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Nomkhumbulwa Aug 2020

As the pace of life slows
To protect my health
I sit here reflecting
For I can’t do much else

The global situation
On all our minds
Surreal as it is
The Earth is doing fine

I sit here listening
To the sounds of Soweto
Wondering if there’s anyone else
Like me.... locked down in Soweto

Luck it may have been
I consider myself lucky still
I wouldn’t want to be stuck anywhere else
What a story I now have to tell

There is hardship and struggle
Even for us every day
Yet there is also love... beauty...
Something so special to be here to “stay”

I’m no tourist
But still I feel unique
I wonder... is there anyone else?
Anyone else like me?

I feel I belong
I always have
But now this feelings deeper
I forget I’m not local infact!

It’s only when I sit here
And think, everything still
That I remember I’m different
Yet I’m treated like a local

I have become a Sowetan
And it didn’t start this year
It’s been happening slowly
The township adopted me, year after year

People are varied
Some are illegal
Yet, as written in the constitution
This country belongs to all

I love South Africa
But not all of it’s the same
It’s here in Soweto
Here - I got a new name

I don’t feel any different
To others around me
I have become one of them
But still wonder..... is there anyone else like me?

Getting stuck here was a blessing
How things fall into place!
Although no one anticipated COVID
Being in Soweto puts a smile on my face

I feel it’s almost sacred
To find myself here
During this global pandemic
I’ve been “protected “ it’s clear

I’m here for a reason
That has been proven to me
And whatever the reason
... it was just meant to be

I “belong “ here in Soweto
There IS no one like me
I am now a Sowetan
...just as it was “meant to be”

Ngiyabonga beautiful people **
Forgive me I’m new **
Nomkhumbulwa Mar 2020
I was beginning to know who I am,
Or so I thought until now;
But now im thinking again
… I really know who I am?

I thought myself a good person,
Though this thought comes and goes;
But now im not so certain
Am I someone you should know?

I feel like im under performing,
Stupid, and over reacting;
As Coronavirus reached our shores
Perhaps everyone is over reacting

I look on at the rest of the world,
Most Countries affected 1st world;
For South Africa the danger is greater,
Yet others say we’re not in the world…

Do they now understand?
Or is it me being pathetic?
Im not mocking these countries
I know life must be hectic

But is it wrong to be worried?
Although our case load is small,
For with a huge *** burden
The case load surely wont stay small

Here people struggle each day,
The economy fails more and more;
Yet we need to pick up the pieces
We need to do this for all

This is not a time to be greedy,
Solidarity and compassion a must,
There wasn't any money before…..
But now finding it is a must…

Though numbers are low right now,
200 overnight to 750,
With densely populated areas of deep poverty
The spread must be contained immediately

Yes, the measures we’re taking are drastic,
But the worry and fear is real,
If this should enter our townships
Its too late…too many will fall ill

Our poor rural people are vulnerable
The mass communication campaign not accessible
What will happen to these people?
To forget about them is just cruel

I dont think its a time for mocking
Or laughing at us here in SA;
For if we don't act, the risk is far greater,
affecting millions, more than the UK

Sometimes I look forward to isolation
But not from the people here,
Rather from the ignorance online,
To help me keep things clear

No one even sees im stuck here,
Not that I wish to leave;
But just knowing people are unaware
…of the disruption here by this disease…

I have faith in the Country to act,
They have witnessed mistakes made by others,
Yet never once did we mock them
For these are people- our sisters and brothers

I care deeply for this country,
So distance myself I may;
From the cruel internet entirely,
….Thats all I have to say…

……………………..Nomkhumbulwa new
A journey from Soweto to Jozi have turned a suicide note,
Written like a poem through every inch the Shosholoza cover.

We survive anyway,
With the apartheid legacy written on our bleeding skins,
The rainbow nations I have seen are the slashes painted on my father’s skin.

Every day we survive crime, ***, cancer and the brutality of our own negative thoughts.
Every time I enter the train I see depressed souls, I see the effects of apartheid although we try so much to act like it never happened.
Shosholoza is a name of a train in South Africa that is used by mostly Black people, a third class train.
For 21 days I saw changes wrought
by the freedom of 22 years  
Secrets of razor wire straight and taut
Speak of those who continue to fear

I saw nature’s beauty in land and face
As black heel continues to rise
Via school, ambition they prep for the race
Even as secretly despised

What’s changed in Soweto? I did not live
But photos and newsreels survive
Pictures of shanties bulldozed to give
Whites room to extend their hives

Now malls; monuments to white retail
Built on Mandiba’s words
Polished chrome and marble hail
“Happy” workers in a black-faced world

Monuments ringed with vendors tribal
Carved goods for sale and cheap
The rands they make do not rival
What multi-nationals’ continue to reap

Happiness is shallow until sundown
When the curtain of decorum lifts
Showing reality’s new shanty-town
Where space and plumbing are gifts

I wonder if He would be okay
Seeing his people so used
As pawns for labor with little say
As black is seldom excused
The young know the time is now
As old hatred’s in shallow graves
To be unearthed by book and plow
Keeping dreams from stunting and fade
It may not seem as such, but I had a terrific if not educational time in South Africa. The Kruger animal photo opts, the Swaziland kindergarten where half of the five and six-year-olds are orphaned due to the aides epidemic. The glassmaking co-op where exquisite glass figurines are all hand blown from recycled glass. I witnessed the resilience of a proud people even as I was saddened at the extreme draught nature has visited upon man and beast alike.

— The End —