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Kgebetli Moele

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Timbila 7, A Journal of Onion Skin Poetry.

Timbila 7
Ha ku chava,
A wu na vuciva,
U na vukarhi bya ngwenya-nkelenge,
Ndzawulo ya Rihanyu yi tshembhe wena

Bertha Khanyisa Baloyi opens up this edition of Onion Skin Poetry, and in a country like ours: English colonised, force fed Afrikaans at another time and re-colonise itself English with Democracy. It is a privileged, South Africa, a cursed privilege to one like me because I cannot read these words that open up this edition of Timbila. Even though I can communicate in these opening language but I cannot read it. It is a curse because I cannot accurately read my second language, Northern Sotho – recently Sepedi. It is the worse kind of a privileged curse because here I am blaming the editors for not including a translated versions.
What were they thinking in this multilingual nation of ours?

We will leave this earth
Knowing nothing
Learned nothing
Still lost in the light
Dark as the day
We were born

I in-soiled my thoughts in words running away from my reality, skipped another that I could not read and another as Mputlane wa Bofelo comforts me by words with words.

Just let it go
Don’t fasten
Your seat belt
Submit to the turbulence
Vibe with the tides
Surrender to the ocean
Dissolve into the waters

And true, I submit. It doesn’t go but stares me in the eyes because I tried to read isiXhosa and It failed dismally. Tried again and however hard I tried, I only decoded that the poem was dedicated to that poetsmith, Mzandile Matiwane.
… them. What were they thinking in this multilingual nation of ours? There was curse words somewhere this time.
I skipped another Afrikaans poem by Tanya Celliers, skipped, skipped and skipped and I knew that

We will leave this earth
Knowing nothing

Timbila 7 is a journal exploring our world and our inner thoughts, there are also obituaries, interviews and thoughts that to provoke the mind for human humane development. There is pain within this word, a cry for a much better world that we have that I have discovered as a common denominator within great poets, that when they delve into love, they precipitated words that can never be riposted. And the poet’s life becomes a lonely life breeding painful words unfulfilled life always breeds pain.

Given Mukhwevho writes about writing in and out of prison as Goodenough Mashego tries to give reasons and answers to the withering reading tradition: What’s to blame-Apartheid or trash culture, and a research paper by Alpheus Manghezi on recovering African oral history through work songs.

At the heart of Timbila 7 are great words by thirty contemporary poets: issues aside, Timbila 7 is a joyread and issues will always be with us to deal with.

Crackling deafening laughter
In a sunny day.
Igniting the flames of addictions,
Arousing a powerless foam
Of what they call happiness,
Something I don’t have,
Something I long to have


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