Nontobeko Dlamini

Rookie - 52 Points (22 July 1989 / Piggs Peak)

Ancestral Fig - Poem by Nontobeko Dlamini

Great Ancestor!
The mighty fig tree on the fields.
They say they want to behead her
For her shade kills the maize crops.
But in winter,
They lick honey from her womb.
They mercilesly
Suffocate and burn her wrinkled skin,
On their quest for honey.
Little do they care
For they choose not to see
Her little tears
Or hear her shrill cries of pain.

From her eyes
I see the story long forgotten
Of my foefathers
Who ran away
From a brothers axe.
Brave women
Who travelled far and wide,
For the safety of their children.
Under this majestic then young fig
They found peace and serenity.

From this vast land
They chose to build their first hut
Next to this magnificent beauty.
Tall and wide
With skin as soft as silk
Outstanding from all others,
Wild and untouched
Fruits sweet and fleshy
They knew they were home at last.

Strong and deep roots
A sign of stability.
Standing the test of time in defience
Yet the big hole in her heart threatens her,
A sign of endurity.

Merry souls rested
Under this fig during hot summer days.
Drinking marula brew Fom a black tinted calabash,
Circulating amongst the men young and old
A symbol of brotherhood.
I can still hear their voices
Sharing amongst themselves
Their life stories.

So to chop this tree
Is to destroy history
To deprive the generations to
Of their birthrite.
This isnt just a tree
It is the family tree
For in its branches
Painted are the faces of all the family members
Past, present and future.
This is the ancestral fig.

Comments about Ancestral Fig by Nontobeko Dlamini

  • Oludipe Oyin Samuel (6/14/2012 12:58:00 PM)

    This is deep, a deep mishmash of alluring nostalgia-radiating concepts! ... The origin of a people amputated by those redolent of a selfish bargain- the very sheath of hegemony. Moreover, the eloquence of this piece makes the pain more ''perpetual'' in its own way. A majestic write... (Report) Reply

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  • (4/24/2012 1:19:00 PM)

    The vast of the significant content behind the theme, is indeed out of this world, only one who could relate to these lines can be able to comprehend the justified tender spirit of this write, I am sincerely honored to have been one of those who got a chance to digest such wonderful insight
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/21/2012 12:48:00 AM)

    A classic African gem! A true masterpiece of great depth and feeling! A wonderful poem! A brilliancy from your brilliant mind! You're magnificent.Thanks (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 20, 2012

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 21, 2012

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