Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tribute to Julius Chingono from Mgcini Nyoni

"The loss of Julius Chongono is a great loss to the literary community.

He was such a humble being and very unassuming. One thing I learnt, and many poets (he is best known for his poetry even though he was also a great prose writer) learnt, from Julius is to be natural and to be yourself as a writer.

Julius' writing is natural and unforced and a joy to read, and he was also a joy to listen to when he read his work. I remember him reading one of his poems at Intwasa 2007. It was a piece about getting onto the bus during those days when transport was a problem; it was so simple and yet a powerful piece of literature.

May his soul rest in peace. Heaven needs a great writer I guess: that's why God decided to take him."

From Together:

At the Bus Station

When you arrive

at the bus station

pull down your tie

or remove the tie

to prevent strangulation.

During the fight

to board the bus,

unfasten all buttons

of the shirt and jacket

to avoid losing the buttons.

During the battle

to gain entry

to the bus,

tighten both shoelaces

for, when you are hauled

into the bus,

you hang in the air

and the shoes may come off,

tighten your belt

to avoid being undressed

during the scrambling

at the door,

remove your spectacles

and hold tight to someone

until you are in the bus.

During the climb

pay no attention to human sounds,

also bear in mind

words lose meaning

until you are inside the bus.

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