It’s festive term again
police evacuate tramps
from beaches, parks and passageways
for the ease and security of tourists & revellers
my friend Theliweni says it’s a lofty project
these folks bring money to the city
we hobos shall benefit a lot from the trickle-down effect
for now we must hustle thirty bucks a day for a night at the shelter
or just find some tunnel at the fringes.
i migrate back to the township via metrorail
a surprise visit to next-of-kin who don’t even know my name
i arrive in the early hours announcing that i’m on holiday
broadcasting to all & sundry i Ntwana the Kid
came on first class British Airways
i also declare that i’m in the tourism industry
backing the claim with photographs
of me standing with celebrities & nobilities
outside upmarket hotels & restaurants
& selfies of me chilling in a villa by the beach
Chana vows on his life & the Holy Ghost
that the eccentric artist who lives next door
was sent to a mental asylum
after being caught doing things to a dog
but his mother swears with every pint of blood in her body
some sadist gangster put a gun on the poor boy’s head
to force him into the dog while a knife fucked his arse
a bizarre orgy adapted from a grotesque sculpture
the surrealist artist erected at the park nearby his home
Since i have so many tales to tell
from all major cities of the world
i receive enough friends and freebies
to join the chorus: “ke december, boss!”
in the meantime everyone is eager
to give me updates on the township scene
it’s too arduous an activity for my ears & brain
to isolate fiction from actual facts
or sift the factual from the fabricated
I know Mzala enough to dismiss his claim
that he was a personal advisor to a chief executive
officer who was relieved of his duties for using a company credit card
to buy one night of forbidden pleasure
that the new chief came with her own team
therefore dismissing the old crew
My reliable sources tell me
just as it’s the case with me there never was a time
when Mzala was off the streets
the little bit i am able to get from press clippings & Google
confirms that the CEO Mzala mentioned
was relieved of his position at such a firm
for irregular use of the company credit card
but provides no details of where and how for what
Fast-forward into the future is my sad story
a bullet in my skull
panga chopping me into pieces
my flesh thrown into the sty to feed pigs
because of the stories i tell
even after explaining so well
that my stories are 100% fiction plus 100% facts
& the personas are honest fictional
characters telling stories of real people
like Girly the poor girl in a wheelchair
always wearing a sad face
after the visit of a male social worker with a perverted
sense of personal provision of social services
There is no one to listen to the girl’s cry
ever since her mother died from heart-attack
after her son Boy-Boy received a life sentence
for murdering his uncle Scarface
for the horrid and sordid things
that uncle Scarface did
to Girly and Boy-Boy
their father lives in the bottle
one aunt is reported to be a nurse
or something somewhere in Kuwait
the rest of the family is missing in action
many will appear when either she or her brother or father dies
to demand identity documents for their insurance claims
they are too busy preparing for the dead & the hereafter
to waste their time and worries on the living


This poem appears in the June 2016 issue of New Coin, the South African poetry journal published by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA). Check out the New Coin page on Facebook.

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