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October 15, 2016

A SESOTHO NOVEL MANYEKATHIPA LAUNCHED AT MACUFE WORDFEST

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:42 pm

BY FLAXMAN QOOPANE

A Sesotho novel Manyekathipa written by Kagisho Senkge Senkge was launched at the Macufe Wordfest ,Braam Fischer Building in Bloemfontein on Thursday 6 October 2016.

Dr. Mathene Mahanke , Deputy-Director of the Language Services within the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Free State said: ” The Sesotho novel that we launch is titled Manyekathipa By Kagisho Senkge Senkge. He died on 4 May 2013. The novel is based in the environment that is in the rural area that was ruled by the kings. People walked barefooted and people fought with spears and knives. The people used to get water from the fountains. We are fortunate among us we have Keketso Senkge who is the daughter of the late novelist. She is accompanied by Jerrry Tsie and David Phetoe “.

Jerrry Tsie from Letsema La Tsela Films from Pretoria in Gauteng said : ” Greetings to Director of Heritage, Museums and Language Services-Mr. Vincent Khetha, Deputy- Director of Language Services- Dr. Mathene Mahanke, the staff of the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and all the authors who are attending the Macufe Wordfest 2016. I was born in Kutlwanong Kasi in Odendaalsrus, next to me is the veteran actor David Phetoe who is the President of Letsema La Tsela Film. We have attended this important event of writers together with Kekeletso Senkge.

” I became very emotional when I talk about the late Kagisho Senkge. He had several dreams, he wanted to publish his novel
Manyekathipa. You are aware that Kagisho Senkge passed away on 4 May 2013. In June 2015 I met MEC of the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation- Mathabo Leeto. I briefed her about the novel that Mr. Senkge wanted to publish while he was alive. MEC Mathabo Leeto referred me to both Director Vincent Khetha and Deputy- Director Doctor Mathene Mahanke who supported the family of Senkge by publishing the novel -Manyekathipa By Kagisho Senkge Senkge. Thank you very much MEC Mathabo Leeto, Mr. Khetha and Dr. Mahanke.

” The late Senkge had also a dream of building a house for Mrs. Senkge in Kroonstad. We will build that house in November 2016. While Kagisho Senkge was alive he wanted to visit Singapore with his daughter Kekeletso. In January 2017 we will visit Singapore together with her. In 2010 -2011 together with David Phetoe and Kagisho Senkge we did a documentary film- Sipho Mutsi- The Barefooted Comrade. The film was written by Kagisho Senkge, and the 94- minute film is presented and narrated by David Phetoe. This film is a tribute to Sipho Mutsi who died in detention in Odendaalsrus Police Station on 5 May 1985, he was 17 years old. Mr. Senkge died on 4 May 2013.”

Tsie further said : ” We visited for the first time Thaba Bosiu mountain in Lesotho together with Mr. Senkge. While I was doing a documentary about him at this mountain, I was surprised to see that Mr. Senkge ‘s face was quite happy, he told me that the mountain was the religious place and the holy place of the Basotho Nation. He added that without Thaba Bosiu mountain, there could not be the Basotho nation or Sesotho language. We alo visited the Maletsunyane Waterfalls, Kagisho Senkge told me that Modimo (God) was present at the waterfall.”

According to Jerry Tsie when he is attending church on Sundays people who used to see him acting on television drama always ask him what was he doing since he is no longer acting on television dramas. ” We took a decision with Kagisho Sengke that we were not going to be part of those processes that are designed to destroy black people. I say this because this country have settle for mediocracy. What you see on television is cut- and paste, we are no more interested in the craft and quality.

” When excellency is unachievable mediocracy became a barometer of lesser people. We are in that space as a country where we settle for less. I am now working on a production of a painter of note Motlhabane Mashiyamako who died in 2010 in Mamelodi Kasi, in Pretoria. Many people in this country don’t know about this painter of note because the media in this country is not assisting to bring forth the knowledgable people to lead.”

David Phetoe said: ” We used to speak English together with Kagisho Senge. It was not our mother language, it was the system that we were taught. He was the son of the universe, he was connected to AFRICAN GODS. Senkge was very sincere and very honest about what he was, what his people were, what the earth was and what the land was. Poetry came out of his mouth. It was not only beautiful words, he believed in it. When we were doing a film of Senkatana in the mountains of Lesotho, we used to wash ourselves with the water from the mountains.

” Kagisho Senkge used to say we were blessed because the water came from the Gods of Africa. He believed that water is life. Without water from Lesotho, there is no life in Johannesburg.We believe in it that water is life that is why we bought water from Lesotho. In the townships we see water being waisted in our taps, some of us are hurt. We feel the pain and the distance and the hospitality that the Basotho nation gave us , that is life. Kagisho Senkge believed that water is life”.

MACUFE WORDFEST 2016 HELD IN BLOEMFONTEIN

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:41 pm

BY FLAXMAN QOOPANE

The Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Free State held the Macufe Wordfest at the Braam Fischer Building in Bloemfontein on 5-7 October 2016.

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Vincent Sithembiso Khetha, the Director of Heritage, Museums and Language Services apologised that Mathabo Leeto, MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation could not attend the Macufe Wordfest because she was attending the Global Investors Trade Bridge Conference which was held at the Grey College Old Sport Ground in Bloemfontein. ” We started Macufe Wordfest in 2008 and in 2014 and 2015 we could not organise the event because we had financial problems in the government of the Free State.

“I want you to understand that in the government we have serious financial problems. I am afraid that in future we might only pay salaries to our employees and we might not have money for service delivery. Let me explain again that every year in the coming five years, 5% will be cut from the budget of our department. This started last year, this financial year, next year financial year. The question that we ask ourselves is when we have so much work to empower our people with this budget that we have, when it decreases in 5% what is going to happen, these are the problems that we are facing.”

Director Khetha further said: ” We have the Free State Writers Forum(F.S.W.F.), the main aim is to bring together the writers in the Free State, and to speak in one voice. In the department we also have the Free State Arts and Culture Council (F.S.A.C.C.w) which is a funding body. The artists must not come to the department as individuals for funding, they must go to the Free
State Arts and Culture Council. We will inform you when you can apply for funding. We have a lot of financial problems in the government. Let me say one artist/writer makes a proposal of funding for R250 thousands and tells me he/she has a project and says he/she needs funding from the department.

“I want to say to them if I take the population in the Free State as a whole and take the budget of the Department of Sport, Arts ,Culture and Recreation, and take out the salaries of our employees and also taking out the money meant for service
delivery. And I decide that one year we do not do service delivery, we don’t build stadiums and we don’t celebrate Heritage
Day, and we decide to divide the money among the people of the Free State. Each person in the Free State will get R2.10. and if you come to me and ask the department to fund you with R250 thousands I will tell you I can afford to give you only
R2.10”

According to Director Vincent Khetha, the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, is thankful that the Free State Writers Forum has been established. “We supported the F.S.W.F. with a small money, and they managed to establish writers
clubs in thirteen municipalities in the Free State, this is a great work that the Free State Writers Forum has done, and as the department we applaud that. The Free State Writers Forum must not be very close to the government, we want them to ask for funds from companies like Lottery. I believe from now onwards we will continues to host Macufe Wordfest.”

He encouraged the people of the Free State to go to schools and study. He said: ” It is true that I work very well with Dr.
Mathene Mahanke, from the Language Services. I respect him, I always tells him that I am more educated than him. I have five degrees. What surprised me is that Dr. Mathene Mahanke became a Doctor before me, I am the one who encouraged him to to study and study. I have just finished my proposal for my PhD. I encourage the people of the Free State to go to school,
because there is no better life for all the people who are lazy.

” In our Directorate of Heritage, Museum and Language Services, it is the most directorate that has educated people in the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation. In the Chief Directorate we have two doctors, we have people who have six Masters, honours I must say many people in our department are educated. I encourage everybody who

January 26, 2016

hector kunene on the death of king olubadan of ibadan

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 6:06 am

For Ibadan people

Oba Odugade, we salute!

Your creme of life shuts us in turmoil
The very wound deep enough to match the teeth of an elephant
Nigeria cries for this specific foul
A foul that has no match of its punishment
The demise of a king is worth no powerful currency
Did you answer a call from your son Achebe? Is he the one who wrote your
script to exit? May he be put to another sleep,for we are hurting, even his
blood has not dried up underneath the surface

Where are the magicians to raise you like the dough, come to life for 101
is an infant’s premature departure, you shouldn’t have allowed your foot to
step into that vehicle of blackness!

What now? see king what you’ve done?
Your pheasants seek wisdom to comprehend your delayed responses and
impulses!
We command from the South for the soil to refuse to harden your chest with
clay
For our memories of you have no graves to keep you!

Keep calm Ibadan
Steep too deep and no fun run
This is of no man’s labour
As your tears lay a foundation
Kings are brave, so weep less, unless you want to wet the boat of the king
with your sorrows
For kings don’t sleep in dripping huts, they have already made their mats

We salute you King Odugade
Oh hail mount Ibadan
Your tears shall not be in vain
Reign still Great One
Even in your deeper sleep
We shall bask in your shade
Under the trees that shall never fade
For your seeds have died
And birthed your calibre
So in your sleep
You reign still
Rest nonetheless oh king
We shall marry again with your ring

September 17, 2015

FREE STATE POETS ENCHANT DURBAN an article By Mphutlane wa Bofelo

Filed under: free state black literature,mphutlane wa bofelo,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 11:43 am

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Free State has some of the most prolific and finest writers in South Africa but in the past they were seldom given enough national acknowledgement and platform to showcase their work in various parts of the country. Thankfully as a result of the superb talent and literary achievements of several Free State born writers both based in the province and in other provinces as well as efforts of platforms such as Free State Writers and the Bloem Poetry Movement, many people across South Africa and internationally are beginning to take note of and interest in writers and poets from the Free State. One of the exceptional literary activists from the province, Bloemfontein-based poet and journalist, Magic Khotseng gave Durban an appetizing taste of the literary elegances distilled in Bloemfontein and the Free State when he recited at two events paying homage to Black Consciousness thinker and activist, Stephen Bantu Biko. Khotseng first enthralled the lovers of the spoken word and the young people most of whom expressed their connection to Biko’s ideals and thoughts because of their daily realities and experiences in the township at the Remembering Biko: Conversations and Verses event held at Ntuzuma F Library on the 11 September 2015. This event was jointly hoisted by Slam Poetry Operation Team (SPOT) and its sister organization, the Nowadays Poets, and Ubuciko Bomlomo Infotainment.

An exponent of Black Consciousness himself, Khotseng eloquently shared the personal and socioeconomic experiences that brought him into the broad Black Consciousness Movement and motivated him to employ literature and community work as mediums of self-healing, community-healing, sociopolitical awareness and development. As a child Khotseng witnessed his family moving from a relatively adequate house and site to a three-room house built by the apartheid regime as a result of the forceful removal of his community from Batho location to Rocklands. As if this was not enough his migrant labour father was tricked by a policeman who convinced him to exchange his three-room house for a two-room house in Bochabela ostensibly because of the latter’s proximity to the city. This experience and the broad socioeconomic conditions of Black people saw Magic Khotseng becoming a student activist, first with Congress of Azanian Students Organization and later with Azanian Students Movement. His activism in Black Consciousness Movement led him to conferences and campaigns in which he experienced and was inspired by the performances of Ingoapele Madingoane, Matsemela Manaka and Mafika Gwala.

Khotseng experience of growing without a mother, literally being raised by the community, motivated him to work with the displaced children – so-called street kids- through the Iphahamiseng Community Child Centre. His work with these children resulted in his debut poetry collection, “Hold Back Your Tears”. His upcoming book, which is earmarked to be launched in 2016, “The Son will grow”, is dedicated to his mother and the community of Mangaung which taught him that a child is raised by a community. Khotseng story resonated well with the young people from the INK area (Inanda, Ntuzuma and Kwamashu), which was selected as the nodal point for the government’s urban renewal program and has one on the highest levels of poverty and unemployment. But it is when he articulated himself in the language of poetry and music, teaching the young people some of the classic freedom songs and reciting sociopolitical poetry that Khotseng had the audience on the feet, calling for more.

The piece that caught the imagination of the audiences was “If wishes were horses”. In this poem Khotseng eulogizes the colorful, exotic and breath-taking natural beauty of mother Africa. He takes the readers\audiences on an idyllic tour of the continent where they walk in Masai Park enjoying the serene beauty of Kenyan landscape, climbing mount Kilimanjaro and taking a dive in the Atlantic Ocean, and then ruthlessly wakes them up from their slumber with subtle but poignant allusion to the socioeconomic realities and systemic and structural arrangements that are a barrier to the capacity of the majority of Black African people to tour their countries and their continent, let alone access some of the most exquisite and historical sites in Africa. The striking beauty of this poem and the emotive political undertones it carries were manifested when the audience asked for it on the following day, on the 12 September when Magic Khotseng performed his set for the annual Outer National Verses for Biko and Tosh which was held at Ekhaya Arts Centre in KwaMashu

Khotseng’s Durban recital comes few weeks before one of Mangaung’s son and perhaps one of the most industrious and committed young literary activist and cultural worker Free State, Serame ‘Icebound’ Makhele will be featured in the prominent Poetry Africa Festival hosted by the UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) from the 12th October to the 17th October 2015. Icebound is a founder and convener of Bloem Poetry Movement which hosts monthly sessions in collaboration with PACOFS. Bloem Poetry has developed performance skills of many local poets. Icebound was selected to coordinate the Macufe Poetry Festival in 2014 and is currently part of the Free State Cultural Ensemble initiated by the provincial Legislature. The ensemble includes dance, music, drumming and poetry and has performed in this year’s Africa Day Celebrations and FS Women’s Month dialogues. If the poetic magic that Khotseng exhibited at Verses for Biko and Tosh is anything to go by, the Durban audience can prepare themselves to be bewitched by the Bloemfontein literary potion when Icebound takes the stage at Poetry Africa.

August 7, 2015

an interview with christine mautjana

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 5:37 pm

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first published here: http://favinterviews.blogspot.com/2015/08/christine-mautjana-speaks.html

July 13, 2015

FLAXMAN QOOPANE AT 60

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 4:00 pm

Flaxman Qoopane, the internationally recognised Free State based author, poet, journalist, essayist and biographer turns 60 on July 23 this month.

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Mr Qoopane who was born, bread and buttered in Mangaung, Free State, fell in love with the world of reading and writing as a youngster, despite the then daunting obstacles of apartheid. He went into exile, and by the 80s he was based in East Africa, from where he travelled the world as an arts and culture exponent.

Whilst in exile, Ntate Qoopane met, and corresponded with an astonishing amount of writers and poets. This experience would later result in the publication of one of his most successful books, Letters to a Poet (2001).

Back in South Africa from exile, Qoopane proved his worth as a journalist and writer, contributing hundreds – probably thousands – of articles to newspapers, magazines, and journals. He is also the proud author of over 20 books.

Meanwhile writers and artists from around the world have been paying tribute to Mr Qoopane as he clocks 60. Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga, the well known author and Pan-Africanist has included a special chapter on Qoopane in his new book, Glimpses into African Literature (2015) He says: “There is no doubt that Mr Qoopane has made indelible contributions to African writing in general. We must celebrate him by writing about him, which I have done”.

Soqaga added: “I am happy that this year alone, a number of important essays have been written and published on Qoopane. Apart from mine, Mr Omoseye Bolaji has penned a magnificent tribute to Flaxman Qoopane. Pule Lechesa also wrote a brilliant, very critical essay on Qoopane some weeks ago; as has poet Tiisetso Thiba. All these essays are now on the internet for the world to enjoy,”

Omoseye Bolaji, writing from Abuja in Nigeria, has also sent a glowing birthday message to Mr Qoopane. He says: “I worked in tandem with Qoopane for over 15 years in SA, boosting, developing, nurturing literature in mammoth fashion. He’s a superb, nigh-nonpareil journalist, painstaking and assiduous, loathing even the smallest mistakes with all his being. He has also published some 20 books straddling a miscellany of genres – that says it all! Suke! I wish him a scintillating birthday,”

The whole of the Free State, South Africa, and the global literary world indeed wishes Mr Flaxman Moalusi Jacob Qoopane a Happy 60th Birthday!!!

May 21, 2015

conflating yoruba and sesotho literature – by omoseye bolaji

Filed under: free state black literature,literature — ABRAXAS @ 11:08 am

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keep reading this article here: http://letterfromsouthafrica-eric.blogspot.com/2013/08/conflating-yoruba-and-sesotho-literature.html

January 28, 2015

charles matorera has passed away. r.i.p.

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:20 pm

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first published here: http://blackafricanliterature.blogspot.com/2015/01/adieu-charles-matorera.html

December 9, 2014

‘Transferential displacement’ in chief omoseye Bolaji’s Far up! Far out! Far more!. By Tiisetso M Thiba

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 11:10 am

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keep reading this article here: http://blackafricanliterature.blogspot.com/2014/09/transferential-displacement-in-bolajis.html

June 17, 2014

World Cup Fever – Sonnet

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 11:06 pm

The mammoth undulating Mundial.
Exhilarating and enthralling all.
Another four years have rolled by
And that’s the reason why.
Billions worldwide are now focused on Brazil.
Latest host of footballing acme and zeal.
32 nations from every cranny of the world.
As we milk the best from all footballers called.
Veritable sweet trolley of international superstars.
Unbridled euphoria at teeming Centres and Bars.
Ronaldo Rooney Eto’o et Messi.
Toures Enyeama Benzema van Persie.
Brazil 2014 now alluringly unfolds.
The whole world sucked into its fold –
Malome B

June 8, 2014

Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga Reviews Matshidiso Taleng’s book, SECRETS

Filed under: free state black literature,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 4:44 am

Inasmuch as it has been argued by critics of African literature that Africa is essentially a male-dominated continent, what is more interesting about the argument is that women are viewed by many as worthless and less influential on issue that affects them on the daily basis. For instance, in literature many serious questions have been asked. As how far African female writers have made a valuable impact in expressing consequential issues that are congruous to them? Some African literary pundits are strongly convinced that African female writers are not feminist enough to ventilate issues that are pertinent to their situation.

As I drew my attention closer and closer to this argument, the book written by the young talented female bard from Mangaung (Free State) Matshidiso P. Taleng increased my hanker to get sufficient understanding about African female writers. First and foremost the most mesmerizing part in the book Secrets Anthology of Poems is the first poem “A womb”. Any reader who may be interested in the book may probably assume that the poem has the elements of feminism. However, when one finishes to read the poem, explicitly will understand that actually the writer does not intend to promote feminist ideas. But necessarily the poet embraces the pulchritude of the womb. It is a beautiful poem indeed and it reminds the audience that every living being has evolved from the womb.

“A home where every human being
Is accommodated before
Opening their eyes
A place that protects one from evil”

Another poem that buttresses that the bard is not a fundamentalist feminist is the poem “As I would be in the Street”. She appreciates and recognizes Luther King junior:

“As I would be in the streets
I would be a practical reflection of
Luther King junior
I’ll be living the dream for
I delivered the capability of my mind”

Secrets encompass many different poems that focus on different subjects. Other poems emphasized randy lifestyle. The poet armed with intellect, honestly and directly evinces this romantic moment in her book of poems with gusto. No sign of coy or recreant is found in these poems, in the real sense they are rapturous and breathtaking. In the meantime, the poet has brilliantly displayed how mature she is to provide narrative poems. Also at the same time you may find that the poems are autobiographic. In “I Miss You” a poem dedicated to Matshidiso’s boyfriend, certainly you will be overwhelmed in how she expresses herself poetical.

“My life is empty
I’m surrounded by the voiceless screams
I refuse to cry, instead… nurse the hurt and
Anger at the betrayal
I can’t believe I’ll never hear your voice
Whispering sweet love poems into my ear
Let alone see myself in your arms again”

Another poem of this kind is “Sudden Death” dedicated to her late friend: Matsoso Innocent Pelebe (Tsoso).

Furthermore, poems such as Abortion as an Option, Mr Wrong, You are Just Not Him etc are very exuberant. These are poems that present the overall picture of the societal day to day life situation. As a Christian devotee surely a reader of her poems can be doubtful as to whether she is a ‘true Christian’. Fairly enough nothing depraved is found in her poems. For instance in “Abortion as an Option”, the poet narrates that:

“He sweet talked her into starting a family
Of their own, and running away together
Stupidly she agreed
When she finally had a small fetus
Growing inside her belly
He decided to run as quickly as he could
Told her that he wants nothing to do with her
Started calling her names
Telling the whole neighborhood about
The affair including her boyfriend
She had an abortion thinking that it was
The only option”

“Plastic” is an enthralling excellent poem that shows how the poet thinks about other people’s culture. Essentially, in the poem she does not hesitate or compromise her cultural belief and she expresses herself in a direct and specific way.

“In the end my baby girl
Won’t play with Barbie dolls
My baby girl will be a Barbie doll
Manufactured with a sergeant life
With hair that doesn’t grow
A face that doesn’t frown
Legs that are insured and
God knows what else
My baby girl will know self acceptance
My baby girl will know self love because
My baby girl……will be plastic.”

In fact the poem is expressing pleasant views and probably sounds like a querulous and remonstrating poem; anyway the poem is literary razzmatazz. Despite her views; the questions is whom she is addressing the poem to and what kind of audience she is anticipated to grasp the meaning of the poem? Does she address all people in the world irrespective of their races or creed? Or does she specifically target certain group of people in the society? Of course the poem “Success” is explicable that the poet is a proud African woman.

“I was born in the rural parts of my homeland
Raised by the rhythms of African drums
With so many triumphs lying ahead
They taught me self acceptance
My African beauty I can appreciate
Rhythmically with respect, discipline and compassion”

Another extraordinary and exhilarating poem that a reader will relish with euphoria is “Secrets”. Matshidiso P. Taleng is a very diligent young female poet in the Free State. Her poems are quite rapturous and consummate. Possibly it is likely that her poems can intermittently flummox the reader but that does not mean she is not assiduous and remarkable. While you may think there is a contradiction in her poetry you may at the very same time understand her as a ‘grassroots poet’. Significantly, her poems “Poetry…Let Me Speak and the Voice Within” reveals how talented the poet Matshidiso is! I do think it is quite necessary for the critics to appreciate that her poems are impressive and epitomize inspiration and hope among the grassroots people. Without any doubt she has done a very wonderful thing to create such profound and gripping poems. She deserves to be eulogized. In the very same book many compliments and appreciation have been directed to her. Hector Kunene’s introduction is awesome and prodigious as equal, as the foreword by Sebabatso Baisitse.

As we witness the great thriving moment for Matshidiso P. Taleng, simultaneously we must feel worried about women condition in Africa. Many women are experiencing predicament situation in their lives. They are the constant victims of abuse, rape, molestation and chances for them to blossom are thwarted by an unequal world where man is still predominant. Infelicitous misery and anguish that women are faced with in today’s life are unacceptable. For example, schools girls that have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria provides a clear evidence that patriarchal masculine world is still in dominance. Charismatic poet of the caliber of Matshidiso must be looked at with an honest interest as a symbol of literary inspiration in Africa in particular to speak out against challenges that African women faces with. Her poems are genuine and awe – inspiring, reminding me of female literary giants of Africa, like Ama Ata Aidoo, Mariama Ba, Flora Nwapa: and younger SA poetesses like Charmaine Kolwane, Nthabiseng Jah Rose etc.

“Tshidi” as she’s affectionately known is a South African young poet. She was born in the Free State Bloemfontein. Her love for art and poetry begun while she was in high school, where she was a member of a poetry club “Beyond Mind Control” (2004-2007) also had the opportunity to go recite one of her well known poem called “Plastic” at a local radio station Kovsie Fm on shakes Khumalo morning show (2006). She has been conferred with a certificate of appreciation in recognition of valuable contribution to literature in the Free-State (2009). She performed at the Vuka Poetry Festival at Pacofs (2008) and been a member of Words of Ink Writers Club at Bloemfontein Library.

April 25, 2014

I AM BLACK AND BEAUTIFUL

Filed under: free state black literature,literature — ABRAXAS @ 10:21 am

Tribute to “Sir Obi Egbuna” (July 18, 1938 – 2014)

By Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga

For centuries, European dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the none-white; his mission, he claimed, was to “civilize” Africa. Under this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people. Kwame Nkrumah 1961: I Speak of Freedom.

Dolefully, today is one of the distressingly times in many memories of the people who have an explicit understanding of the past racial oppression against black people by white people. Apparently, this sombre felling is obviously evoke by the sadden news of the demise of “Sir Egbuna”. The sensational Egbuna was the sagacious, sophisticated black leader and enchanting black African writer. Fundamentally, he was deeply influenced by Marxist; he was very deft in interpreting Marxist in a unique black way. While he was in Britain as the leader and the spokesperson for Universal Coloured People’s Association he used to argue: “Nobody in his right mind disputes that the fact the white worker is a prey to capitalist exploitation, as well as the Black worker. But equally indisputable is the fact that the white worker is exploited only because he is a worker, not because he is white, while in contrast, the Black Worker is oppressed, not only because he is a worker, but also because he is Black.”

Although his anti-capitalist expostulation against white exploitation against black people was not rooted in African soil, however, he has significantly contributed in promoting black dignity and black recognition around the world. “Sir Obi B Egbuna” will be remembered by his vigorous enthusiasm for the cause of social justice and political justice for black people worldwide.

Courageously the black youth in the world must take into cognizance the immense selfless contribution that Egbuna has made for social justice and equality of black people in the world. Both his political influence and literary greatness has added an enormous value for black race in the world today. As tears of mourning and sadness visited black people because of the death of Egbuna, black people must be proud to have a person of the stature and caliber of Egbuna. His brilliant works need to be a guide for us and continue to inspire for future black generation. At this moment of mourning is vitally important for black people to relish the literary work of the son of Ozubulu, Anambra state (Nigeria). Rest in peace Egbuna.

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February 25, 2014

NO PEACE BY TIISETSO M THIBA

Filed under: free state black literature,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 12:13 pm

Greetings in the name of peace
Many of our loved ones
Have passed on to rest in peace
We have sorrows
Because we are not in peace
We have to make peace with it
So they can rest in peace
Though they are not pleased
Heart has broken into pieces
Pace of life is too fast

Past compliments the present
Bloods of our naïve fellows
Still staining our acreage
Like in the past era
Time of no peace
Father, mother, brother and friend
Of today are so cruel with peace
They are killing us dead for the sake of muthi
Raping our grannies, mothers
Sisters and innocent baby girl and boy
This place has no peace
Living life in fear persist

We need peace in this land
To see children enjoying
Their liberty with peace
Defying of human rights
Is not what brings peace to our hearts
We have no peace at all
And this place seems to birth beasts
To steal our peace and halt our hearts beats.

February 24, 2014

Africa Remember Anton Lembede

Filed under: free state black literature,politics — ABRAXAS @ 11:05 pm

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By Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga

Is almost four month since Nelson Mandela has passed away but his memory has invariable remaining cast iron. South Africa, Africa and the world has lost an icon of peace and freedom. Nevertheless, during his early times in the African National Congress one of the startling person he met with and who used to lead him in the newly initiated militant ANC Youth League was Anton Lembede. Mr Lembede was a very outstanding and fascinating figure. Born to a peasant family and after his educational success will be heard acknowledging his peasant background. Anton Lembede was one of the early African leaders who envisage the freedom of Africans from unscrupulous colonial rule. His belief in Africa was awe-inspiring. The energy and enthusiasm that was in him about free future Africa was absolutely superlative. He pursuesmany professions and firstly he was a teacher and later a lawyer. He achieved many educational studies and he strongly believed that education has to play a meaningful role in the lives of the Africans. He was completely inspired by Marcus Garvey a Jamaican hero and a grassroots African fundamentalist, African- American academic WEB De Bois and Hail Selassie the emperor of independent Ethiopia. Furthermore, Lembede belief that the African youth had to learn intensively in order that Africa may, after what has been long lull, conquer knowledge and the world. He loved and believes in Africa so thoroughly that he would be heard saying that “I am one with Mother Africa’s darkest soul. I am Africa’s own child,” and, “My heart yearns for the glory of Africa that is gone. However, I shall work for the future Africa, free and great among the nations of the world”. In his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom the venerated Nelson Mandela wrote on Lembede “Lembede said that Africa was a black man’s continent, and it was up to Africans to reassert themselves and reclaim what was rightful theirs. He hated the idea of the black inferiority complex and castigated what he called the worship and idolization of the west and its ideas.

Since the newly founded modern states of black Africa, Africa problems apparently are far from ending. Significantly continental poverty and underdevelopment are the central challenges Africa is perpetually experiencing, also civil wars emanating from treacherous political differences are mischievous. Hopefully, the expectation after Africa’s freedom was that Africa will now re-emerge as a super power continent.It ispellucid, Africa is conspicuously rich but its inhabitants are in penury. Although it has abundant natural resources; Africa remains the world poorest and most underdeveloped continent, the results of a variety of causes that may include the spread of deadly diseases (notably HIV/AIDS and Malaria), corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violations, failed central planning, high levels of illiteracy, lack of access to foreign capital, and frequent tribal and military conflict (ranging from guerrilla warfare to genocide). Furthermore, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation, as well as poor health affect a large proportion of the people who reside in the African continent.

By looking at what Anton Lembede has envisaged; one will seriously worry about the current grave situation that is facing Africa. Essentially, colonialism was completely pernicious and it was necessary to be obliterated for a free and just democratic continent. My tribute to Anton Lembede is not simply based on historical past, however is utterly based on the fact that Lembebe used to assert that Africans has to realize their potentiality to do things for themselves. Patently, I echo with what Lembede stood for, and I believe his words and vision are not yet accomplished. Courageously, Africans need to do things for themselves. For instance the reluctant of the African Union to act drastically on violent situation that is precarious and threatening peace of the continent is evident. African Union is the necessary continental body that must see that peace and stability in Africa is consummate. The legacy of Anton Lembede is very rich, important and relevant to be used for the achievement of the great Africa that is economically strong. The weak economy of Africa need to be bolstered for the development of Africa, as well as education must be accentuated to ameliorate the high level of illiteracy. To achieve 94 percent of literacy will be an important achievement for mother continent, education will create a new sense of understanding and of creativity and innovations. The dark ages has past, all African people need to take part on ensuring that the continent is pacific and prosperous. Anton Lembede words cannot be a close chapter that went down with history, but rather be studied and practically fulfilled so that to avoid superfluous wars which are deleterious to African continent. Apparently, Anton Lembede was a charismatic and elegant African visionary who believe in Africa that is free from oppression and economically competent. Education which he so loved and believed definitely will be very important for Africans to prioritize it completely, because out of it Africa will have a prodigious crop of intellectual thinkers, manufacturers, engineers, scientist etc. Like other notable and personage African thinkers of his time, ObafemiOwolowo, Kwame Nkrumah, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Cheikh Anta Diop, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe and later Thabo Mbeki, Olosegun Obasanjo, Lembede was a true luminary of Africa success. Anton Lembede never regards himself in tribal orientation as was a Zulu, but fundamentally he see Zulu’s as well as other tribes as part of beautiful Africa. Mr Lembede was assiduous and scintillating young person who was deeply encourages to appreciatesthe value ofeducation. In 1943, the University of South Africa (UNISA) awarded him an MA in philosophy after submitting a thesis entitle “The conception of God as expounded by and as it emerges from the writings of Philosophers from Descartes to the present day”. At the time of his death in 1947, he was working towards a doctorate in law and was said to be proficient in at least seven languages including Germany and high Dutch. Died at the age of thirty three but his efforts and verve for the cause of African people was extraordinary. His most popular saying to young people was: We are not called to peace, comfort and enjoyment, but to hard work, struggle and sweat. We need young men and women of high moral stamina and integrity; of courage and vision. In short, we need warriors. This means that we have to develop a new type of youth of stoical discipline, trained to endure suffering and difficulties. It is only this type of youth that will achieve the national liberation of the African people.

January 31, 2014

omoseye bolaji on the tebogo mystery series

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:36 pm

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December 25, 2013

chief omoseye bolaji on entitlement

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 11:12 am

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first published here: http://integrityreporters.com/columns/a-surfeit-of-appellations-by-omoseye-bolaji/

December 24, 2013

MERRY XMAS – A LA SHOPRITE. By Omoseye Bolaji

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 12:51 pm

Dusk was just about beckoning in the ancestral city of Ibadan. Here I was
staring at the iconic Cocoa House, the very first skyscraper in the whole of
west Africa. It had been a rather long time since.

Then a feminine voice greeted me heartily, incredulity etched on her voice.
“Egbon! (Brother) she said. “I can’t believe this. I have not seen you for
some 20 years…or don’t you recognise me sir?”.

I did recognise her fairly easily, despite the effluxion of time. We had
both worked around this self-same Cocoa House area many years ago. She was
short, friendly, semi-literate; we used to be friends or acquaintances, even
meeting downstairs at Cocoa House to share drinks once in a blue moon in
those days.

I told her that I recognised her only too well. She remarked that it was
strange that she had never run across me over the years. With masterly
understatement I replied that “for some time I have not been around; I have
not seen Cocoa House for a few years now. Until this very moment.”

She stared at me. “So you have never entered the new superb Shoprite Store
here! Never!” I shook my head. “You have never entered Shoprite! It’s just
around the corner. Let’s go there together; it’s really a thrill!”.

Her enthusiasm was infectious. After living in SA for many years entering a
Shoprite emporium was a daily experience; and I could see now that the
Ibadan Store mirrored the SA ones. The lady said: “You can’t believe how
excited people, especially women are to enter Shoprite! Look at them
yourself. It’s like a party!!” We were inside now.

My first impressions were essentially two-fold: how excellent the
air-conditioning system was; and how seemingly expensive the products were!
This was of course because I was unconsciously viewing the prices in rands
currency. Seeing what I used to buy every time in SA for less than R 20
being priced between 400 and 1000 naira was quite jarring, though I appeared
to be bland.

“For someone entering Shoprite for the first time you are not even excited!”
The lady said accusingly now.

How could I tell her that in Bloemfontein city (SA) I had shopped at
Shoprite countless times? That there are so many branches of the store
there; some just beside each other like at the former Maitland Street (now
Charlotte Maxexe street)?

How could I tell her that even at my abode in the townships (Mangaung) in SA
there was an impressive Shoprite Store that was practically opposite my
house; where I shopped or just frequented virtually every night for years?

Or when I had stayed for quite some time in Kempton Park (Gauteng) an area
which boasts three excellent Shoprite Stores, one of them so big and
imposing that it dominates the entire surroundings…

But right now, I said to the lady inside the Ibadan Shoprite Store: “Never
mind me. Of course I am excited. I am just a Sourpuss by nature…in fact I
am buying this as a souvenir!” I took a big packet of Lays chips which I
used to regularly buy at Shoprite stores in SA. I noticed that even these
packets here were produced, and imported

from South Africa.

I added: “Merry Christmas in advance – and Up Shoprite!”

December 17, 2013

Matshidiso Patricia Taleng

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 3:49 pm

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Matshidiso Patricia Taleng is a poet/writer born in 1988-09-28 based in South Africa. Her love for poetry started while she was in high school, on the year 2004 she was a member of a community poetry club called BMC (Beyond mind control) where they’d meet with other poets and show case their talent. On the year 2005 she performed her poetry at one of her local radio station called Kovsie Fm with other poets, on the year 2008 she was one of the poets in the Free State who got chosen to take part at the Vuka Poetry festival that was held at pacofs, where she shared stage with the likes of Napo Masheane, Lebo Masheane,Kgafela, Mzwakhe Mbuli and many well known poets. On the year 2009 she was honored a “certificate of appreciation in recognition of contribution to literature in the Free State” by the Mangaung Bloemfontein Public Library.

On the year 2011 she contributed one of her poems to be published in an anthology of poetry ,short stories and essays called MOKOLOKOTWANE which was published by the Free State Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation. On the year 20012 she was part of the volunteers at the SAlA
(South African Literary Awards)that was held at the Free State University of Technology where she helped with workshoping scholars and reciting poetry for them. on the year 2013 she published her first poetry book titled SECRETS, On the same year she also got invited to workshop high school kids at the NALAM (National Literary Museum) where she gave out two of her books to one kid of both schools for inspiration and helping them to grow in poetry.

She was also one of the poets that were chosen to go take part at the Grahams town arts festival in June where she re-launched her book. On the same year she performed at the Macufe poetry show, there she shared stage with Kabomo, a well known icon in the arts as well as other local poets.

omoseye bolaji returns to nigeria

Filed under: free state black literature,literature — ABRAXAS @ 3:47 pm

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first published here: http://www.tribune.com.ng/news2013/index.php/en/component/k2/item/27836-afte

December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela the true servant of the people By Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga

Filed under: free state black literature,politics — ABRAXAS @ 6:36 pm

In 1990, South Africa was making the beginning of the new history. Significantly, two important events change the political situation of South Africa. First and foremost, Mr De Klerk, who was then the president of apartheid regime announced unconditional the unbanning of the political parties and the unconditional release of political prisoners. Blissfully, Mr Nelson Mandela was among those political prisoners. The first photographs of Mandela were allowed to be published in South Africa for 20 years. Eventually, what ensues was the process of transition for a new democratic South Africa. Ultimately, in 1994 for the first time in South Africa all people were allowed to vote for the party of their choice. The ANC which is the current leading party in the government won the election with the landslide victory and subsequently Nelson Mandela become the first black president of democratic South Africa.

Apparently, Nelson Mandela was task with the responsibility to build a new democratic South Africa were everybody will live in peace and harmony. Firstly, he was charged to unite South Africa into a one nation with none racial outlook. Ideally, he strives assiduously and forms the government of national unity with white apartheid officials. Imperatively, the truth and reconciliation commission was also established to address issues of the past racial atrocity. Since his term of office in the presidency the issue of racism was outstandingly addressed. Secondly, he was the guardian of a new constitution which dramatically advocates human rights and equality before the law. In his leadership as a president democracy was a reality. Different multiracial political parties were official and the rights of the children were of most important. Over the period of five years South Africa was peacefully colourful and thriving. Continuing the former government’s liberal economic policy, his administration introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho. He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela subsequently became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Fundamentally, Nelson Mandela was a true visionary African leader who deeply cares about the people. Throughout his political life he wholeheartedly desires to see all people live in peace and freedom. Utterly, he abhors all forms of oppression whether is from white or black. His famous quote “I have fought for white domination and I have fought for black domination” bears significant witness. Furthermore, his charismatic leadership has been dramatically recognised even when he was on the trenches of the struggle for freedom. In 1944, was part of the formation of the ANC Youth League which played a pivotal role in the political life of ANC. He has suffered severely politically as the freedom fighter and spends twenty seven years in prison. Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Denounced as a terrorist by some and called a Communist by his enemies he nevertheless gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna.

Since, last year his health was seriously daunting and he has been hospitalised several times, a thing which his distracters assumed he was dead. Currently there is a new film in the cinema about his life and MADIBAS legacy is to be immortalised in a 37kg book, Mandela Opus. Mandela has been depicted in cinema and television on multiple occasions. He was portrayed by Danny Glover in the 1987 HBO telefilm Mandela. The 1997 film Mandela and de Klerk starred Sidney Poitier as Mandela, while Dennis Haysbert played him in Goodbye Bafana (2007). In the 2009 BBC telefilm Mrs Mandela, Mandela was portrayed by David Harewood, and Morgan Freeman portrayed him in Invictus (2009). Terrence Howard portrayed him in the 2011 film Winnie Mandela.[393] He is portrayed by Idris Elba in the 2013 film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
Unfortunately, death has robbed him the opportunity to see all this awesome things that the world is so eager to do for him. Nelson Mandela has played an important role in the lives of many people in the world including his enemies. For Africa to be better continent leaders of the calibre of Nelson Mandela are needed is also necessary to emulate him. Mandela was the peace loving person and he was very special for that. As Africa is experiencing serious challenges of poverty, civil wars, underdevelopment, HIV/AIDS etc is necessary to have leaders of the character of Nelson Mandela. Africa is threatened by greedy leaders who do not appreciate democracy and wanted to be in power for the rest of their lives. It is important for every African citizen to take responsibility of making Africa a better place. The life and times of Nelson Mandela must be the life lesson for all of us, although he died but his works and words cannot die. Long live people’s choice, long live Nelson Mandela.

December 5, 2013

FOR MALOME by TIISETSO THIBA

Filed under: free state black literature — ABRAXAS @ 8:51 am

For the great one
One time we met
The other moment
We are far from each other like mountains
Time brought distance between us

For the legend
You have played
Your part
Wholehearted
Passionately
And compassionately
Here in our shores, Azania
Not only here we sing your name
Your name is in the world’s tongue
Your vast and revered work is in their heart
So many palms
Under your belt
For so many years
Not sleeping copiously
But crafting the art
For the present and future
So present and future ones
Could have a taste of your hard work

Not easy road though
But you have walked
Many roads
In the global map
In the sea you have glided
In the air you have fled
With no wings of that of birds
And in sand your foot print speak so loud
Your pen is always awake
To ink the paper
To lighten up the world
To edify about Art and Literature
Through your delta
To avoid demise of literature
And for you,
You have cheated demise
In so many ways
And have nine lives like a cat
But you never opted to rest your pen
Nor burn to ash you’re your note-pad
You never let your mind
To rest in that milady
You are born a writer
A true instigator
In the sky
Your name appear
Amongst the stars

Bold, black and tall
Cavernous voice
Mirth and beam
Always dressed up your face
And with a meek humanity
Sole trends
Black shades on your eyes
Bag staked
With books and papers
On your shoulder
Through various season
Black man
You are an African
Home in Nigeria
Is where your
Ancestors has rest
In this continent
We are one
With same blood in veins
Same heart
Same mind
Same dream
Till time naked eyes gaze each other
I plea to you malome
To not let your pen rest
And not let your mind run dry
For our future sake
And for Africa’s sake

October 29, 2013

omoseye bolaji’s “tebogo in the thick of things” reviewed by mzwandile soqaga

Filed under: free state black literature,reviews — ABRAXAS @ 11:30 am

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keep reading this review here: http://omoseyebolaji.blogspot.com/2013/10/tebogo-in-thick-of-things-by-omoseye.html

October 28, 2013

omoseye bolaji – collected poems

Filed under: free state black literature,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 2:16 pm

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October 24, 2013

peopress

Filed under: free state black literature,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 10:23 am

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keep reading this article here: http://freestatebooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/peopress-intriguing-compendium.html

October 20, 2013

WHEN I’M ALONE – TIISETSO M THIBA

Filed under: free state black literature,poetry — ABRAXAS @ 11:54 am

When I’m alone
I sit back and push me deep into my thoughts
And going through me
Page down my memory
Reminiscing bliss and sorrow

I held her face in my thoughts
And unfold all our feats
When she was exultant
With beam on her face
And turn other page when she was wretched
And need a shoulder to cry on
Uttering words of my longing
I close her book
Before waterfall in my marble

I continue to unfold memory pages
I encounter one my beloved ones
Those who rested in peace
And wish they could still gasp air
But they are no more
And strangled tears to flow again

I flip one of success thru quandary
Tasting so sour in my memory
I then reach one when trees are crying for water
Thus I shut my memory book
And worry about struggle in hand

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