I Am a Griot

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Classroom cultivated my literary consciousness. My best Writer-Poet is Modekai A. Hamutyinei. Most of his poems were sanguaged inside the Shona textbook pages for us to imbibe the rich and deep Karanga verses coated with thought-provoking imagery about identity and morality. His poems christened me into a village griot. My admirers equated my poetry recitations with literary prowess. Our assembly time was electric with poetry recitations. I cherish those childhood moments. I would hurry in front of the whole school with no microphone but armed with a megaphonic voice,  Hamutyinei’s deep Karanga creamed verses,raw artistic gestures and a confident breath. I exploded verses like a gushing river after a heavy storm.

“Ndainge ndiri ishe zvangu muzvinanyika

Ndirindoga chikara kubva kudoro

Chainge chakandikiya kuti shwe ..e

Hwahwa hwamamuchikuye chipanda

Ndaingunotsika matama enzira kudzadzarika,

Svikeyi ,mugoto susururu

Rupasa rwangu che-ee

Gumbeze pamusoro wazviona………………….”

Hamutyineyi was a great poet of Shona Karanga origin.  I became intimatewith his writings. I armed myself with a calabash full of spring-water to wash down the delicacies of his literary showcase into my craving DNA. I sang his verses in pastures and valleys. His verses were heavy with emotion and hefty with affection.

Back into the red-hills after smoking wisdom rolled in book pages. Those red-hills taught me a festival of sounds, beautiful whistles of honey-birds, the pied piping of mother doves, cackling of wild-hens, the baritone of barking-baboons, gushing of rivers, bellowing of bovine of bulls 

“A village without sounds lacks rhythm. It is a dead village. A village is a festival of sounds.”

punctuated by throbs and thuds of drums echoing from one hill to the other. That festival of sounds serenaded me. A village without sounds lacks rhythm. It is dead village. A village is a festival of sounds.

I want you to know this April is harvesting time.  

April is my beloved month with its soul-pricking dew announcing autumn’s lost virginity into cough-ridden winter. Earth’s green-jacket is suddenly pulled out and replaced by a monkey hat of brown-grass. Bees are happy, goats are fat, and butterflies are enjoying their last supper as they slowly disappear into the temporary cemetery of seasons. 

Fields weep with abundance. 

Food is plenty, especially after the rain season’s pleasant fart.

5 thoughts on “I Am a Griot

  1. Thank you Sophie and the MONK team for publishing this Essay and my poetry . Iam heartily touched . This is a great literary experience for me ,
    Mbizo Chirasha

  2. Truly, you are a griot!!! A most gripping tale of life’s journey. A depth only a participant would know with such fine detail.
    An incredible read, touching and teaching and taunting. Beauty in words with a divine undertone.

  3. Nancy Ndeke thank you greatly for the encouraging words. Iam quite grateful . I want to also thank Sophie Levy Burton and her team at MONK for publishing my essay in this illustrious publication. Together we rise . Aluta Continua!!!

      1. Dear Editor . Iam so glad to . Call me I will reply . Send me I will go . Teach me I will learn . Tell me I will do . Meaning that Iam well ready to work with you . This publication has lifted my soul and greased my brains for better writing . It was a great and positive challenge . Thank you greatly Madam Sophie Levy Burton and your esteemed Team . Together We Rise ,


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