A voice from the past

BELOW is Black Trial, a poem by legendary philosopher Ingoapele Madingoane, pictured, one of 43 featured artists on the omnibus, Band of Troubadours, a South African Literary Awards legacy project:

BELOW is Black Trial, a poem by legendary philosopher Ingoapele Madingoane, pictured, one of 43 featured artists on the omnibus, Band of Troubadours, a South African Literary Awards legacy project:

little hector died and africa went on mourning

for the other three ongopotse mapetla and bantu biko

not forgetting

the others as they said

ancestors of africa

fulanis of nigeria jies of uganda

easafrican mbutis abantus tirikis

you've taken away from us

the spirits of your power

as ancestors of africa

nigeria uganda congo & liberia

leaders have emerged without power

sufficient

to help africa shake off this burden

ancestors of africa

the strumming of tabane

the emphasis of bebyi

traditional cowhide sounds

from thobejane's african drums

medupe's meditations might have been

enough music and message

in the service of all men

ancestors of africa

ancestors of africa oh hear our cries

the rivers and valleys have turned red

fields and bushes have gone bare

while you went to ask

for a permit

tarzan was trekking our bases

ancestors of africa

your black gold has gone

colourful ancestors of africa

ancestors of africa oh hear our cries

in the heart of africa

africans shall meet as one

and africa uta swemakiswahili

to seal the african bond before i die

how i long to be there

in that part of you africa

to drink from the calabash

umuthi we nkululeko before i die

how i long to be there africa

where all of africa shall dance marabi

from the beat malombo

while elders drink pombe

from ikhamba eligayiwe o-makoti be-sizwe

before i die

how i long africa

to see strong warriors singing and chanting

songs of expectation

on the african soil

i would be so glad if i too was one before i die

how i long to be loved africa

by that african woman in africa

as lonely as the river nile

in the blazing sahara desert

waiting for the man of her heart

to slip on that cane-made ring

on the finger that points out the path to our future

before i die

how i long africa

o swema kiswahili

to appear african as africa

to have with me a family to love

i will be glad that i am black before i die"

lMadingoane, who was born in 1940 and died in 1998, was given a South African Literary Awards' Literary Posthumous Award in 2007. He is best remembered for the mini epic, Africa My Beginning. It was published by Ravan Press in 1979 and banned by the racist Nationalist Party regime soon thereafter.

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