Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Friday, September 17, 2004

Culture and History

From now on I have decided to make Friday's culture and history day on Mzansi Africa. My first contribution for today is one of my all time favourite poems. South Africa has an incredible body of protest poetry that grew up under the apartheid regime. I've loved this poem that I'm posting today for a long time, and it's a poem that is still deeply relevant - as a way of looking back to our country's turbulent past, but also as a way of respecting the optimism of those who were oppressed, and their hopes for a better future that indeed came to pass.

For Don M Banned

It is a dry white season
dark leaves don’t last, their brief lives dry out
and with a broken heart they
dive down gently headed for the earth
not even bleeding.
it is a dry white season brother, only the trees know the pain as they still stand erect
dry like steel, their branches dry like wire,
indeed, it is a dry white season but seasons come to pass

by Mongane Wally Serote


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