uMthwakazi review launched its first poetry competition in June this year as part of its engagement with its growing number of readers. A total of 30 poems were submitted from across the world for the competition. uMthwakazi review takes this opportunity to thank all those who took part in the competition by submitting their poems. The task to find the best two poems was indeed a difficult one as most of the poems that were submitted were of high quality. The panel of judges included two prominent Mthwakazi poets, Silvester "Silo" Sibanda who is a poet and a musician who has produced 4 music albums since 2005 and another poet of repute Dumisani Mhlanga.
The best poem came from Charles Thebe, entitled: Ngivumeleni Ngikhulume. Mr Thebe therefore walks away with $150. In this poem, Mr Thebe bemoans oppression that is currently taking place in Zimbabwe and also bemoans the sea of difficulties that many people have faced as a result of bad leadership in that country . He bemoans tribalism and the violation of other people's cultures that is taking place in Zimbabwe as well as the genocide that was perpetrated against the people of Matebeleland found in the western parts of Zimbabwe where over 20 000 people perished at the hands of the 5th Brigade of Zimbabwe. This massacre has been declared a genocide by Genocide Watch, an organization that exists, "to predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder in the world. Below is Mr. Thebe's poem.
Emoyeni wami kubuhlungu,
Ngicela lingilalele, ngicela lingivumele ngikhulume,
Ngaphakamis' izwi lami ngangezwakali kutheni na bakaMzilikazi?
Ngakhalima emaphutsheni kwafana nje kutheni bakaNdaba?
Umhlaba wabuka wancoma ngifelwazingane kutheni na kwelikaMageba?
Ngisizeni bo nans' isitha singena endlini,
Vala nge bhetshu sizw' esimnyama, sizwe senkosi uMatshobana ka Ndaba,
Indaba zimb' esizweni senzalo yakho,
Ngivumeleni ngikhulume indab' engihluphayo,
Bayicitsheleni intuthu ethunqayo koNtuthu ziyathunqa?
Udingan' ezizweni umzukulu weSilo?
Ngikhule ngikhombe ngophakathi kwelakithi,
Izinkomo zidlan' uboya kwethu,
Namhlanj' a makat' alal' elekan' eziko,
Bawasephi amasiko eNjelele abancidezeli?
Kungan' izulu lingasani njengasekadeni?
Kwakhala nyonin' esizweni sikaMatshobana?
Umkhakha wababus; ababusa befumbeth' isibhakel' esimnyama,
Ababuse ngenkethabeshabi yengalo yomthetho,
Ontando kayiphikiswa, wayiphikisa uyolal' emakhazeni,
Safa saphel' isizwe sakwethu,
Soneni na thin' abakaMalandela, thin� mazinyan'esilo?
ImpumaLang' ephum' igcwel' inzondo,
IntshonaLang' emathun' akaziwa,
Ayephi amaqhawe esizw' esinsundu?
Ziyeph' izinduna zakithi?
Iph' iNkos' esiholayo?
Ngilaleleni bo ngikhulume ngokungihluphayo emoyeni wami,
Inotho yesizwe sakith' ethuthukis' abaphetsheya
Thina saphelelwa ngama toho, sachithekelwa yimizi lenjabulo,
Kunga kukhona okuzophephisa lezinhlungu na?
Sizokhala kuzekubenini na ngalumbuso wesibhakela esimnyama?
Inqgindi yenkohlakalo lodlame,
Ekhohlwe nangenhlonipho yenzalo yamaKhosi.
Inkabazw' isimi mandlondlo, isihlome yaphelela ngokukhalipha langochwephetshe,
Isilinde ukuhlangabeza uzibuse wesiZw' esimnyama,
Ngivumeleni ngikhulume min' umfoka Mkhithika,
Ngizoyi hlokoloza imamba ngosiba ma esesaba amagwala,
Ngigadle ngokuyiphonsela ebandleni labantu bayithonisis' edale.
Kwakud' emuva kwas' eduze ngaphambili,
Nyamezela sibambisane indlela,
Ubusisiwe okhulumayo kuloMtoliki,
Asethwele amayezi liyeza izulu,
Izul' elitsha likazibuse,
Hlal' uthembele mlobokazi
Jabula ntandane, ukuncindezelwa sokusemaphethelweni,
Ziqhenye nsinzwa lawe ntombi ngokungilalela ngenkiyankiy' ebhekane lomuzi weSilo.
Ngiligabaz' eligida liziqakezela,
Elizi phakamisa ngawe sizwe sikaZulu,
Linkulumo seyaba yingoma emathathakusa,
Linkulumo seyaba yingom' empondozankomo,
Woza sizikhulule kulentolongo yobugqili,
Sabuswa yizizw' ezweni laboKhokho bethu kutheni na?
Ngivumeleni ngikhulume, ngivumeleni ngikhulume ngingakakhohlwa,
Ngivumeleni sizwe esiNsund' esamaKhosi,
Ngilaleleni bo ngikhulume ngokungihluphayo emoyeni wami.
The Runner up
The second best poem was by Paul Abiola Oku-Ola entitled: Our Mandate. Mr Abiola therefore walks away with $50. Mr Oku-Ola's poem throws a punch at political leaders who fail to deliver their promises to the electorate and hits them below their belts for being daylight robbers who cause a lot of suffering to the people who has entrusted them with the mandate to lead. It is also a warning to the electorate that these politicians, despite breaking their promises and failing to deliver, will come again to request another mandate from the suffering to lead so as to lead them again and cause more suffering to them all. Below is Mr Oko-Ola's poem.
We gave him our mandate
To run the state
At a steady rate
Because we thought he has the weight
To change our fate
And make us great.
Now we wait to be great
With nothing in our plate
For he had closed his gate
And treat us with hate
Because we are no more his mate.
But let him know before it's late
That for him do we wait
Till that date
When we shall again be mate
And he begging for our mandate.
We once again thank all those who participated in the competition and for their love of poetry. As a parting short I dare say:
To you family of poets,
Distilled words we have
Words of wisdom we share.
Political activism is our right
Our traditional garb is our cultural activism,
Social commentary is our birth right.
Let's lantern society with poetry
Illuminating the reality of human existence,
Joy they will have
Misery they shall reflect upon,
Goodness shall be the born child.