Kasele Watuta Laisi, born in Kivu in Zaire in 1946, deceased in 2012, had a doctorate in french literature and was professor at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique in Bukavu. He has written many literary critics and was author in French and Swahili of a collection of poems. He staged the play 'La Question', by the troupe of the Institut supérieur de pédagogie de Bukavu.
Published writings : 'Écumes', poems, Ceruki, 1981 ; 'La Question', theatre, KLM, 1983 ; 'Grioties', poemes, Zalya, 1984 ; 'Feuillet de jette', poems, 2007 ;
unpublished writings: 'Roses et écueils', poems, 1971 ; 'Migrations', poems, 1981 ; 'Bibi', poems, 1986 ; 'Gai, coopérons', short story, 1994 ; 'Gluten, ô terroir', theatre, 1994.
[published in RN 04 in March 1992, original text written in French translated by V.C. Koppel]
Kinshasa ! A large croaking torment of black delirium. The sun, a massive burden, bathes it's feet in majestic fluid, tainted by betrayal and the bitter mucous of our ancestors.
My descent, barely touches the conglomerate bellows of a fauna. Galley slaves have nerves of steel, angular jaws, husky voices and hidden pain.
My foot is astounded, feeling the cleft stones of a people's brain ! They are monuments, the neurons which not long ago belted out the anthem of a great summer.
Vast is this somnolent matter, surmounted by foundations, at the end of an uncompleted calvary somewhere near Limete*. When will this great mirage of drunken intercourse cry out in fury for the future ?
Cold heaves strangle the smile of an infant cuddled up against the bony ribs of a stunted pregnancy, gone cold since yesterday. The sunrise has no sun for these poor sunrise has no sun for these poor bodies, barely coverer bodies, barely covered by rags even the lice have deserted.
Child of my country, gums squeezing a limp breast.
Child of my country, pulsating yesterday, in the womb of a femininity scarred from its depths.
Just yesterday : a tiny bedroom in a smoky shed, a mattress against the remnant of a wall squeaks in the cold.
She, twenty, her shabby hope undressed to the bowels. He, a candle in his hand. With a feverish finger he traces on distended skin, the capricious excitement of their embryonic survival.
Kasele Watuta Laisi, 1981
[extracts of 2 poems from the collection 'Grioties', Edition Zalya Bukavu, Zaïre (RDCongo)]
* A neighborhood of Kinshasa