POEM: My Hair | Meriri ya ka (Sepedi)

NOZIPHO MADLALA 
TRANSLATED BY: HUNADI SEABELA & TŠHEGOFATSHO MABUTLA
Scroll down for English version 




Menwananyana ya boleta 
E ngwathega fela 
Ge e tsenatsena 
Sehlopeng sa go buša sa maZulu.
E kgobokane,
E otsetše
Hlogong ya ka.
Afrika e kopana ka 
 Mphiri o tee
Hlogong ya ka.
Meriri ya ka.
Lentšu la kganetšo,
La go roba mošidi
Ge letlalo la ka 
Le sa lekanela
Melawana ya 
Go ka nthoba.
Meriri ya ka;
Boikgantšho.
Gare ga dikgoro tša lena tša kgatelelo,
Le tliša ntwa ya dihlare
Meriring ya ka
Ge mesela 
Ya dipere e paletšwe
Go nkemela legatong.
Moriri wa ka;
Letago la go lakalela
 La di kgošigadi,
Bjang bja naga 
Bja go phohlamiša
Thutompe
Ya ngwana wa Afrika
O tla fetša
O adimile tsebe.
Meriri ya ka;
Mphaphahlogo,
Go rwala ke tseba ka noše,
Mmušo wa go ipuša
Ka tlase ga pušo ya ka.
Meriri ya ka;
Boikgantšho bja ka,
Letago la ka.
English Version 
My Hair
plastic fingers break
while passing through
the great Zulu army
curled up
in slumber
on my scalp
africa stands
in steel-bending unity
on my head
 
my hair
the voice of the anti
that broke pencil lead
when my skin
wasn’t enough
for the system
to break me
 
my hair
a triggering statement
in your corporate corridor
you started a chemical
warfare
against my hair
when the tails
of horses couldn’t
replace me
 
my hair
the dreaded glory
of nubian queens
the wild bush
that interrupted the
miseducation of
the African child
and you finally
listened
 
my hair
the crown that
only I know how to wear
a rebellious queendom
that only I can rule
my hair
my pride
my glory

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