Farewell Tatekulu Andimba


It is in times like this
When death makes life alive
It is in times like this
When our souls that were dead just yesterday
Get into motion to realize something missing
The air and the Afrikan sun
Point to the space you once filled
Death turned its master key
And caused you to depart
Leaving us with a big void

The roads speak of your death
As we move at deliberate pace to the concrete that once housed your dreams
The walls there are not dead
They see, they hear and feel your life like yesterday
The Humanity in and around us
Is alive through your death
We are again what we were not when you were with us
Now we can cry and fear not to
We gather and fear not to
We hear one another and fear not to
We launder ourselves from fame and pride and fear not to
We acknowledge that you once lived and fear not to praise you
For you led the parade

Through your death
We are alive to remember our collective past
A past that is ours all
Our launching pad to our destiny
Your death brought you closer to us
That we may touch your forehead
With our hands unclean
But moved to reach you
As you reached us before our own being

Tatekulu, your age is not in years
But in the knowledge about us and our cries
You moved with grace
You carried our smell
Our weight
Our sense of pain and duty to heal
You spoke our name in foreign lands
You lit our fire
You inscribed our anthem
Your finger beckoned our tomorrow
That we were to reach after a long and bitter walk
In your old age you stamped the authority
As you reminded the elegant youth
Oshipa nasho oshali ongombe
Yes you were there
The hide that covered us in our cold nights
You wrapped us in a cloth of dignity and equality
As people, big and small, rich and poor, no matter our race and birth place
You bequeathed unto us humility to serve where we can and may
To request our appointment with history
To be worthy of the mark
That we are children of Afrika
Sons and daughters of the Sun
Proud residents of the dry desert
From which we dare to till our water
Never to thirst again

We pray for your eyes no more
Let us chew for you for ever
But for your forgiveness we ask
Mindful of where we failed you in our frail consciousness
In our greed, our blindness, our deafness to heed you
With our selfishness you shame you
We understand your anger
Ohoni yomukuluntu ongeyo
Forgive us
Let us carry forth your teaching
That the struggle has not ended
The better tomorrow you spoke about
Is yet to come

We hope to hear you better NOW
Slow and obtuse as we are
Let your humanity endure
As the stone of lessons for our children and theirs
For them you labored
Till you moved on
Silently and with no Ache
No Anger

You are Not Dead Tatekulu, Just Not Here.
Fare You Well Our Father
Hamba kahle
Hamba kahle, Tatomkhulu
Hamba kahle iqhawe lamaqhawe!
Continue to ask us questions
Continue to smile at us
From the other side of Glory.


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