Reading a poem by Siyabonga Sibiya

Sitting on a red sofa at The Red Sofa in Derry Street, reading a poem by Siyabonga Sibiya.

The poem was read in a whispered voice. Two men at a nearby table were discussing God. One leaned forward and said that he knew God, and the other nodded in a sort of wonderment. There was an angelic touch to the waitress, which she herself was not aware of. An artist in the room noticed it and made a quick sketch in his mind. He ordered another coffee. The restaurant seemed electric with something.

Poetry is important for life. It is a beacon of light in these dark times. During the State of Emergency, someone we knew was permitted to have a Bible while he was in detention. He read Ecclesiastics over and again. The Poetry of it kept him focused on the beauty in the human soul.

Siyabonga Sibiya
Translated from the Zulu by the poet

There you reside, in my deepest of dreams.
Across the river in the land of those departed, I see you.

On opposite sides of the river we stand.
Staring into each other, I have longed to see your face again.
Your blackness, your rich brown soil-like skin.
I have wanted you for so long,
to be here and be proud of the man I have become.
In my deepest of dreams,
I hear your voice, an unforgettable Nat King Cole song playing
to some of the memories I possess of you.
In my deepest of dreams.
If only I could wake up and you were here again.


Siyabonga Sibiya is one of the 149 poets included in Africa! My Africa!
Besides being a published poet, he is an entrepreneur with an advertising background.

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