Angela ferreira

The child who was shot dead by soldiers in Nyanga

The child is not dead
the child raises his fists against his mother
who screams Africa screams the smell
of freedom and heather
in the locations of the heart under siege
The child raises his fists against his father
in the march of the generations
who scream Africa scream the smell
of justice and blood
in the streets of his armed pride
The child is not dead
neither at Langa nor at Nyanga
nor at Orlando nor at Sharpeville
nor at the police station in Philippi
where he lies with a bullet in his head
The child is the shadow of the soldiers
on guard with guns saracens and batons
the child is present at all meetings and legislations
the child peeps through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
the child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
the child who became a man treks through all of Africa
the child who became a giant travels through the whole world
Without a pass

© 1963, Ingrid Jonker Trust
From: Rook en Oker
Publisher: Afrikaanse Pers, Johannesburg, 1963
© Translation: 2007, Antjie Krog & André Brink
From: Black Butterflies
Publisher: Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, 2007, 9780798148924

 

Die kind doog geskiet is deur soldate by Nyanga

Die kind is nie dood nie
die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy moeder
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur
van vryheid en heide
in die lokasies van die omsingelde hart
Die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy vader
in die optog van die generasies
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur
van geregtigheid en bloed
in die strate van sy gewapende trots
Die kind is nie dood nie
nòg by Langa nòg by Nyanga
nòg by Orlando nòg by Sharpeville
nòg by die polisiestasie in Philippi
waar hy lê met ‘n koeël deur sy kop
Die kind is die skaduwee van die soldate
op wag met gewere sarasene en knuppels
die kind is teenwoordig by alle vergaderings en wetgewings
die kind loer deur die vensters van huise en in die harte van moeders
die kind wat net wou speel in die son by Nyanga is orals
die kind wat ‘n man geword het trek deur die ganse Afrika
die kind wat ‘n reus geword het reis deur die hele wêreld
Sonder ‘n pas

© 1963, Ingrid Jonker Trust
From: Rook en Oker
Publisher: Afrikaanse Pers, Johannesburg, 1963
Poets’s Note: Maart 1960