Mvula Ya Nangolo-Namibia

Mvula ya Nangolo, Namibia, Writer
  

Born in Oniimwandi in 1943, Mvula ya Nangolo was one of Namibia’s first black journalists and has worked also for European press. He published poets, and he became ’National Poet of Namibia’. He was also Special Advisor to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology. In 1995 he published ’Kassinga: A Story Untold’ (with Tor Sellström), an account of the 1978 massacre of hundreds of Namibians in a refugee camp in Angola by the South African military. His poetry publications include ’From Exile’ (1976), ’Thoughts from Exile’ (1991) and ’Watering the Beloved Desert’ (2008). His work also features in the anthology ’When My Brothers Come Home’ (1985).

  

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From Exile

[published in RN 04 in March 1992, unpublished original text written in English]

  

From exile when I return

I’m going to beg someone to touch me

very, very tenderly

and gradually put me at ease

I wish to feel again how life feels

  

I’ve not been home for many, many years

for many years I’ve been out of sight

for many years I’ve not been touched

and I’ve learnt to be homesick here in exile

where life is not so bright

  

I’ve not been touched so tenderly

I’ve been searched by bullets

going through my camouflage

and leaving my heart so fresh

I wish to feel again how life feels

  

From exile when I return

I’m going to beg someone

to introduce the newly born babies

help me identify those grown-ups

and lead me to the cemetery

where friends and playmates have long gone

  

From exile when I return

I’m going to beg someone

to understand my silence

the letter that didn’t arrive

about our clan and tribe

for now I only belong

to my country and nation

still I wish to be touched tenderly

by hand and atmosphere

of people in a peaceful sphere.

  
  

Mvula ya Nangolo

  
  

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