Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Flower For Malika/Girl Child

A Flower for Malika
Judith Mason

Compiled by Njabulo Ngobese

Born in 1938 in Pretoria, Judith Mason is a BA degree graduate in Fine Arts of which she obtained at the University of Witwatersrand in 1960. She taught painting at the University of the Witwatersrand and occasionally at other institutions on a casual basis e.g. University of Pretoria, Michaelis School of Art. Judith exhibited frequently in South Africa between the time period of 1962 and 2002. She has works in all major South African art collections of private and public bodies in Europe and the USA and has represented South Africa at the Venice Biennale in 1966 taking part in various Valparaiso and Sao Paolo Biennales in the 70s.

Judith Mason's publications include a mixed media portfolio in collaboration with Ted Townsend, poet; A Dante Bestiary (ombondi editions, New York, 1990); lithographs for selected poems by Patrick Cullinan (The Artists' Press, 1993) and Talking Pictures (essays published in 1988 by the Broederstroom Press).


Girl Child
Malika Ndlovu
Girl child
Wild virgin flower
Surviving even where the soil
Aches for rain
Will bear no grain or fruit
Where innocence and youth
Is harvested with brutality
Where she more than her brother
Suffers the scorching of a dominant Sun
Forcing her into the shadows
Where she can be forgotten
In more ways than one
Girl child
Wild virgin flower
Misled and mis-educated
Not only
By the twisted tales of tradition she is fed
But by those who continue
To teach these poisoned lessons
By their actions
Mothers, fathers, older brothers and sisters
Who show her
She is less
Or born to be burdened
Girl child
Wild virgin flower
How do you recognise your Self
In these mists of projected fear
How do you hear you own voice
Discern when and how
You can make your own choices
Girl child
Wild virgin flower
Open your petals with courage
Bear your dreams to the night sky
Under Moon’s glow
You will come to know
The truth of your origin
The immeasurable power
Of your authentic nature
Uncover the wealth and wisdom
Of your scorned and silenced
Female ancestry
Guidance for your growth
Girl child
Wild virgin flower
When ominous clouds loom
And you cannot protect yourself from the flood
Let these tides of pain
Feed your roots
Fire your determination
Trust that as you shed skin
Lose parts of yourself to threatening winds
These seasons of sorrow will change
You were destined to be here
In this moment
In this place
In this body
In this time
You are the fountain source
The life force
Of all that is woman
Shining in her fullness
With her innate resilience
Bearing miraculous fruit

Mntwana Wentombazane
IsiZulu translation coordinated by Dr Maria Letsie
Mntwana wentombazane,mbali yasehlane
Udukisiwe awufundiswanga kahle
Hhayi ngezinganekwane ezingeyizo oxoxelwe zona
Kodwa ngalabo abaqhubekayo
Befundisa lezizimfundiso ezingezizo ngezenzo zabo
Onina, oyise, abanewabo nodadewabo abameyayo
Ongafunwa noma ozelwe ukwethweswa umthwalo, exhashaziwe,ehlukunyeziwe
Mntwana wentombazane, mbali yasehlane
Qhakaza ngesibindi
Feza amaphupho akho esibhakabhakeni
Ngaphansi kokukhanya kwenyanga uyokwazi ukunotha nokuhlakanipha
Kwamathongo akho anga hlonishwanga nabulawa
Uyisusa somthombo, Amandla empilo abo bonke besifazane
Nokuqina kwakho kokuzalwa, uthela izithelo ezimangazayo

A Brief Biography of Malika Ndlovu

Malika Lueen Ndlovu is a Durban-born poet, playwright, performer, arts project manager and mother of three, with a wide range of experience in the arts and arts management arenas. She has two of her own poetry anthologies, Born in Africa But and Womb to World: A Labour of Love, and her work also features in several local and international publications. She is dedicated to creating indigenous multi-media works in line with her personal motto "healing through creativity".

Malika is a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers' collective WEAVE, co-editor of their multi-genre anthology WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. Malika has recently joined The Mothertongue Project, a women performing artists, writers and visual artists collective, scripting for their highly successful Grahamstown Festival 2004 production Uhambo! : Pieces of a Dream. She has also initiated the And The Word Was Woman Ensemble of 14 local performance poets, bringing together established Cape Town writers and fresh writing talents.

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