Hassan Kassim Hassan
‘Hapana’ alisema, ‘Uhuru kamwe haushurutishwi’
Na pingu kabanwa mkongwe wa Robben Island.
‘Hapana’ alisema, ‘Elimu hairuhusu utengo’-
Majeruhi, bali bila makovu, wajihi wa Kibibi wa Pakistan.
‘Hapana’ alisema, ‘Imani ni bila mulazama’ –
Sauti ya miteko, nyamavu ila kaidi ndani ya Dapchi
Mwenge wake usihafifike ndani ya pango la walokole
Alhasili, kila majira ya zama, utaratibu sauti tikirari –
Mandela, Malala, Leah Sharibu – mwenge wa
‘Hapana, alisema Prometheus’, mwale na uradi,
Hupata nyufa, moto mwangavu ukalipuka kupitia
Chibok na Dapchi, kuangaza tena dunia.
Read the English translation – Mandela Comes to Leah by Prof. Wole Soyinka
Hassan Kassim is Mombasa-based Kenyan writer and literary translator working between English and Kiswahili. Previously longlisted for the Toyin Falola Prize, he was the 2022 winner for the Mozilla Common-voice essay prize, a PenPen resident powered by Culture at Work Africa and the European Union and twice a volunteer judge for the Royal Society Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Prize since 2021. Some of his publication credits include or are forthcoming in Lolwe, Africa in Dialogue, Hekaya, Sahifa Journal, The Standard, Yabaleft Review, Lunaris’ In The Sands of Time anthology, WSA’s Twaweza anthology and his translation of Jalada’s Mgeni is set to appear in Two Lines Press ‘No Edges’ anthology, the first of its kind collection of Kiswahili literature in translation.
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