Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fedha & Nguvu/Money & Power -- March 15, 2011


What sex are you
Coz she wants you and I really really do
I loved you, before I was born
I longed to have you, but you were always gone
There’s no where to find you, I’m all alone
Please money honey be my bunny

I miss you much
Forgot the last time I felt your touch
Wish we could make love on couch
But you are hardly even in my pochi (wallet)
I thought I could bribe you
Gave you a French kiss
But not you
It’s another miss
Please money honey be my bunny

I tried to keep you
You wanted to be spent
I tried to love you
And you went
What’s the reason to have you?
If all that I ask you cant
Please money honey be my bunny

I need food on my plate
Without you nothing I’ll get
Some say its fate
But I, I think I’m the one you hate
You went to Bill Gates
To me you closed all the gates
Remember all the dates?
How I refused to put you on exchange rates?
Please money honey, be my bunny

I thought I was Donald Trump
Till I figured to you, I’m just a trumpet
Wish I could jump and land in your camp
But before I reached I’m dumped
Please money honey be my bunny

KA-CHING/Thomas Green

It don’t go Ka-Ching,
And it doesn’t have a ring,
When you punch that warm
walking ATM machine.

Could be a she,
Or it could be a he.
What difference does it make,
When you’re on the arm
Of a warm walking ATM machine.

All the masses need it.
Like air, to breath it.
It keeps life going,
Cash from
A warm walking ATM machine.

Cash, it greases cogs,
Hear the wheels whir and slog.
Like a synchronized clock
The he or she dispenses,
Like a bank, gender senseless
That warm walking ATM machine.

The elderly man about fifty or so,
He’s down the street.
He pleases young girls who treat him just so.
They punch that card in,
Both walk away with a grin
For that good time just had,
Financial deal not bad,
In whispers they call him
That warm walking ATM machine.

Doesn’t matter she’s so fat,
old or ugly, What’s that?
To young guys on the make,
Dollar signs in their eyes
They’re a rush’n to pie in the sky
Leave this dull drab existence
Adventures? We’ll fly high
For her ? just a pittance
She’ll turn a blind eye
Punch into the slot and you’ll get what you want
From that warm walking ATM machine

Is it right , is it wrong?
Neither one loses sleep
As long as they reap what they want.
Even though it seems cheap
The epiphany comes round complete
feeding some fanciful dream
Just slip your card in-
to the warm walking ATM machine

Don’t have to be deserving,
Just demand what you want
Any color with true wealth rocks
should come from over there
Hit them up what’s your care
Infinite cash they can spare
Just punch in your card to
that warm walking ATM machine.
Slam bam Wow Shazam!…. Ka-Ching!
What a warm walking ATM machine.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT/Mustafa Sharif

For your affairs to run
And respect to gain
You have to have

That will rise you high
Above you will fly
But you can’t deny
That you have to have it

Your word to command
The young and the old
So loud to be heard
I say, you have to have it

What is that?
Money and only money


Fukara mwenye Busara,

Ni Fukara mwenye Furaha,

Furaha ni Busara,

Busara ni Furaha,

Fukara ni Shujaa,

Busara ya Fukara,


Kwa Wanasiasa wenye Mzaha,

Fukara hashibi Furaha,

Fukara haiogopi njaa,

Fukara ana Busara,

Ari ndani ya Fukara,

Haizimwi kwa Kombora,

Fukara ni Kombora,

Kombora lenye Busara,

Busara yenye Ubora,

Aibu ya waiba Kura,

Haiba ya mwenye Furaha,

Fukara! haukimbii Msafara,

Fukara haiogopi Tohara,

Fukara yupo Imara,

Nia yake ipo Salama,

Moyo wake Chuma,

Fukara! siyo Fala,

Hayumbishwi na wenye hela,

Wanasiasa wenye hila,


Umoja wa Mafukara,

Hujenga mji Imara,

Kabaila hawezi kuutawala,

Sala na Dua ya Fukara,

Umoja, Nguvu, Mshikamano, na hujenga Mustakabali wa jamii bora.

Busara ndani ya Fukara ni msingi Imara.


To fall with a bang

Others longed for it so

Hitting down with a clang

The culprit must go.

His crimes they'll be seen

When his rampage is done

Oh the Libyan King

He'll march till he's just one

A battle so unclean

His virtues are none

Killed by his own sting

Reversals are won

Pop out the Champaign

if you must thinks it's time

to celebrate most restrained

his precipitous decline.

He'll never regain

from this position supine.

What is he once gained

Good people is now thine.

IT'S A PAPER/Gerry Bukini

I had an idea

Wanted to put it on paper

To get this paper

I had to pay Paper for it

Which made me think of this paper

Some used to dream

Dream of getting Paper

So they had to go to school

And write on a paper

For those who didn't

It's not that they disliked it

They didn't have Paper for it

For those who did

Got jobs that paid big Paper

Go home with big cases

Full of Paper in it

Eating macaroni and pepperoni

Those who don't have jobs

Hardly have Paper for meals

In this life

It's all about Paper or leave

And we all forget

It's just a Paper

The lucky ones write on papers

To get Paper for them

The big ones

Pay through signed Papers

And not numbered Papers

The corrupt ones

Lie through paper

To get much of our Paper

They ride on expensive Paper-paid cars

While some ride on nature made Paper-less rides

And still we forget

It's just a Paper

I wonder

We are creators of Papers

But some praise the Paper

Some curse the day it was made

Some wished they had read a bunch of collected papers

Coz by now they would be Paper paid

And we all wish to be on a Paper trail

Ending up being Paper slaves

And we forget

It's just a Paper

True it's a Paper


In my country, what I do is called charity:

"How Noble! How Humble! What a sacrifice you make!"

In your country, it's called development:

"How privileged! How lucky! What salary do you make?"

In my country my pay goes on house rent and taxes and going by train to work.

I dream of the beach!

In your country I can pay for house maids and taxis and objects of artwork.

I sit on the beach!

In my country, I have a voice, and a right

To fresh water.

In my country, I have a voice, and a right

Not to walk into a pile of stinking garbage at my front door.

In your country,

Hakuna sauti. Hakuna haki. But Hey!

Hakuna matata! Hamna shida! Money will find a way!

(Mzungu price of course).

How privileged. How lucky.

But what of your voice, and your right,

And how you find a way?

THIS IS ME/Clare Smith

This is me.
A small but powerful wave
Free to love and dance,
To roll and crash as part of life’s beautiful ocean.
A wave like other passionate waves
I tumble across a boat in my path,
Its wooden deck glistening in the sunlight.
In my wake, it is refreshed.
This is me.
My wave.
Not the one I am but the one inside of me.

This is me.
A small but fiery fire
Free to rage and touch,
Not to extinguish another’s fire
Her fire is valid too you know.
Fires together that rage and touch each other’s heart,
The boundaries of our differences transcended.
The power to change.
This is me.
My fire.
Not the one I am but the one inside of me.

This is me.
A gentle but ferocious love
Free to hold and sooth,
Not paralysed by walls I build
Nor riddled with fears I do not own.
Feet no longer caught in traps I lay for myself
Amongst the murk and mire of my mind’s tricks.
Love that is joyous and forgives.
This is me.
My love.
Not the one I am but the one inside of me.

TAKATAKA RANT/Catherine Blake

In Zanzibar

there is litter everywhere!

Flattened blue plastic water bottles,

bits of paper, torn plastic bags

so thin and dragged you'd hardly recognize them,

food cans, telephone voucher slips

in chartreuse, turquoise, and silver,

coconut husks, orange peels,

you name it, it's there!

Rubble on the streets and sidewalks,

Sand and potholes everywhere,

Dust when it's dry,

mud and puddles when it's wet,

and then sometimes the litter floats,

or meets you as a surprise

when you are literally wading

through brown opaque puddles

the size of small lagoons . . .

so you don't know what you'll stir up:

a stone, a bottle, or . . a dead rat!

Oh, my, yes:

the takataka is everywhere!

No removal service here,

so people burn the garbage dumps

from time to time

to cut them down in size!

It works!

But the litter on the streets

and in the alleys

dirties and clutters up

an exotic Old Town of Alleys,

into a dirty rubbishy-looking

set of old houses and abandoned-looking lanes,

but they aren't abandoned or empty;

people live here

and everyone just drops their litter.

No one initiates clean-up on a large scale . . .

so it is like a tide washing

in and out, up and down,

flotsam and jetsam,

always there, never absent . . .

And then you lift your eyes from the cracked and broken pavements

awash in sand and coral stone rubble,

and see all the people . . .

So many people, . . . men, especially:

standing about, many unemployed,

lying asleep under or on barrows depending upon the sun,

playing checkers games with

coloured bottle caps

on cardboard boards hand drawn in markers,

old men pushing or pulling barrows

laden with baskets of produce or a mountain of sticks,

way too old for such work, and usually barefoot,

occasionally old women in their black swathing

or coloured kangas a hand thrust out for money,

very in-your-face, but one seldom has the heart to refuse.

And everywhere, children!

A fact: Young people under 18

are 50% of the population!

How can a country struggling

to develop itself, to move

from abject poverty

in mud huts, on mud floors, for some,

to more modern housing,

hospitals, and schools,

possibly do so

if the population insists on doubling itself

every twenty years?

When will the government wake up and see

that it treats its own people as takataka

when it puts largesse for bigwig officials

ahead of services,

when it insists all students, most of whom don't read books

in their own language,

must pass of fail high school

in English, and not their native language of Kiswahili,

thereby condemning

way more than half of them

to failure!

It's madness!

It seems so clear to an outsider!

Switch schooling to Kiswahili

and educate kids to pass

pass their exams and into the ranks

of confident graduates

instead of condemning them

to the status of "failed student"!

What good does it do for anyone's morale?

Teach them to think, and ask questions

in their mother tongue

and maybe they'll create jobs of their own

for themselves!

And start a nationwide campaign

to limit family size!

Oh, my! look at China's

Great Leap Forward

since families were cut so drastically

to one and two!

Look at the west, where the population's

in decline: parents cannot pay

to educate many children, and

the earth cannot afford us all--!

So, get with the program!

Don't treat your citizens as takataka!

Too many people,

too many poor,

too many unemployed and unschooled,

too many children taught in double shifts

by too few harassed and underpaid teachers,

become human litter

if someone doesn't love them,

teach them,

or give them a chance!

Look at all the children!    

natty or tatty in their school uniforms,

the girls white-veiled to their shoulders or waists,

the boys smart in white shirts and dark pants,

and then the ragged boys on their off-school shifts,

playing soccer barefoot or shod,

taking a goat or a cow by its head-rope

to tether in a fresh patch of grass by the roadside,

or in a school yard, wherever,

or just hanging about whacking things with sticks,

with not a blessed thing to do!

You do not see the girls about so often;

they have all the house chores to do—it isn't fair!

Babies so tiny and light in their mothers' arms,

toddlers with huge liquid eyes,

little children left behind when their parents go to mosque to pray,

on the smooth-swept courtyards

and cry when they fall—and no one comes,

are they human takataka?

Allah, if you are listening,

send a new dispensation

to this massively faithful island:

tell them for their own sakes and that of the earth,

that the injunction to be fruitful and multiply

is no longer a "good thing"!!

What worked in the desert as old age security

1500 years ago, is now a liability—for all!

Let the imams wake up and see!

Let the young folk take notice and think!

Let the government wake up and act!

May 18, 2010


Money is so strange
It's so strange an asset to think of
It's an asset of unfairness;
While others have plenty
Others have nothing
And it's not that there will be replacement
Not that there will be exchange
That today you are this way
Tomorrow you are other way round
Not that today you have nothing
Tomorrow you get something
You just keep on being who you are; The money-less

Money is an asset of unfairness;
While others are born with money to prosper
Others are born penniless to suffer
And there is no change!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busara/Wisdom – February 15, 2010


My wise old mother, called me and said
Live to be wise, my son Said
Educate yourself and your generation
Be savior to your people, lead way to liberation
Respect all people, youngsters and elders
For better and for worse, strengthen your shoulders
Work hard all times, reach your resolutions
Face them the enemies, make right decisions
Be kind my son, it’s the right title
When you have problems, use the wits to settle
Don’t follow your heart, it’s the tool of the devils
Good deeds all times, will fight the evils
Love to everyone, it’s the life asset
If you take my wisdom, you’ll make yourself perfect

My wise old mother, called me and said
Live to be wise, my son Said.

OH SOUNDS/Ally Saleh

Sounds…Sounds, Oh sounds, Oh sounds

Piercing through my ear drum

And I look like a dumb

What have been the sounds for

When stuck at the entrance door

Meaning less, aim less and even target less

Not yesterday, today…yes today and even tomorrow

Oh, sounds…Oh sounds


When the sounds embark on a journey

Wondering from the wilderness

Crossing deep into the deserts

Struggling up the peak of mountains

Floating through the sky

Looking for a place to lie

If not to settle and make impact

How does the sounds peg to know

That …that this is the destination

That here now

Be the penetration…yes the penetration


What are the sounds for

When the ear can not accommodate

The heart does not accept

The brain does not discern

And your feelings can not turn….

Tell me what would this sound be

If not just being sound….

What are the sounds….What are the sounds

If they were just sounds?


What is…yes what is sound

If not a melody

That can sooth your aching heart

What is sound

If not a relief

To pangs in your empty stomach

What is sound

If not a pen

To teach the illiterate lots

What is sound if not the shoes

That can wear the bare footed

What is sound if not a cloth

That can cover the naked bodies

What is a sound if not a language

That you can communicate in

Otherwise sounds will be just sounds

Will pass ear to ear

Finding no destination

And back surely the sound will go

In the wilderness, the desert, the mountains and the sky

Because sound without a meaning, aim and target

Are just sounds

And what are sounds when they are just sounds

Oh sounds, Oh sounds

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Karibuni Wote!

Welcome to MANENO -- a poetry gathering in Stone Town, Zanzibar, currently held every 3rd Tuesday of the month. Inspired by a theme each month, all are welcome to bring a poem, read a poem, or just listen and discuss. Karibuni wote!