our shells to continue on ahead,

passing myriad alleyways of beckoning promise, a different course to chart alone,

though thorns dig deep, we persist, blindly trudging this dreary old way,

study hard, work harder, get married, have kids, buy a house, pay off the mortgage, babysit the grandchildren, develop illnesses, totter unsteadily on walkers, lay bound to our beds,

the well-travelled alleyways so many stumble through – over and over, and over again,

staying on the narrows, not going against the grain, banishing the murmurs, that whisper in our ears, to take a chance, to veer off the road, to stray down a more twisting thicket,

into an unknown realm, of dangers that may litter this course, of the light of hope that may shine in the dark,

oblivious of dragons that may lie in wait, hugging the shawls of comfort zones, soon to tattered by time and fate, to be left in the open, to brace the elements,

the same howling winds of that other well-trodden way, stung by similar twists and tragedies, tripping and falling, finding love perhaps, another one who has chosen to swim the streams alone,

we may lose our footing, sliding down slippery slopes,

but with a raging fire of hope, burning deep inside, knowing this has been our unique journey, far from the well-worn shoes of that other life,

stepping ever onwards one tiny inch at a time,

beholding beauty not even known,

tasting the sweet nectar of something new,

swimming the seas of uncharted waters,

thrashed by deafening winds,

tossed around by slashing waves,

till in the distance, we spot land,

and as the tides wash us ashore, we drift into fatigued sleep,

awakening to the soft chirping of the birds,

surrounded by swaying palm trees,

the hues of nature so vivid, the feelings in our soul so true,

as we feel talcum sands beneath our feet,

hearing the familiar music of life,

the sounds of the living surrounding us,

as we find this new abode teeming with life,

a world of peace we have at last found,

as we disappear into the sunset of a new day,

with the countless others,

who also chose this other way …

she who is free

she who is free …

I would have called out to her, across the the green fields she walked,

her silhouette fading in the distance.

I would have called out to her,

she who walked her own path now,

free from all the weight that caged her will.

I would have called out to her,

yet I remained still. 

what she said

she said that she had seen them all.

the promise-makers, the vow and oath-takers, the silken tongued smooth talkers, the quiet intense brooders.

she asked me if I could love her. truly love her.

I said that I would spend our lives trying.

it’s enough‘, she said.

the years and our love

the years and our love …

years disappear, wisps of time consume moments,

even as tears streak down in the rain,

yet these true emotions remain,

in tune,

our heartbeats in symphonic harmony,

rises forever more,

a crescendo impossible to contain,

for our love like interwoven melodies,


eternally sharing a common refrain …

talkin’ whatever-comes-to-mind bluesy blues

wearing different skins, having being kicked down at the shins,

i walk on, fearless.

when this cruel world stabs me, slicing me with the pain of the thousands cuts,

i walk on, fearless.

hearing all the barbed words, smashing against my core,

i walk on, fearless.

when they tell me that i am a loser, devoid of the trappings of luxury,

i walk on, fearless.

when fate deals me rotten cards, and i feel like i am walking on jagged glass shards,

i walk on, fearless.

if you kick me down into the dirt, i will stand again, despite the hurt,

i walk on, fearless.

even when all seems desolate, and everything feels lost, i will weather the winters, dusting off the frost,

i walk on, fearless.

when this glittering world of plastic smiles savage me, i shall smile knowing i am free,

i walk on, fearless.

whether i am man or woman, i will no longer bear the brunt of your twisted words, and your cowardly fists,

i walk on, fearless.

when you strike me across my face, because the food is cold, i shall no longer be bludgeoned by your impotent macho fist, i shall resist,

i walk on, fearless.

when we stand up and take individual stands, we shall outnumber you, and we shall make our demands,

we shall walk on, fearless.

when we rise up together as one, we shall not rest till our daily battles are won,

we shall walk on, fearless.

when you realise you have no hold over us today, we shall combat your misogyny, we shall have our say,

we shall walk on, fearless.

while your guns and and bombs rain down upon us, our children will defy you, and we shall hold onto what we know to be true,

we shall walk on, fearless.

when the slavery of millennia we shall no longer take, you shall fall to your knees, in your shoes you shall quake,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

when your anachronistic norms of culture, of religion, of tradition we shall fight, we shall do so knowing the battles to be right,

we shall walk on, fearless.

when we no longer scrounge for scraps of your leftover feasts, we shall move forward, for this struggle never retreats,

we shall walk on, fearless.

when we shall no longer sweat it out in your factories of labels and brands, we shall rebuild our lives with our hardened bare hands,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

when your wage-slavery and your greed we shall topple till your very foundations shake, we shall hold the line, for our resolve you will never break,

we shall walk on, fearless.

we shall no longer let our daughters and sons be sent to fight your wars, we shall not spill our bloody to stock your designer stores,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

we shall no longer be trampled because of caste, tribe, religion, or sexual orientation, we shall strive in all our lands, to bring to birth a kinder nation,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

we shall pull off the blinkers so many wear, we shall counter their aggression, if they should dare,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

we shall wrest the control from your greedy paws, we shall attempt to heal the planet, rewriting your stale anti-pollution laws,

we shall walk on, fearless. 

we shall arrive at those crossroads quite soon, so sup as much as you can from your silver and gold spoon,

we shall walk on, fearless.

this is our collective threat and challenge to all of you, whose greed knows no end, we stand upright, we shall not bend,

we shall walk on, fearless.

so be under notice that we are rising, and in rising we shall slay,

the endless wars, the corporate greed, the religious oppression, the imperial plan, the shackles of culture and tradition, the scourge of abuse and misogyny,

so be warned, for yes we are rising to all these demons say,

to shape a new world, a less cruel, and more equitable and just and peaceful day …


The Odour of Excess

Sitting together,
smiling benignly,

sipping coffee,
flaked with 24-carat gold-leaf shavings,

their empty souls,
always on the prowl,

to sate,
the latest cravings.

“sell all your jewellery, and give to the poor”,
revolutionary words, uttered by His son,
Jesus of Nazareth (Peace be upon Him).

Well, we all know what became of him,
when we see God’s Sacrificial Lamb,
stuck up on cross to bleed out and to die.

And today, two-thousand years on,
we are drenched in the rivers,
of the crocodile tears,
that His people on Cable-TV do cry.

It reeks of ostentation,
and of smug conceit,

for their hollow piety stinks,
as they suckle on,

and bite down hard,
on capitalism and greed’s raw teat.

“pay your workers before the sweat on their brow dries”,

so said the Prophet of Islam,

Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in Arabia,

more than fouteen-hundred years ago,

as they dishonour him,
each and every day,

as they sip,

on their designer coffee,
flaked with 24-carat gold-leafed shavings,

masking their crassness,
by screeching their prayers,

five times a day,
and ever so loud.

They stink of money,
and their odour reeks,

wafting across all lands,
lingering on for weeks.

Now some will say,
that I envy them,
and thus I am sore,

but honestly now,
let’s ask a question,

was this what God the Merciful had in mind,

when He sent His Son,
and all His Prophets,

down upon this earth for?

love and silence …

you and i,

shielded by silence.

barred from ourselves at times.

exiled hearts,

building ramparts.

a wall that may fall.

so, my friend,

lay your head on my chest,

letting my fingers run through your hair,

lulling you gently to rest, as we share our silences,

for life is far too short anyway,

to squander even a day.

hope prevails

hope prevails …

In these times,

restless, bleak,

a sliver of hope is all I seek.

These moments in a world,

cruel, mean,

greed, injustice, the abuse of power, slicing people,

mere cogs in a system meaning to forever demean.

Splintered dreams,

strewn across blood-stained roads,

sinking into the ground, clutching at strands of hope wherever they may be found.

These are the days when hopelessness stalks every street,

merging at the junction where apathy and complicity meet,

with so many left out in the chilling cold,

freezing in the nonstop barrage of icy sleet.

I have lost my way as well, stumbling through this futile maze,

ripped apart, bloodied, and in a concussed daze,

yet ever searching for myself in this throttling haze.

I stagger on, treading the thorns that litter my path,

clasping close to my heart,

the faint lamp of hope,

my perennial companion, through this life’s travails,

seeking refuge, dreaming of the winds of fate to bolster my sails,

holding the lamp that shines within,

soothing me, placating me,

even as I sleep on this plank of nails,

I know,

I know,

that just beyond that high hill I must climb,

hope lives,

hope prevails.

what are we if not just human

Beings flailing through the quagmire of life,

embroiled in emptiness so stark,

hoping to find some solace, some peace,

stumbling along in the dark.

What are we if not just human,

grappling the torturous grind,

stabs of reality wounding us each day,

enduring hollow platitudes,

cloaked in the veneer of strength we portray.

What are we if not just human,

filling the void with trappings of convenience,

deluded that it will dull the pain,

buffering us from truths that surround us,

losing ourselves within our selves,

celebrating the meaningless ornaments that we attain.

What are we if not just human,

no more and no less,

praying for a salvation beyond this realm,

buying redemption with lofty intent,

crawling in apathetic inebriation,

always on our knees, our backs forever bent.

What are we if not just human,

trying to make sense of all we feel inside,

while in truth the masks we wear,

shrouds ourselves in cocoons to hide.

What are we if not just human,

clinging to scraps we find here and there,

what are we if not just human,

jarring ourselves to care.

What are we if not just human,

rekindling the humanity that resides in us all,

refusing to look away while those around us slip and fall.

What are we if not just human,

striving for a world less harsh, more true,

what are we if not just human,

never forgetting that we all bleed red,

him, her, us, and me and you.

for Palestine: The tears of Olives …

Trickling down shrapnelled flesh,

tears fall,






In the sun,

lifeless bodies

lie cold as stone,

the tears of olives 


salty sentinels

of memory:





the tears of olives

perennially streak,

etching pathways of dust,

between alleyways of desolation,

hopelessly bleak.

The slaughter continues,

as more dead bodies,



Ode to Gaza

art by banksy

Ode to Gaza …

We seal our mouths,

lips sewn shut, the complicity hushed,

furiously wagging silent tongues shushed,

mute, impotent,

the deafening silence apalls,

while we build more and more walls.

Still we remain mute,


human beings, all,

helplessly desolate,

mowed down each day while our sewn lips remain shushed,

and as the forgotten petals of weeping olives,

are strewn about,

brutally crushed.

art by banksy

art by banksy

Talkin’ Death in Gaza Blues …

So, if you want to really know,

what a mother’s agonised scream sounds like,

take a walk in Gaza today.

she will bear her broken heart,

as she bore the coffin that held her 11 month old child’s body,

as it lay lifelessly broken and torn apart.

The mother screams in anger and in pain,

her howls and shrieks echo on the bloodied plain,

so take a walk in Gaza today,

and feel the rage that a mother nurses,

and bear the brunt of a mother’s curses.

You see, she laid her little baby in the cold, blood-soaked ground,

while you diplomats and peacemakers and politicians were buzzing around,

so stop buzzing,

and take a walk in Gaza today,

and for once,

for once,
listen to what a mother has to say,

“they’ve rained down death on us for years,

they’ve torched our olive groves while you have shut your collective ears,

they’ve killed our children over and over and over again,

and we’ve cried oceans of tears that have disappeared down the drain,

so tell me as I cradle my dead baby in my hand,

who gives a damn?”.

This is what you will hear when you walk in Gaza today.

It is what you have heard for years and years now,

and all I can think as I write these words is ‘how?’,

how could you fail,
you peacemakers and diplomats and politicians,

how could you fail the mothers of Gaza,

over and over and over again,

is it because Gaza’s mothers’ tears are forgotten,

because they simply disappear down the drain.

And how can you not stem that ocean of tears,

cried by countless mothers,
and fathers,

and children whose eyes are blinded by inexpressible pain,

whose days are haunted,

not by phantoms,
but by living fears.

So can you take a walk in Gaza today?

and what possibly could you have to say?

to the numberless mothers who have cried oceans of tears,

again and again and again,

or are Gaza’s mothers’ tears forgotten,

because they simply disappear down the drain.

(for the people of Gaza and the Occupied Territories)

art by banksy

with President Nelson Mandela & my father in early 2008 in Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela Centenary

(1918 – 2018)

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of action forged in the crucible of resistance.

Resistance against racial discrimination.

Resistance against injustice.

Resistance against oppression.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man burnished in the furnace of struggle.

Struggle to defeat the crime against humanity that was Apartheid.

Struggle against the obscene notions of racial superiority.

Struggle against the scourge of hate.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A human being who personified kindness.

A human being who embodied humility.

A human being who exemplified the unity of our human race.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of peace, and a man who fought the just fight.

A man of forgiveness, and a man who battled the Apartheid regime for the need of taking responsibility for the heinous crimes of the past.

A man of truth, and a man of humane love.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he shed his blood as he endured the lashes of the whip on his flesh.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he fought ferociously against the suppression of his fellow human beings.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he emerged with dignity from the hell of twenty-seven years of imprisonment on an island of tyranny.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was a man of a steely will in the long cause to rid all oppressed people from the yoke of colonialism, he picked up arms and fought the honourable fight.

He was a man of fiery resolve against the scourge of divisiveness, he was at the forefront in the battles against human subjugation and indignity.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Madiba was a revolutionary, in the trenches against the obscenity of poverty and deprivation.

Madiba was a soldier, on the ground in the service of the most vulnerable, the children of this world.

Madiba was unshakeable, and he lived the example of the committed revolutionary and the dignified statesman.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Our beloved Madiba does not walk amongst us anymore.

And yet, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela lives within us.

Madiba lives in the streams that flow into the rivers that flow into the oceans.

Madiba lives in the winds that blow across the vast lands of Africa and beyond.

Madiba lives in the thud-thudding of heartbeats around our world.

Madiba lives in the veins where the blood flows through our common human form.

Madiba lives!

Madiba will always live!

Nelson Mandela & my father – mid to late 1950s – early 1960s in Johannesburg

A family history through the seasons:

our love story

our shared shore …


Awaiting the arrival of the lapping tide,

abandoning the shells in which we hide,

free from the corrosive acid of traditions’ coarse lies,

sharing a love true,

our hearts in wondrous synchronicity,

beating to the rhythm of the ebbing waves that fall and rise.


We feel the intricate bond that seals us,

from many a thorn that the future may have in store,

yet today, we are finally free, to cast off the many masks we wore,

free at long last,

to grasp the peace,

the love,
the embrace,

of our shared shore …

talking regurgitated impotent worldwide injustice blues …

… I have been here so many times before, spewing forth words that must be by now a repetitive bore.

Scribbling this and that, having said it all so many times, these tired, paltry, meagre words seem to be just cobbled together into rhymes.

All my belched words appear impotent to me today, scribbled over and over again, reeking of stale garbage, stinking in the rain.

Words and emotions felt deep, gnawing at my being, spat out, to ears unhearing, thrust before eyes unseeing.

So I ask myself why carry on this wordy parade, of simplistic rhymes, of grammar unsound, yet feeling compelled to keep going on this endless merry-go-round.

All my walls shattered, my ramparts battered, yet still I need to throw up these words, hither and thither scattered.

I ask myself how can I stop, when most of humanity is used as a ragged mop, when the few like vampires feast on the human blood they suck, squeezing out sweat from the many who are condemned to bleed in the muck.

I see the good people all around me, burying their heads so they never may see, their selfish religiosity on display for all to ooh and aah, while their own religions’ humanistic tenets they keep afar.

The curse of neo-colonialism, neo-imperialism, and of bonded labour, strangle the many, while the 1% their champagne do savour.

Misogyny, child-abuse, spousal and gender violence, hetero-patriarchy, female genital mutilation, in 2018 upon women everywhere is still what is endured, with all dignity slashed, while platitudes are spoken from pulpits, the sham of indignation hypocritically rehashed.

Governments the world over spending trillions on weapons of death, while pleading poverty when it comes to free, dignified, professional health.

The 99% still slaves to the tyranny of shameful wages, the same conditions that have tortured their ancestors through the ages.

Words of struggle and of principled defiance, words like ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘justice’, ‘equality’, have been cynically pilfered, by those in the corridors of business and of political power, while choking grimy dust across the planet does continually shower.

My mother is still paid so much less, than the very men who conjured up this economic mess, and if she demands higher wages she is castigated for the thoughts, while the business tycoons, the government men blather on about their newly-acquired luxury yachts.

The struggles of Nelson Mandela and of Martin Luther King, are neatly repackaged gutting out their sting, remodelled to be acceptable, while burying the essence of their revolutionary call, the demand for free education, health, housing, dignity, justice and work for all.

We wear these icons of resistance on t-shirts made in sweatshops in Bangladesh, the ultimate betrayal of their sacrifice, of the humane values they espoused, while the fires of resistance are with brutal, apathetic drivel doused.

This planet, our common earth, is being pummelled each day, nature itself is for profit ravaged, caring not that we shall leave behind an earth that has been for greed savaged.

When by the most powerful, ugly male egotistical, macho posturing is bleated out, beating the drums and threatening endless for-profit wars, the rest of us are petrified, for the mighty have long reaching claws.

Racist notions of supremacy are bandied about without a murmur of indignation, the evils of casteism, religious fanaticism, tribal and narrow sectarianism, grotesque nationalism, gay bashing, and misogynist sewage is poured with glee, and still we turn our collective heads, pretending we can’t see.

When speaking truth to power is deemed a capital crime, how impotent I feel scribbling yet another listless rhyme.

When societies are structured to create a craving for the materialistic trappings of capitalism, how easily tainted into swear words are the values of socialism.

What is demanded are not mansions of ostentatious gaudy gold, each replete with a marbled hall, but water, food, electricity, dignified work, health, education, housing, and peace and dignity for all.

They truly want us divided, on religious, caste, racial, narrow nationalistic, sexual orientation, male-female, and all the other lies, while all the while the hungry child for just some food cries.

They know if we break out of our narrow cocoons, they shall have to face the wrath of a united world, a world become one, for then none of their machinations shall suppress us, and only then shall our truest battles be hard won.

I may be a hypocrite for scribbling these rhymes, but then so are you for not hearing the bell tolling for a radical changing of the times.

How long will it take for us to rise, to dissent, to question everything that has been to us said, from the economy to religion to race, class, and to gender too, what will it take me to see what is right in front of me, and for you to see what is right in front of you.

When shall we cast off these shackles that imprison us, the shackles of apathy and of looking the other way, not realising that together we can and should and must strive for a better day, not perhaps to rid us of all suffering and all pain, all oppression, and perhaps not in one fell swoop, but at least taking our first steps towards progressive progression.

These scribbled, worthless words, seem nothing but an empty vessel drummed on and on each day,

but from the heart I do write,

about what I believe to be wrong,

and what I believe to be right.

Yet still the talons of grotesque for-profit dig deep,

buy one and get two for freemium today,

and all this under the benevolent gaze of Mandela and MLK,

Biko and Tambo and Sisulu,

Lumumba and Hani and Ché …

a taste of you

tasting you, breathing you,

feeling you,

                    exquisite bittersweet touches,

undulating, swaying in the johannesburg breeze,


  just knowing you,

       infuses emotions of mirth,

of simple joys,

                         of peace.

Freedom Day 27th April 2018

Freedom Day 27th April 2018 …

The shackles have been cast off.

The chains broken.

A people once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.

Free at last!

Freedom came on the 27th day in that April of 1994.

Freedom from prejudice.

From institutionalized racism.

From being relegated to second-class citizens.

Freedom came and we danced.

We cried.

We ululated as we elected

our revered Mandela.

President Nelson Mandela.

Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.

Black and white and brown and those in-between.

All hues of this rainbow nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.

Today we pause.

We remember.

We salute.

The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

24 years ago.

Today we dance.

We sing.

We ululate.

We cry.

Tears of joy and tears of loss.

Of remembrance and of forgiveness.

Of reconciliation and of memories.

Today we pause.

We acknowledge the tasks ahead.

The hungry.

The naked.

The destitute.

Today we reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.

From want.

From hunger.

From eyes without promise.

Today we also wish to reflect.

On unfulfilled promises.

On the proliferation of greed.

On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.

Today we say:

We will take back the dream.

We will renew the promise.

We will not turn away.

Today we pledge:

To stand firm.

To keep the pressure turned on.

To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people need to savor the fruits of the tree of freedom*.

And till that time,

when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.

And we shall continue,

to struggle.

And to sing out loud,

“We shall overcome”


take a stroll with me

come take a stroll with me, to our piece of heaven,

the bylanes of our childhood, the alleyways of our youth,

come take a stroll with me, to our abode of peace,

a gurgling brook trickling down distant mountains,

the roar of the oceans lappin our feet,

come take a stroll with me, down blinding highways of lost smiles,

across empty deserts, traversing far too many miles.

come with me, and I will stand by you,

come along with me,

where we may be,


free to be

a love enough

a love enough …

She threw her arms around me, hugging me close.

“Why do you love me?“, I asked her.

“Our love is unfettered. uncaged.”, she said.

“I have nothing to offer you.”, I said, my eyes drowning in hers.

“Your love is true.”, she said.

“That is enough”.

“And it will always be”.

love unrhymed

Kiss by the Hotel de Ville, 1950 by Robert Doisneau

love unrhymed …

you have sown the seeds, of an exquisite garden – in a tucked away part of my heart – where wild roses bloom, their fragrance infusing my entire being.

you have begun to flow through the synapses, the dendrites, the neural network of my mind – electrifying me beyond measure – a fusion of love sublime.

you rest within my all – my soul finding a soulmate – and as our fingers touched, a fire was lit, consuming my days and my desolate nights.

you have breathed life into me, your presence a whispering stream – the cool waters offering respite from this worlds heat – as thoughts of you swim through my veins.

yes, you have breathed life into me.

is there anything more that I can say?

pure romantic mush

Pure romantic mush …

My love for you knows no bounds, it rises high in our shared sky, soaring above the mountains, mingling in the streams,

my love for you lives in the air that I breathe, in the beating of my heart, in the flourishes of my sketched dreams.

My love for you is a flaming torch, a light guiding me through the crevasses of daily life, a lighthouse inviting me when I get lost in the fog,

a beacon of hope eternal, a constant feeling of bliss, afloat on the clouds, reaching down to lift me up, when I get mired in my desolate bog.

My love for you races through my veins, the furnace of desire scalding my lonely nights, in moments when for a kiss I desperately ache,

having tasted the nectar of your lips, our tongues swirling in a passionate dance, your fragrance infusing every breath that I take.

My love for you is honest and true, not a mere passing phase, not a temporary trance, but all-enveloping and felt deep,

healing my wounds, encompassing us both in the coolness of the shade, through the years, as time nudges us forward, while the shadows of age in the distance creep.

My love for you is difficult to express, it is a sprinkling of the truest emotions, laid bare for the world to see, my yearning heart in the cauldron of your love, exquisitely simmering,

a continuum of passion, surpassing the years in between, firmly rooted in my soul, as our wrinkled hands remain clasped, beneath the stars that have never stopped shimmering.

Our love has faced many a test of time, though we have walked together, the fragility of this life never taken for granted, and as we look back on this bond that has knotted us together,

as the twilight beckons us, we walk towards the horizon, as we have always done, holding each other close, through the rains, the storms, the sunshine, through it all, however harsh lifes’ weather.

Cricket, The Beatles, and You …

I remember those scorching summer days, on the bus home from school,

as exhausted as I was, when I walked past you, I tried to look so cool.

You sat on the steps to your block of flats, engrossed in your book,

hardly noticing me at all, while my heart thud-thudded and my legs like jelly shook.

I remember every night as I lay in bed awaiting sleep,

you swirled in my mind, your silence a well which was so unfathomable, so very deep.

The sweaty days of summer didn’t deter us at all, flinging our school bags and racing to the park,

cricket bat in hand and thoughts of you reading you book, simmering within me, an undousable spark.

The friends were always waiting, setting up the cricket field, stumps in the ground,

while I took my position as fielder on the boundary, to keep stealing glances at you as the park erupted into cricket’s familiar sound,

the crack of leather on bat, the ball racing for a four,

always trying to loft a six, for the ball to come to a rest at the steps of your door.

My friend loved your cousin across the street, and I loved you dearly as teenagers do, so we hatched plans to speak, him to your cousin, and I to you.

After the cricket and when most friends drifted away, my best friend and I sat underneath our tree,

strategically chosen so that he may catch a glimpse of your cousin, and I of thee.

We sang Beatles’ songs until we were hoarse,

belting out ‘All my Loving’ repeatedly of course.

My friend and I sat under that tree for years, our love an unrequited ache,

as we whistled ‘Careless Whispers’ meant just for your sake.

We often day dreamed of futures of love and joy,

while the hearts in our chests thud-thudded on, the simple love of a besotted boy.

Well the years passed as they always do,

I still managed to never say a word to you,

my friend as well remained silent as a church mouse,

as time took its toll, and as we drifted away to other cities, moving so many a house.

We often reminisce about those carefree days, when life was so much more innocent, when cricket and you consumed my world,

while through the years the ravages of time have dimmed that spirit, as the reality of true life before us unfurled.

So it was a thrilling moment for my friend and I, as we arranged to meet,

all grown up now, but back in the old neighbourhood, the first to arrive would sit under our tree on our old street.

We met at last, our bellies a bit heavier now, our hair greying with age,

as we sat down beneath our tree, just the two of us, back on our centre stage.

We sang old Beatles’ songs and we whistled ‘Careless Whispers’, thinking about all that could have been,

of how life tamed our wild hearts, of how nothing resembled the nostalgic shades through which we had those olden days seen.

We talked and laughed as evening crawled by, our hearts heavy with emotions of days gone by,

even as we bid our farewells, and promised to keep in touch, we hugged as felt time fly.

Yet as I walked passed those steps where you used to decades ago sit, engrossed in your book,

I must admit, my heart thud-thudded, and my feet like jelly, once again, shook.

art by banksy

talkin’ humanity on the rocks blues …

I’ll have my blue label whiskey neat, while the 99% search for tossed-out leftovers to eat,

I’ll shuck my oysters while all around me people dig for scraps in the much,

I’ll wear my crocodile skin shoes, while to everyone I bemoan the stock-market blues,

draped in haute-couture, I walk in suits of fine silk, while on capitalisms’ teat I suckle and milk,

my friends and I on golf courses close many a business deal, and just like woody said – we cackle as with our gold-tipped fountain pens we pillage and steal,

I’ve flooded markets with stuff made in sweatshops where teenage girls are shackled, while against more market control I have consistently prattled,

my home is a palatial mansion, and just one of the many that I possess, while billions barely live in slums that don’t even have an address,

I smirk and smoothly do the television rounds, hailing deregulation, while maneuvering for neo-liberalism to run rampant, without any bounds,

I bribe the vulnerable, and do so around the clock, to further my interests, while I wear the mask of mock-shock,

I walk and I talk with conceit, my arrogance far too gone to be shed, as I lay conformably with the governments and corporations with whom I share a bed,

and I know that my image is all important for the markets not to stutter and never to shake, so I make grandiose pronouncements of the charity I give, though always carving out a healthy chunk for a beneficial tax-break,

yes this is me, the capitalist who sees only profit for profits’ sake, my eyes never wavering from the ticker of shares, bonds, and stocks,

while I, and all of my ilk bash humanity in all its forms, harshly and cruelly, in perpetuity, against the jagged rocks …

e m o t i o n s

the sum of all emotions …

feelings fade, vanishing into the wisps of departing time,

lost in the echoes of paltry scribbled rhyme,

their embers simmering, emotions like ash, into the skies gently climb,

whispers murmuring, hushed into silence – a tragic pantomime,

while I claw and crawl, seeking a glimpse, of your beauty sublime.

Alas, ’twas not to be,

I pushed you away, far beyond what my eyes could see,

yet I smiled, tasting my salty tears, as I witnessed thee,

flying away from the pain, into the bluest skies,

to be yourself at last,

always true,

forever free


On Sale: Beauty

On Sale: Beauty

You have told me that you are not beautiful, that you are overweight, that you possess no allure,

still with your head on my chest, and my fingers stroking your hair, you possess the most exquisite beauty, sensuous, desirable, and pure.

There are many women in this world, as there are men, whom society deems beautiful and handsome, the magazines and advertisements sell us an illusion, to believe that that is the norm,

yet you are my most lovely, for I love all of you, your body, mind, heart and soul, for what do they know of true love, as they remain shackled to a singular form.

I have told you that I am overweight, not presenting the most breathtaking sight, and with your head on my chest, and your fingers clasped with mine,

you have told me that I am your lovely, beyond what society projects as being captivating, the temporary gloss, the photoshopped shine.

We share a life of beauty, ablaze in the furnace of yearning hunger, inflamed in the cauldron of burning need,

we shall never allow them to sell us their plastic smiles, their superficial veneer of of commercialised beauty, on which they expect us all to slavishly feed.

We have each other, beautiful, wondrous and enveloped in true love’s blissful joy, and try as they might, they will never sell us that facade, that cellophane illusion,

their monthly “brand new skin-care revolution”,

for we are bound by the truest love that transcends their glossy untruths, and we refuse to buy into their charade, their superficial delusion.

art by banksy

This life and our Love

Art by Picasso

This life and our Love …

I have walked these broken streets, across pavements off shattered glass,

where once roamed love, unfettered, free,

soaring into the infinite starlit night, plunging into the deepest leagues of the sea.

I have walked these thorny paths, my feet bruised and torn,

ever searching for simple love, to live within me,

to walk the beaches of my dreams, to rest, to tenderly be.

I have whispered odes to phantom love, breathing murmurs in the hope of belonging,

dancing a tango with the swaying of the willows, waltzing in the afternoon breeze,

to be with my love, under the gently sashaying trees.

I have whispered scribbles, sketched on your bare back,

feeling your soft skin as my fingers swirl and tease,

surrendering to you, as I choose to remain, before you, on my knees.

You have settled in my soul, an eternal part of who I am,

through your pristine eyes, you have bequeathed unto me the gift of seeing,

my love for you, now rests, in the innermost recesses of my being.

You have settled, in the crevasses that once pockmarked my battered life,

your love has unshackled my deepest emotions, your presence has been truly freeing,

you have washed ashore, cleansing my world, banishing the shadows as they scurry away, fleeing.

The world that surrounds us, is but a fickle illusion,

where vows are taken, oaths sputtered, in sickness and in health, to love and to hold forever more,

while behind the facade, more lies abound, hearts trampled underfoot, swept away off the sanitised floor.

Ah! but your love and mine is nothing like that, we have nothing much but love to give, nothing to hold onto except one another,

it is our bond, nurtured intricately, deeply forged over these long years, that has been the glue that has held us together over the years, the decades, and the ravages of time,

all the while you have patiently tolerated my quirks, and hand in hand we this mountain of love have continued to climb,

for what we share with each other, is a love genuine and true, and ever so sublime,

reaching far beyond my scribbled verses, never falling for the all-too inviting pantomime,

yet overcoming so much, so very much of my paltry rhyme.

Art by Picasso

The Female and Male Dynamic

The Female and Male Dynamic …

As I lay, catatonic, on the cold concrete ground,

you picked me up when I was the most fragile, with whispers of your voice the only sound.

You soothed my wounds, you stemmed the blood,

you lifted me up, holding me as I lay mired in life’s mud.

My days had been pockmarked with episodes of emptiness and gloom,

it was you who lifted the blinding shroud, bathing me in the sunlight, dispelling the encroaching doom.

You pulled me, yanked me back from the yawning abyss,

you took me into your life, filling my days and nights with peace and bliss.

Then, as so many men do, I took you and your love for granted, squashing the roses you had so lovingly planted.

You stayed with me through my indifference, quietly nursing your pain, while my memory was ghastly, as I conveniently ignored that it was you, who helped me up to my feet again, assisting me to regain my youth,

I chipped at your love, chiselling away a lack of empathy and of truth, my behaviour like so many of my gender, ungrateful and uncouth.

You stuck it out for as long as you could, you still had hope that in time I would, be the man you dug out of the mire with your own bare hands,

yet my conceit, my ever inflating arrogance, my ‘male ego’ was all that remained of that man you loved, without even traces of our love, slipping through my fingers like apathetic strands.

Though my callous actions were personal and without an inch of gratitude,

it is common amongst my gender, to be this selfish, so puffed-up on machismo, so lost in our male superficial impotent attitude.

I know now that my actions were distasteful, to say the least, and I cannot take the tears as they flow.

I shall not even try to beg apologies, for they are hollow, and as worthless as male contrition go.

Is this how the male of the species behaves, when love takes him in and offers solace immeasurable,

when he once again stands on his feet, and his macho ego is healed and back to its ugly self, why does he willfully blind himself to become merely bearable.

I have failed as a man, as a human being, to so many pure souls who have been my safe haven, who have offered me their love,

their kindest love in times when I needed it most, they showered me with tender care like the soft rains above.

What else can I say as a man, the misogynist, the sexist, the predator, the absentee father, the abusive husband, the child molester, the man who is fuelled by nothing more than the lust for power,

the man who twists words, gaslights, and always, always, takes pleasure when all others in front of him cower.

for Chris Hani 

Comrade Chris Hani

(28 June 1942 – assassinated 10 April 1993)

Mowed down

by hot lead,

your blood flowed

into our African soil.
Murdered you, yes, they did.
Silence you, they never will,

for your voice,

your spirit,

speaks to us still!


art by Banksy

Not quite a Refugee …

In all my life, I have waited, searched, stealing glances behind every closed door,

peering into teacups, my feeble attempts at divining what tomorrow may have in store.

In all my life, I have kissed the soft lips of joy, murmuring words of love, always trying to find a soul,

a soul perhaps far, far away, or around the corner, looking for that one who would make me whole.

I have found love, here and there, deep and true, as I have faced the gale, a hurricane that never ends, always on the lookout, for the poisoned arrows that fate sends.

I have found desolation, tossing me about, lost in the crowd, never fitting in, never wanting to fit in, to finally flee this city’s cacophonous din.

I have found pain, slicing me into bits , the offensive comment here, the hateful look there, the laughter of them all that echoes in my heart, barren and bare.

I have found anger, within myself, at my being the way I am, having to cross oceans, to walk amongst people who do not give a damn.

I am lost, an exile amongst my own people, where you either join the fake charade, or get dumped broken and bruised, trampled by the hollow parade.

I am lost, a refugee who will never be a part of the pack, for I know they will always snigger at me, behind my bent back.

What do they know of loss and of pain, what do they know of packing up a few belongings, fleeing cities, over and over and over again.

What do they think when they see me, a party trick who does the rounds, breaking little by little inside, while all around me their laughter abounds.

Where can I flee, where is my place of peace, while the jabs and the snide quips never cease.

Where is that promise of home that once burned bright, while now I am in the dark, bereft of hope and blinded without light.

How do I pick up these pieces, scattered fragments of my being, strewn across the world where I have always lost, a part of me staying behind, at an immeasurable cost.

How will I ever shed this skin of the clown, this fakeness I have wrapped around me, how will I ever be me, ridding myself of this plastic smile, to just be free.

This world, these places, offer me no hope at all, for they have thrashed me to the ground to mercilessly crawl.

This world, these crocodile smiles, these clinking champagne flutes, can never compare to the dung-caked soles of my roots.

This place, and countless others through which I have roamed, are razors which dealt death to me by a thousand and one cuts, where you must conform, without any ifs, and certainly without any buts.

I find my solace in my scribbles, in my blood dripping on each page, where I pour out my pain, my loss, my deadened spirit, my brimming rage.

I find solace in the moments when the rain washes these avenues, a rushing past of detritus in a cleansing stream,

I find solace walking through the icy rain, in my eternal quest to not reek of foreignness, for just a moment or two, to be pure and clean,

I find solace, fleeting at best, to moult this skin, of every pain felt,

and of every horror seen.

dove of peace by Picasso

Monday schmaltzy Mush

Monday schmaltzy Mush …

My desire for you, roars,

caressing the shores,

a desire fuelled by your completeness, as I behold you smashing boulders,

yet kissing the soft talcum beach of my dreams, while your head rests gently on my shoulders.

My desire for you simmers, as lovely hope glimmers,

your flame keeping my body ablaze with a hungering need,

an unquenchable thirst, an insatiable greed,

for ’tis you, your body, your soul, your fiery flesh,

on which my aching for you does feed.

You are a woman, a being of flesh and of blood, with sensuous allure drowning me in your desirous flood,

you have all of me soaked in your love,

as I gaze at you, your wings unclipped, your love reaching high as a sublime dove.

Banishing yesteryears emptiness with a lightness so rare,

your beautiful head and your succulent hair,

which my fingers stroke with tender care.

In this world of loneliness,

you are my perennial loveliness,

mending my broken dreams and shattered heart,

our humble hope is of never being apart.

We wish to be released from these hollow shells of false facade, of the vacuum of the empty charade,

but you and I, we love, we feel, we touch each other in the truest ways,

soul to soul, our togetherness along with the palm sways,

away from this deadening parade,

seeking only shelter in each others shade,

for though separated by distance we may be,

our love flies, no longer shackled on bended knee.

I love you deeply, I want you so much,

my body burns, my thoughts steamy with images of you, my skin yearning for your touch,

two bodies, intertwined, in unison, two hearts made one, two souls made whole,

and for that bond to strengthen,

I shall gladly walk,

on red-hot blazing coal


Away …

I want to take you away, from this place of splintered dreams,

of desires left out in the rain to rust,

far away where we are alone,

away from this place that turns hearts to stone.

I want to take you away, far from the tears and the pain,

to our secret abode of pristine love,

where we shall rest together, on our silken beach,

under the warm sun shining above.

I want to take you away, from these city streets, from this suburban stasis,

to a place where all around us there are peaceful trees, with a murmuring stream flowing along,

to our place of peace, to our dream soaked island,

where we really belong.

I want to take you away, from the cacophonous crowd, the hollow parties, the painted on smiles,

far far away from this straightjacket of society, and far far away from its hypocritical norms,

where there runs a vulgar undercurrent just beneath the veneer,

and where souls are driven not by love, but by debilitating fear.

I want us, you and I, to flee to our secluded garden of paradise,

for as your head rests on my chest at this moment in time,

we shall leave all of this behind,

as long as we are together, now,

together to simply be,

we are without fetters,

we are blissfully free,

so I may love you,
and you may love me …

a sunday wish for you …

may your day be as gentle

as your soft smile, warm as your heart,

may your afternoon be caressed by kisses of sunshine,

may evening wrap you in a cocooned eiderdown,

may your night be peacefully restful,

warm and dreamy,

simple, and true,

as are you

Our mother in the background on the left with Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s protesting the arrest of political prisoners

President Nelson Mandela’s letter of condolence to our father when our mother passed away after a lengthy and painful battle with Motor-neurone disease  (ALS) on 3rd April 2008

My elder sister Tasneem Nobandla Moolla’s Tribute to our Mother.

note: our father, Mosie Moolla and future President Nelson Mandela were both comrades in the struggle against Apartheid as well as friends. Comrade Nelson Mandela was to be our father’s best-man at the wedding of our parents, but Comrade Mandela was in jail on a separate charge.

The were, however, in jail together in 1962 when news came that our mother had given birth to my eldest sister.

Our father asked his comrade Nelson Mandela to give my sister a name which he promptly did – ‘Nobandla’, an isiXhosa name which means “she who is of the masses”.

Our mother who was arrested in May 1963, when my sister was just 7 months old

The following is my sister’s memories and tribute to our mother as the old painful memories are revisiting us all as we are in mourning for the mother of our nation, Comrade Winnie Mandela.

April 3rd marked 10 years since my beautiful mum Zubeida Moolla passed on.

She spent 27 years in exile with my dad Mosie Moolla, who was a combatant in the armed-wing of the AfricanNational Congress  (ANC) and who escaped from the Marshall Square jail in central Johannesburg along with 3 other comrades. There was a bounty of £2000 on our father and his 3 fellow-escapees. Our father and the three conrades were spirited out of South Africa where our father joined the armed-wing of the ANC and who for 27 years spent time in exile with our mother, while representation the ANC as it’s Chief-Representative in India, Egypt, and as ANC Secretary to the World Peace Council  (WPC) in Helsinki, Finland.

Those were extremely difficult days for her as she had to leave her family and myself and my brother Azad, to continue the fight for the liberation of our people, by galvanising international efforts in the isolation and international struggle against Apartheid by raising awareness about the evils of Apartheid in the broader international community.

Our mother Zubeida Moolla delivering a speech at an anti-Apartheid meeting whilst in exile in India

She sacrificed all those years mostly alone in strange countries but her resolve never wavered and she stood firm and brave until we won our freedom.

Both my parents were close comrades of Ma Winnie and Tata Madiba.

She welcomed Madiba and Ma Winnie when they visited Sweden and it was a great reunion for them, after 27 years of separation.

My mum was a fighter till the bitter end when Motor Neurone disease (ALS) took her away from us too soon.

She made many sacrifices for our cause, she was jailed and tortured while 10 months pregnant with my brother Azad, while alson being threatened by the then Apartheid police to be thrown off “John Vorster Sqaure” (Apartheid police headquarters in central Johannesburg) after my father’s escape, but she still stood tall and never betrayed her beloved ANC.

The flag of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa

To all those who paid the ultimate price for freedom I salute you!

Hamba Kahle Ma Winnie!

Your struggle and fight will always remain in our hearts.

I am proud to share a name with you “NOBANDLA”.

This name was given to me by the late great Tata Madiba Nelson Mandela, and means “she who is of the masses”.

Long live the struggle against racism and injustice and oppression and misogyny anywhere in the world!

The Struggle Continues! 

Viva ANC Viva!

Viva the memories of our giants – Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Nana Sita, Yusuf Dadoo, Chief Albert Luthuli, Braam Fischer, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Elias Motsoaledi, Denis Goldberg, Raymond Mhlaba and the many countless South Africans who made the ultimate sacrifice for a free and democratic nation.

Matla ke a Rona – Victory is certain ✊

Umkhonto-We-Sizwe – The Spear of the Nation: The armed-wing of the African National Congress (ANC) during the struggle against Apartheid racial discrimination and oppression

the Emblem of Umkhonto-We-Sizwe, the armed-wing of the African National Congress (ANC) during the struggle against Apartheid brutality and racism, in the pursuit of freedom and democracy.

revolutionary poster at the height of Apartheid in South Africa


Hoping …

There are times when I find myself in the abyss of lonesome despair,

when all seems empty, when I feel like a husk of a man, when I no longer care.

When the walls close in, around me and around my heart,

when I feel desolate, always separate, and of nothing ever a sliver of a part.

These moments do pass, as all moments must, and yet the void takes far too much time to fill,

an oil tanker spewing poison, a empty cup of tea impossible to refill.

When emotions are dulled, and the purpose of life is mulled, in a haze of self-pity,

when I am sliced and diced by this festering city.

When nothing seems to matter anymore,

when I fall into the cravasess, shredding me to my very core.

These intensely personal feelings are not easy to share,

yet the solace I find in my scribbles, makes the vacuum a bit easier to bear.

So I scribble away, never seeking sympathy, pity, nor friendly hugs or words of solace, however well-meaning they are all,

for I know I shall have to be the one to pick myself up when on this road I fall.

And as I strain my eyes and in the distance a dim light beckons me,

I crawl towards it, my sight blurry, but knowing it is the flame of hope that I see.

My path ahead is littered with thorns, jagged stones and the seemingly impossible obstacles I have to pass,

yet I continue on, towards the light, on my knees bruised, bleeding, cut raw by stinging sharp glass.

I finally stand up, my legs numb, while I drag my wounded form towards the now bright flame of hope,

reaching out to me as I reach out to it, the arduous journey having been a slippery slow slope.

Finally I reach the soft grasses of all-enveloping peace,

breaking free from the shackles, exhausted, though joyous as from the straightjacket I finally find release.

I stand up, no longer scrambling on my knees, seeking respite in the soothing coolness of nature’s breeze,

to feel whole again, under the canopy of the generous, green trees.

A Tribute to Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.

(Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (10 July 1956 – 6 April 1979) was a South African operative of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He was convicted of murder by the brutal Apartheid regime. He was executed by hanging in 1979) …

You were the tip of the spear, the pointed tip of Umkhonto-we-Sizwe,

“The Spear of the Nation”.

You held true to your principles,

your values in your struggle against Apartheid racial discrimination and savagery.

The state feared you, and so many like you.

They feared the blazing tip of the spear that would fracture their arrogant, hollow ideology.

You, Comrade Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, were 23 years of age,

yet decades ahead, a beacon to the indomitable spirit of the revolutionary that you were.

The grotesque Apartheid regime executed you, at 23 years of age.

They could not silence your final words –

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.

Tell my people that I love them.

They must continue the fight”.

Your paid the ultimate price.

You made the ultimate sacrifice,

so that we who breathe the air of freedom may today and always salute you,

a true martyr to the cause of humanity and dignity and free from the shackles of racism and racial supremacy.

You were a beacon of resistance.

You remain a shining light that shall forever guide us even in the deepest night.

They executed you,

yet they could not,

they cannot,

they will never quell the fire of revolution.

The fire that you held in your heart,

the fire that shall always shine true.

Hamba Kahle*, Comrade!

Amandla! ngAwethu*

Matla ke a Rona!*

The struggles continue!



* – “Hamba Kahle” is an isiZulu and isiXhosa saying that means “farewell”, and was rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid, when it was put to song and sung at funerals of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom, justice, equality, democracy, and dignity for all.

* – “Amandla Awethu” means power to the people, and was also a rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid.

* – “Matla ke a Rona”  was a revolutionary slogan that means “Victory is Certain”





Apartheid-era Gallows (now a museum as the death penalty has been abolished in South Africa)

my tribute to Comrade Winnie Mandela published



Hamba Kahle* Mama Winnie Mandela!

We will not give up your fight!

Matla ke a Rona!**

The Struggle Continues.

Viva the undying spirit of Winnie Mandela!

Viva the struggle against racism and oppression!


* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.

* – Matla ke a Rona – victory is certain – a slogan during the struggle against Apartheid oppression and racial discrimination.

with comrade Winnie Mandela, with whom my mother worked with for a while in the 1950s. My mother always regarded Mama Winnie Mandela as a comrade.

Hamba Kahle* Mama Winnie Mandela!

We will not give up your fight!

Matla ke a Rona!**

The Struggle Continues.

Viva the undying spirit of Winnie Mandela!

Viva the struggle against racism and oppression!


* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.

* – Matla ke a Rona – victory is certain – a slogan during the struggle against Apartheid oppression and racial discrimination.

Comrade Nelson Mandela was a friend and comrade of my father, both of whom were fellow-accused among the 156 comrades in the infamous “Treason Trial” from 1956 to 1961 and who spent time in jail together. Comrade Mandela named my sister “Nobandla” – an isiXhosa name meaning “she who is of the people”. Comrade President Nelson Mandela was to be my father’s Best-Man at my parent’s wedding, but was unable to attend because he had been arrested and was in prison on another charge

Comrade Nelson Mandela and my father sometime in the 1950s.

President Nelson Mandela and my father in post-Apartheid South Africa

with President Nelson Mandela in Sweden 1990

with comrade Winnie Mandela, who worked together with my mother for a while in the 1950s and whose husband comrade Nelson Mandela was a friend and comrade of my father both of whom were fellow-accused in the infamous “Treason Trial” from 1956 to 1961 and who spent time in jail together and who named my sister “Nobandla” – an isiXhosa name meaning “she who is of the people”.

For Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela 

(1936 – 2018).

Today we grieve,

The mother of the nation has breathed her last,

today we reflect on her gallant past.

Today we mourn,

the falling of a giant tree,

who rattled the foundations of Apartheid,

in the collective struggle to be from oppression free.

Today we weep,

tears of sorrow and tears of pain,

for our mother who shall no longer walk amongst us again.

Today we sing,

songs of freedom and of profound loss,

as we remember the cruel and brutal obstacles she had to cross.

Today we reflect,

on the years of banishment and of solitary confinement she was made to suffer,

with no husband, no family, nothing but her will acting as her protective buffer.

Today we recall her strength,

as she fought alongside her comrades without a pause,

while remaining ever faithfully dedicated to the valiant struggle, to the cause.

Today we console each other as the truth cuts deep,

her life one of loss and of unimaginable pain,

as we call out our eternal refrain –

Hamba Kahle* Mama Winnie Mandela!

We will not give up your fight!

Matla ke a Rona!**

The Struggle Continues.

Viva the undying spirit of Winnie Mandela!

Viva the struggle against racism and oppression!


* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.

* – Matla ke a Rona – victory is certain – a slogan during the struggle against Apartheid oppression and racial discrimination.

2008 – President Nelson Mandela with my father and I

walking through the crowd …

not lonely

traversing oceans
skipping mountains

tugged by beckoning smiles

absorbed along
endless miles

seeking strands of hope
loosely strung

untying the noose
where desolation once hung

scribbling verses unfathomably obtuse

discarding meter and rhyme

chasing ever-fleeing time

my moulting skin
is all that i have to lose

while still
walking through the crowd

not lonely

an outsider

seeking peace

ever hopeful
of gentler days

healing may begin

soothing the soul

casting off leaden  weight

of so much that has in tne past,


The African Rains …

The African Rains …

the rains settle,
meandering over jagged faultlines of our memory.

the rains settle,
streaming through veins,

the thud-thudding of the heartbeat of Africa.

the rains that settle,
within each of us,

herald rebirth.

if you listen,

if you strain to hear,
while shedding the raucous noise of your inner turmoil.

If you listen,

the whispers of the ancestors,

speak to us all,
lending us warmth,
urging us to stand,

even though we may

even though we may fall.

a shared mosaic

a shared mosaic.












one mosaic

one world
one race

human …




together …