Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 25,761 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Maybe I Know My History A Little Bit Better Than You Do (In Answer To Sipho Sepamla) - Poem by Gert Strydom

Maybe I know my history
a little bit better than you do.
My friend, you are talking
about stories being heard
around coal-stoves
concerning animals
and no real facts
are expressed in your poem.

I know when my ancestor Joost Strijdom
arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in May 1678,
that I descend from the lovely brave Maryna Ras,
when your ancestors
were migrating from a place called eMbo
at the big African lakes under
leadership of chief Dlamini
and later under chief Nguni.

I know how my ancestors battled
against wild beasts, fought the zulu-impi
at Blood River
and overcame by the help of
the almighty God
and that I would not have existed
if they died at the hands of the Zulus.

I know how my ancestors build
farms, churches and houses
while yours were living
in thatched grass huts.

I know how my great grandfathers
and one of my grandfathers
was enveloped in a war against the British,
how they survived
and how my great grandmother
died in a British concentration camp.

I have even faced Cubans
under Soviet command
in the largest mechanised battle in Africa,
apart from those in the Second World War
and we had a decisive victory
that is now being denied
while history books are being rewritten
and fiction is creeping in
and maybe the new propaganda, the lies
of the new history suits you far better.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 16, 2011

Poem Edited: Friday, December 16, 2011

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