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African Writing Archives




Mncedisi Mashigoane

Mashigoane is a lecturer in film and TV at the Wits University School of Arts in Johannesburg.


 Five Poems

Apartheid prison 2

do you know?
while you closed your face with your hands
in a deep Emergency sigh
those very first days
those very first nights
mats and blankets were rolled up
and drum was reinvented
and drum was there,
beating out the rhythm of my heart
and hands and voice were united
and drum was there beating
and song the son was born
and my heart was there, dancing and crying
and all muscles of my body were aching
and song said child
you'll see yourself arrive
where we are going
ooh hush my child
ooh hush my child
a man does not cry
a man cries and cries
ooh hush my child!

My SB on tv

pity your left hand is in your trousers pocket
pity your right hand is fumbling somewhere inside your sport-jacket
near your heaving destitute bosom

they showed you on t.v. the other day
you're destined for high places they say
you've caught the gravytrain
your bread is buttered both sides

i keep looking for your thick fingers in that insert
desperation and obsession define my wish
wish i could get a closer look at those hairy fingers
perhaps even touch them
just as in my dreams
when they close in on my throat
mighty dreams these.

My SB snubs the TRC

well my man,
send me two pairs of close-up snaps
one for the left hand and the right hand
one for the forehand and the backhand
maybe you can add a clenched fist
that’s if you do not mind my bullshit

as you did not go to the town hall
when the t.r.c. graced our dorp.

My SB’s office

in full blue, he stands to attention
a dark Alsatian sits to attention
just next to his right parabellum
i stand in the centre,
close ups on the yellow walls,
on the desk,
fotos of silent witnesses called family ,
a white boy, a pink girl and a wife, bright and yellow
the bench, the chairs, the shelves
the flag of orange and blue and white
with him in full attention!

Section 29

your hands left spots on my body
section 50 had pooed and passed

when i `mumbled'
in those induced trips to the other world
you yourself observed
you yourself noted
flesh retreating to the bones
solid trouble in the eyes
such as make you think of Dingane ka Zulu!

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