MOKIRE, MAGÎTÛKORA, MAGÎTÛOROTA, a Kikuyu poem by Ngartia

The poem is generally a story by a poor rural young person, criticizing the ‘They’. These are the learned elite who take pride in their origins and culture but blame the youth for abandoning their cultures without seeing their ‘motorcades’, ‘ironed suits’, ‘polished shoes’, ‘glittering watches’ and ‘foreign languages’. The poem silently bites at this habit which is quite common in Africa.

Brian Ngatia

[English translation below]

 

MOKIRE, MAGÎTÛKORA, MAGÎTÛOROTA

Mokire na mîtokaa mîkururanio
na thuti hûre bathi
na iratû njiru ta nduma
na thaa irametameta.

Magîtûkora tumîte ibarûa
na mathîna maitû ng’ong’o
ona mîatuka itû magûrûinî
Na ndangari iria tûîkîraga.

Makîîarîrîa na thiomi cia rûraya
magîtûorotaga ithuî andû ethî
makiuga ati mîthiîre itu
Ti ûmwe na ûndûire witû.

Ngartia

***

English translation (by the author).

THEY CAME, FOUND US AND POINTED AT US

They came in their motorcades
in ironed suits
Polished shoes,black like darkness
Their watches glittering.

They found us coming from our casual labours
with our problems on our backs
And cracks on our feet
in the tatters that we wear.

They talked in foreign languages
pointing at us the youth
Saying that our behaviours,
Were not reflective of our culture.

Ngartia

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