Last night I dreamt of Grandfather Okara, hunter of words carrying a clay pot seething with fermented poetic froth, African metaphors and proverbs of our anthills-. He shook hands with Dennis Brutus and Jack Mapanje as the pot gyrated above his head. Unfortunately something was missing i didn’t see any grandmother of African Verse. I jumped from the dream before i drink from the Honey Poet brimming to fullest with the Verses from our Anthills- Piano and Drums.
Verses from his Piano and Drums
When at break of day at a riverside
I hear the jungle drums telegraphing
the mystic rhythm, urgent, raw
like bleeding flesh, speaking of
primal youth and the beginning
I see the panther ready to pounce
the leopard snarling about to leap
and the hunters crouch with spears poised;
Then I hear a wailing piano
solo speaking of complex ways in
of faraway lands
and new horizons with
coaxing diminuendo, counterpoint,
crescendo. But lost in the labyrinth
of its complexities, it ends in the middle
of a phrase at a dagger point.
Okara left a nourishing and flourishing creative stream for young readers to quench their metaphoric thirstiness and to satisfy their insatiable addiction of creative dope . He sang of the realities and complexities of African societies their socio-cultural, revolutionary ideologies and cosmetic freedoms.
Poets and griots are teachers and prophets of their people; they should speak of the liberties, the freedoms, the doom and their realities of societies.
Published by Mbizo Chirasha(AfricanWilliam Blake)
Mbizo Chirasha is the Founder of the Writing Ukraine Prize (2022-23), UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist (University of Glasgow, School of Education, Scotland).2020 Poet of Residence at the Fictional Café (International literary culture Writers Space).2019 IHRAF Pan Writivism/African Fellow .2020 free-Speech Fellow at PEN -Germany Writers in Exile Program. Resident Coordinator at All Africa Live Poetry Symposium (100tpc, USA, global).2019 live literature hub Producer at Sotambe Film Arts Festival (Kitwe, Zambia). 2015Jury President at Shungunamutitima Film Festival (Livingstone, Zambia).2009 Poet in Residence at ICACD (Accra, Ghana). 2009 Fellow at UNESCO-Photo Novel Intensive Training (Tanzania).2011 United States Embassy, Harare Guest Poet at World Poetry Day (Harare, Zimbabwe).2007 Producer/Coordinator of This is Artist Artist in Residence Project (Goethe-Zentrum, Harare) 2006 United Nations Tribute to Kofi Annan Poet .2003 ZIBF ,100 Best Books Young literary/writing delegate to Goteborg Book Fair (Sweden).
Chirasha is the Publisher of the Time of the Poet Republic.Curator of WOMAWORDS Literary Press. Editor in Chief at Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Chief Blogger at Porcupine-Quill blog(wixsite). Founder/Curator at AfricanWritersCaravan.Author of MbizoChirasha (AfricanWilliamBlake)blog journal. Mbizo Chirasha was the Creative Director of Girlchild Creativity Project and Urban Colleges Writers Prize.
Author of A Letter to the President,
Pilgrims of Zame. Co-Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi,
Co-Edited Corpses of Unity, Second Name of the Earth is Peace,
Street Voices (all African, German and English Anthology), Edited
Voices of Africa: A Call for freedom Anthology,
African Contributor /African Writing Associate to more than 500 places(online/print) at Demer Press (Holland). World Poetry Almanac (Taiwan), Cultural Daily (USA), Monk Arts and Soul Mag (UK). Bezine.Com(USA). FamAsiaMag (UK), Blackwell Pamphlet of Poetry (Oxford school of poetry), Ditch Poetry (Canada), WordCityliteraryJournal (Canada, global), the Evergreen Review (USA). Ovi Mag( Finland),DiogenPlus( Turkey), Ink Sweat and Tears (UK), The Poet Mag (UK), Spill Words (USA), Litnet (South Africa), Slipnet literary journal (SouthAfrica). Sentinel (UK), Poetry London (UK), Poesis.si (Slovenia), Atunis galatika (Belgium), New Coin (South Africa), Ihraf Publishes (USA), Diasporan online (Spain), Poetry Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), Zimbolicious (Zimbabwe), the Zimbabwean (Zimbabwe) and more
Chirasha works as a Live Literature Producer, Arts for Human Rights and Free-Speech Fellowships Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie, Writivism Projects Curator, Visiting, Editor at Large, African Writing Associate, Visiting Writer and Poet in Residence.
He is widely published in more than Hundred Journals, Magazines, and Anthologies around the world. He Co-edited Silent Voices Tribute to Achebe Poetry Anthology , Nigeria and the Breaking Silence Poetry anthology,Ghana.His Poetry collections include Good Morning President ,Diaspora Publishers , 2011 , United Kingdom and Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi,Cyberwit Press ,India ,2010.
He was the Poet-in-Residence from 2001-2004 for the Iranian embassy/UN Dialogue among Civilizations Project; Focal Poet for the United Nations Information Centre from 2001-2008; Convener/Event Consultant This Africa Poetry Night 2004 - 2006; Official Performance Poet Zimbabwe International Travel Expo in 2007; Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture and Development/ ICACD 2009; and Official Poet Sadc Poetry Festival, Namibia 2009.In 2010 Chirasha was invited as an Official Poet in Residence of ISOLA Conference in Kenya.
In 2003 Mbizo Chirasha was a Special Young Literary Arts Delegate of Zimbabwe International Book Fair to the Goteborg International Book Fair in Sweden. He performed at Sida/African Pavilion, Nordic African Institute and Swedish Writers Union. In 2006 was invited to be the only Poet /Artist in Residence at Atelier Art School in Alexandra Egypt. In 2009 was a Special participating Delegate representing Zebra Publishing House at the UNESCO Photo –Novel Writing Project in Tanzania..
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1 thought on “Are we Grand Children of Okara!”
Memories of the GandPa.