Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

The revolution eats its children

TOP del.icio.us

Shepherd Mandhlazi doesn’t just sit back and bleat. He writes to various newspapers sharing his opinion. He writes poetry and dramas which comment on the Zimbabwean crisis.

As Howard Zinn wrote recently

Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens

In my book, Shepherd fits the description of a concerned citizen.

A letter of his was published recently in the Mail & Guardian – here’s a short excerpt

We have faith in Makoni even though he is Zanu PF, which the people hate. He does not display the excesses and fanaticism of his party comrades – the violence, insults, the tendency to point fingers at others when faced with problems.

And here’s a poem that Shepherd has just sent to Kubatana.

I am angry
I have heartburn
Bread, maputi – monotonous diet.

I am angry
I am fearful
I look over my shoulder
I am Zimbabwean.

I am confused
I’m counting the zeros
Is it a billion or a trillion?
I’m counting the zeros.

I am confused
What price is the bread?
Is it three million?
Is it five million?
But it was one million yesterday.

I am confused
I am Zimbabwean.
What is my crime?
Is it loving my wife
And not being able to provide for her?
Is it waving at my friend,
Or not saluting the presidential motorcade?

I am confused
I am Zimbabwean
I am bitter, I am angry.
Where is my father?
Did he run away from us?
What did he mean when he said;
They will come for me,
the revolution eats its children.

I am angry, I am bitter.
I am Zimbabwean.
Where is milk and cereal for my daughter?
Where is bacon and eggs for my wife’s breakfast?
Where is the money
for my night out with the boys?

I am angry, I am lost
I am Zimbabwean.
Why do I sweep the streets in a foreign country
my degrees in my back pocket?
Why do I jump fences
crossing into a better country?

Where is my manhood?
I can no longer feed my family.
I am not a man,
I am a Zimbabwean.

Why does he speak on my behalf,
I do not hate the British
I do not hate the Americans
I don’t care,
a Dube or Jones owning the land
I want food on my table.

I am hungry.
I am angry.
I am confused.
I am bitter.
I am a Zimbabwean.

One comment to “The revolution eats its children”

  1. Comment by Memory:

    Thank you for the poem – it speaks for so many Zimbabweans, who are not forgotten by the rest of the world.