inspired by a poem by Magoleng wa Selepe

was just going through my study material for my literature studies when i stumbled across the poem below. it immediately sent me back to my high school english classroom in the nineties. the only class where i was fired up and inspired (Mr Rissi was the best). it was published in 1988 and it remains relevant now, more so for me now than when i first heard it. it raised me up.

MY NAME by Magoleng wa Selepe

Nomgqibelo Ncamisile Mnqhibisa

Look what they have done to my name …
the wonderful name of my great-great-grandmothers.

Nomgqibelo Ncamisile Mnqhibiza

The burly bureaucrat was surprised.
What he heard was music to his ears.

‘Wat is daai, sê nou weer?’
‘I am from Chief Daluxolo Velayigodle of emaMpondweni

And my name is Nomgqibelo Ncamisile Mnqhibisa

Messia, help me!
My name is so simple
and yet so meaningful,
but to this man it is trash …

He gives me a name
Convenient enough to answer his whim;
I end up being
Maria …
I …

Nomgqibelo Ncamisile Mnqhibisa.

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