“Wangu wa Maisha” By Donald Molosi

P7-myigbo


i silently uplifted myself from cannibalistic romances –
poof, poof, phoenix, GO! —
and that became a comical pattern of my prior life.

banange, whatever was the point, anyhow?
i mean, these vile lovers had already consumed my body!

abeg! no bodies! no beauty! no cannibals! only spirits”:
i transfixed my vision beyond my tarnished eyes for
eyes that bore witness to the awkward deaths of some of my selves and so
i wanted to see through something else.

that was before i opened the same eyes, exposed to your sparkle and then dared to glare,
to shine my own eye and speechlessly stare.

clear-eyed now, i see that your scars, like mine, that were long and deep have gingerly faded.
i see that i can chagua and be chagua-ed through both eyes and spirit for
asili ya huba, mwanzowe ni jicho.

for the first time i cannot stop this vigorous passion
to give all that someone can take for
when words disappoint me, how else shall i speak?
how else, when i am viscerally held by your heart each time you speak,
wewe ni wangu wamaisha and then blink too fast?

asali, i still have not found the mouth with which
to proclaim a sweet love that does not
smother; or why i adore the way your ears stand,
away from your head as if mocking it.

asali, with this sweet-sweet love you give
the walls of my heart are content.
nothing suffers me. asili ya huba, mwanzowe ni jicho.
you are my lasting ending to the dream i thought was only for others.


Donald Leungo Molosi is recognised as one of the finest and most influential artists in Botswana. He is an official Ambassador for Brand Botswana and the youngest-ever recipient of the Khama Brilliant Spirit Award (2003), a prestigious Presidential award, for his contribution to the arts in Botswana. In that capacity he has had the privilege of being invited to perform his political one-man plays in front of many dignitaries including Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton. Molosi’s playwriting interests include the reconstruction of memory in the Postcolonial state as well as the utilization of artistic methodology for the production of theatre scholarship. These themes run through his artistic work, most recent of which are Blue, Black and White (2010), Today It’s Me (2011) and MOTSWANA (2012) – three one-man shows that have all been shown off-Broadway in New York City. In 2011, he won both the coveted Best Actors Award and the Best Solo Award off-Broadway at the United Solo Festival, the world’s largest solo theatre festival and the New York Times caled his performance as being ‘inflamed with passion’. His Ugandan play, Today It’s ME has since won the Robert Potter Playwriting Award from UCSB Theatre Department. Molosi earned his BA in Political Economy and Theatre from Williams College in Massachusetts. He later graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) with a graduate diploma in Classical Acting and Performance. His 2010 play on the life and artistry of Ugandan musician-activist, Philly Lutaaya earned Molosi both the Ruth Scott Memorial Prize in Theatre and the Florence H. Chandler Fellowship in Theatre.