Mama, lo mlilo uyashisa?
She responded: “mnt’anam’, fire is nothing to fear.”
Fire burns in the passionate veins of our people
and the thunder of their toyi-toyi echoes for generations to hear.
Fire is the flavour of crackling skin
basted in revelry at family gatherings.
It is the foundation of smoke in rondawel homes
and the rite of passage at your initiation.
Fire is stoked like the forgotten embers of forbidden lovers
and gives rise to endless struggles.
Mama, lo mlilo uyashisa na?
She responded: “mnt’anam’, fire is nothing to despise.”
My eyes have seen cities die
and from the ashes rose people’s rights.
Flaming tyres have shed more light on crisis
than boycotts, sit-ins and campaigns of defiance.
“Kodwa mamela my child
because what I say now may save your life:
Fire! is also the voice of warring guns
and the piercing cry of deafening silence.
Fire is nothing to fear, you must know that my child,
but remember that fire is still fire.”
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song created on 14/09/2018, by
Ons Klyntji Audio Project
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