Friday, 03 September 2010


As you will have gathered from my last few posts, and my long absences between posts, I have been going through a hectic phase of biting off too much, and then trying to chew and swallow it. Luckily things are getting back to normal, and the art gallery is now ticking along happily with good staff to run it. As a result, I am back in the studio, and painting up a storm.

What makes it even better is that I am not just producing random works about anything that inspires me, but am working towards a very definite goal and an exciting project. I mentioned it briefly in my last post; my friend Nox Mafu, who is from PE but is living in New York while obtaining her PhD, is a wonderful poet, and we are working towards a collaborative exhibition, where I do a series of paintings to express the themes she covers in her poetry, and she writes poems on her reaction to some of my paintings. We will exhibit them as duo-works. We have had a wonderful time sparking ideas off each other. The project now has a name, "ConneXion2" and has grown from the original idea of a single exhibition, into an ongoing process in both the USA and South Africa, involving book publishing, teaching of children by giving workshops in low income areas, and exhibiting annually, alternating between US and SA. We have also been developing a website, so things are humming along nicely.

One of the reasons for my long silence is that I did not want to pre-empt the exhibition by posting the work beforehand. But I do not have a huge readership here, and the first exhibition will take place in New York, where it is unlikely many people will have seen the work here, so I decided I might as well post pix to show my friends what I have been up to, so I'll add a few at a time in the coming weeks.

Although both the poems and paintings are able to stand alone, I am publishing them both together because in a sense they gave birth to each other and because you might enjoy seeing how they relate to each other.

An X marks a Spot, 900x900mm

An X marks a Spot

An x, is an x

Not just an x

More than just an x

That we see,

It can mean anything!

When written as x;

It is two c's attached

On the backs, look at

The paces above and below

The attached part, that

May as well be occupying something,

It can mean anything!

x can represent any value;

When written as x;

Are two criss-crossed lines,

Four v's facing; South,

East, West and North,

A sign of incorrect,

It can mean anything!

To make a mark; x is used;

Vote, signature of illiterate,

And a difference occurs,

X is more than just an x

Can you really tell what it is?

We lose them, They Expand 1000x1000mm

We Lose Them, They expand

A girl next door, got pregnant,

She was older than me a few years;

The prospective father was an activist,

In one of radical political organizations,

Geared at eliminating the apartheid regime

During that time; he got killed;

Attending an underground meeting,

Just, after his infant was conceived.

What a loss, losing men fighting for our freedom

What a loss for her

What a loss for that unborn child,

What a loss for the family

What a loss for the nation,

It never occurred to me,

That the thought would be with me

This much even after 20 years,

I still remember

The cries, the grief,

That made the backbone erect,

The cloudy atmosphere,

Streets with blazing tires’ smoke,

Tear gas fiercely shot at us,

With reddened eyes my people

Charged with the spirit of no return,

I remember the pain my people felt,

A boy was born, named; Ayanda:

Meaning: “They are expanding”,

Be it the people die, they expand;

The soldiers are expanding.

I saw him growing up as I also grew,

It never occurred to me,

That the thought would be with me

This much even after 20 years,

I still remember

It still strongly touches my heart,

In high school, with my dearest friend,

We prepared to go for a protest,

The brigadier had to be overthrown

From oppressing the people,

The masses were mobilized;

Taxis, buses, most people with cars,

Trucks, vans had them open free of charge

For the masses to protest,

In the midst of it all; an announcement,

We heard, before we got at Bisho;

There has been a massacre,

The blood of innocent people,

Flowing in the streets, a greedy

The policemen like hunter men; butchered,

without remorse. As some pushed to move ahead,

I remained captivated by the sorrow around me,

In the midst of everything,

It was dispatched that, amongst,

Many of our friends,

Many of my people,

My best friend’s brother,

Had been killed,

What a loss, losing men fighting for our freedom

What a loss for her

What a loss for the family

What a loss for the nation,

What a loss to us

It never occurred to me,

That the thought would be with me

This much even after 20 years,

I still remember,

It still strongly touches my heart,

What a loss, to the nation

The Desperate Ones 1200x1000mm

The Desperate Ones

They come in

They come out

And we stay

They go in

They go out

And we stay

The desperate ones

Do whatever, damn

And we stay,

Them, chow whatever

Out there and here

And we stay

Them, chow however

Whenever, from whoever

And we stay,

Right here, whoever,

Whenever, whatever,

And we stay,

The desperate ones,

Pin up-down, search,

And we stay,

Zoom nearer-farther,


And we stay,

Them, flip and flop

With cold touch

And we stay

The desperate ones

They live as

And we stay

We stay and we stay

We stay as

The desperate ones

Call Me a Snob, 1200x800mm

Call me a snob

For I was born in the south of the continent of our Motherland

As you were born in the United States of America by the parents

Given birth to by the sons and daughters of Motherland, for that

I call you a brother, I call you a sister; we are of the same origin

Yes of I strive to speak like you in your language for in this land

I need to be sounding like you for you to take me as you, yes of

Course; call me a snob for I buy the stuff you buy for your children

For my children, I also buy the name brand labels and send home

Yes of course call me a snob because I am becoming Americanized

I am becoming you; Is there shame in becoming the being you are-I am?

Yes of course.

How could I have disregarded the obviously sorely at home

of nobody wanting and becoming me? The worse is the divide;

You see no brother no sister in me but an alien that is mimicking you

You call me a snob for I’ve forsaken my peoples’ ways while living

In your land, suddenly I reckon that I am not welcomed in your land

Yes, you’re a foreigner not just to me but yourself for you see me not

In you but an alien wanting to be another alien in you, call me a snob.

One Woman’s Protest 900x900mm

One Woman’s Protest

I refuse to take it anymore

I will not take whatever

You tell me that I am

I will not dare listen

I move on with what is in me

You take it or leave it

You called and told me

That I am black woman

I took that as non-black I am

See I am brown and when I reckoned

That what this black you attach

To me pertains which has

Pained for the most part of my life

But I embraced, nursed and cherished

The pain of being a black woman

And I watched you living a better life of not

being a black person, I kneeled as required, and

as a black person under your supremacy,

I envied you given a status and priviledges, yes you

As a non-really-black person who marveled it all

And never wanted to be called a black person

This has been going on as much as you wish

Until you get to be where you want to be

Which is not - you – being – me, oh but you

In your own blackness that again and again

Puts me in otherness of who I have always been

But, now, right now, put me nowhere than I want

To be. I refuse to be given my whom I am

I just give you what you want to be, just be

For I am whom I am with what is in me

You take it or live it and that’s there to it!

I long for my land 1500x800

I long for my land

While the sun sets when afar from home,

With each boom of every hour I endure,

As several storms, winds, cold, heat of

Each of every second of a period, not to

mention the doom of the minutes surely

I am reminded of home and I am an alien.

A gaze on the changing sky, over the sea,

Hills and the mountains, around me, and

When the moon shows, I long for that

Woman with a baby on the back, tightly

Tied with a towel to her limbs to feel the

Heartbeat and remain connected to the baby

As is I am to come back home soon, yes

For when the sun sets, I seek for who I am

I seek for your comfort in the surrounding

Everywhere, in vain until I admit that, yes

I also have a home, but here I am an alien,

The nest 1 600x500mm

The nest 2 900x900mm

The nest

It may appear shaggily built,

but it is intact patterned

with disparate breeds of grass

and chips of woods.

The deeper gist is known by

the inhabitants within, but for

The one who has it built

There is a reason.

I wonder about such skill,

The power and love that have driven

To provide such a compound,

To protect us and others that might visit.

As she provides, some seem to snatch,

Such voracious chicks that instead of

Receiving, but gracelessly demand from

The hen of her maggots as a result of her

Toil and strength, the nest, it may appear

To be light; it is made up of complexity;

Which is love and it is indefinitely strong

To lift the load beyond the thunderous wind

blow, even if the nest falls, it remains intact

Without being smashed by the grounds.

Even idiotic utterance and actions, from

Juvenile boys and huntsman of the birds,

Unconsciously confirm such wondrous art,

Begotten from the receiver,

She who reckoned

From within;

The need and therefore,

Fulfills it, with the nest.

Conflict Resolution 1100x900mm


Conflict Resolution

You are you,

I am I,

You are yours,

I am mine!

But; there is One,

Whom you belong to;

And also the One

Whom I belong to!

But you; not to me,

And me; not to you!

Just a wish….

When the buzzing occurs,

Urging reasoning to reign

Within, I reckon that, truly

I am I and you are you, as

I am mine, you are yours,

While either belong to the One,

For we are distinctive; with each

Tic, tic we agree-disagree and

Sometimes drift like the nations

Spread through out the universe.

Then, accept that as is

For we are unique beings,

The privilege is that;

Treat you, as you're yours,


I, treat me, as if I'm mine!

For even the One and only One;

That each belongs to; treats us

In a manner that each deserves.

If a fight erupts, we need

To reckon and cease fighting for

What is not ours, moreover,

Figure out if whatever is yours,

Is worth fighting for, if it belongs to

Somebody else.

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