“Secrets of the Sky” by Tirimba Ogoti

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Obobisi Bwe Ense Ya Igoro

Obogima n’ẹmbẹọ ekogusa,
Baito! Yetwekire chinko bogeka,
Asande n’ekerambauti,
Kegiteire emete ime,
Ngẹsọka,
Ebirọ bikoayereria ‘mbirigokirinya,
Bikobwọchọkạ buna amache,
Korwa ensọkọ,
Inẹẹ, ninki nakwa?
‘Nche, enkoba y’omorakẹẹra,
Omoika one kạạ tọkọmẹnyạ,
Kạrẹ na kạrẹ?
Amo n’echisokoro,
Chinkororo chiaito,
Chiri chiạgạsạgạnire ababisa,
N’ekerundo egetindi buna ebiobiiria,
Chiri chiakarwaneire ching’aya,
Chirọisirie amayo y’eching’era,
N’abang’ina ba seito bonyaseito,
Bari bagatarire ebisangiọ,
Gochia arẹ
Basiọrạ rirọbạ,
Ndi kạạ toramạnyẹ?
Obobisi bw’ense ya igoro,
Rioba riaibora, riarẹrạ,
Naende riaira,
Igọọ, ninki nakwa?
Abainani ‘mbaiyọ?
Nọnyạ ankiọ na ankiọ ende,
Abande abange ‘mbari gocha koiborwa?
Orotu buna ching’ẹnạng’ẹni.

Secrets of the Sky

Life is a rustling wind,
Baito! It has carried firewood askew,
Elsewhere it’s a whirlwind,
Shielded by trees,
Not to escape,
Seasons rush with no stop,
Gushing like water,
From a spring,
I ask, so what if I’m dying?
I, the thunder of the dry season,
Won’t my spirit live,
Forever?
With the ancestors,
Our warriors,
Who attacked enemies,
With furious speed like rhinos,
Who fought with big shields,
Fashioned from buffalo hide,
The matriarchs of our homeland,
Who walked all day in teams,
To far places,
To break the earth,
When will we ever know?
Secrets of the skies,
The sun gives birth, nurtures,
And takes,
So what if I’m dying?
Don’t the unborn exist?
Even tomorrow and the day after,
Won’t many more be born?
Myriad like the stars.


Tirimba Ọgọti was born in Molo, Kenya. He’s interested in raising awareness on endangered languages and traditional knowledge. Tirimba has been involved in various English to Kiswahili translation projects with Google, Wikipedia and cucumis.org and africanstorybook.org where he translates children’s stories from English to Ekegusii. You can interact with him via twitter: @tirimbaogoti or visit his Ekegusii language blog.

Language : Ekegusii
Written & Translated by Tirimba Ogoti