Reviews and Poetry
IMPHEPHO YOMPHEFUMLOAuthor: Monde NgonyamaPublisher: Swii Arts AmendmentReviewed by Ayanda Billie
Poetry is taking centre stage in the performing arts. At clubs, restaurants, pubs and theatres you will always find an open microphone with a poet. With all the hype, what stands out is whether you will find sense in the words of the poet. Monde Ngonyama, a writer, teacher and an art critic, did not think twice before publishing an isi-Xhosa poetry anthology, entitled, “˜Imphepho Yomphefumlo’. All he wanted was to contribute to the development of African languages and create work that will stand the test of time. Then the question is: did he do all that? With a loud yes! The grayish book, with art work by Sandile Goje of Grahamstown, may lie to your eyes by sending you to another direction. But the 32 poems inside it will arrest your attention leaving you in a moment of dismay, asking yourself why you only came to know this writer now and where are other books by this man. The book covers life as a whole – now and then, him, I and you. What’s left is for you to get the book in your shelf so that your children may know that isiXhosa is not just about the Q’s and clicks but if beautifully crafted, it will resound in your mind like Imphepho Yomphefumlo.
We have two copies to give away courtesy of Ngonyama. The first two people that write in will receive a free copy. The book sells for R50.
UBUNTU BAM (Native Rhythms Records)Artist: SiphokaziReviewed by Ayanda Billie
After a long history of singing as a backing vocalist for other artists, Siphokazi has finally released an album that caused a storm at the SA Music Awards. It was not a mistake that they gave her the newcomer award; she is fresh and blazing all around. This young woman from Lusikisiki has given her soul to this album. From track one to the last you get captivated by the use of her voice. Her musical background and the people she has rubbed shoulders with – Tshepo Tsola, Ringo and Simphiwe Dana – are evident in her music. Most of the songs are culturally rich, poetic and very inspiring. She fuses her Xhosa culture with afro-jazz. The songs Amacala, Nyamezela, Uvengobani and Sul’iinyembezi will call you from a distance and touch your heart even if you do not understand the lyrics.The times have changed. The music that is being created at the shacks and backyard rooms by the young sons and daughters of Africa is echoing to faraway mountains. Siphokazi has given us a 12 track album that reminds you of something.If I had to rate this CD, 10/10 would do it justice.
“˜Salute comrade Saki!’
Uphi na Saki?Uphi na kaloku mbhali?Uphi na kaloku siselendini senyathi?Uphi na ngwelwesheshe yeNumsa?
Wathula wee tu!Wavala owakho umlomo wee cwaka!Vanga awukho!Nditsho kuwe kaloku khwahla ndini!
Wena ungudingela!Wenz’ ababhali kant’ uyaz’ ukuth’…Uzothathu’ mhlalaphantsi!Phumla ke khwahlandini le manyano yesinyithi.
Sthi thina sifundile kuwe!Ke namhlanje kuyafundwa kuthi!Kuba kaloku usifundisile wena.Bona ke umsebenz’omhle wezandla zakho!
Siyawangazelisa kuwe Saki sithi salute!!!
Kaya Ka Yoko, VWSA
In praise of Aubrey ka SakiAubrey ka Saki was a worker at Volkswagen SA, a Numsa shop steward and one of the first Numsa writers. He retired from work earlier this year. In this poem, VW shop steward Yoko praises Saki for the role that he played in nurturing and teaching a new team of writers in VW.However, it is not just VW workers that salute him. Numsa also salutes him as one of the first Numsa writers that would always send contributions whether they were about the struggle at work, problems in the community or about issues further away from him. Numsa News salutes cde Saki!