Nkululeko Mdudu

Rookie (11 October 1990 / Queenstown/ South Africa)

///#~~*names# - Poem by Nkululeko Mdudu

Words make things of matter more tangible
Words make humans understand
Words, weapons, wounds, where warriors
Read and comprehend

Adam, Bruce, Catherine
You know your A, B, Cs
I won’t name names, I’ll only speak
Now try your hand at these:

AmaTola, aBantu baseCacadu.
Not the T for tut-tuts
Nor the B for butchery
No, not the C for clean-cuts

Settle your tongue on your pallet, slight
It is the T for Toro’s inTroduction
Now part with buble, soft. And on your lips
Lies the B for uBuntu. The C requires suction

These are natural sounds
Whose meaning lies in saying them right
If you have heard a clock tick, a cat cry
You couldn't mistake that sound at night

Cultural relativity was one-sided
we voiced your words particular
Now say our Bs, Ts and clicks
It's time you spoke venacular

For as long
(and it is long)
As my name is Gcazimbane
You will not say it wrong

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poem Edited: Tuesday, November 15, 2011

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