Monday, 30 May 2011


You live under the wide horizon of Africa
Under her wildness of deserts and mountains
And in the night you hear the roll of the ocean

You live under a killing sun
In a shanty town called Crossroads
And you are waiting for a home
         Day after day
                           after year

Woman of South Africa
You want to live
On your land, in your city, in your street and your home
But THEY want to crush you and doom you
And you are sweeping the sand in the desert
          Day after day
                      year after year

They took away your husband
To use his strength for their wealth
They took you away from your children from

Woman of South Africa
One morning you woke up in anger and pain
And you shouted at the killing sun
And your friends and sisters woke up with you
Together you uttered the deep cry of South Africa

And together you clenched your fist
Together you started to fight
When they put you into prison
Despite despair, despite hunger
Despite your children dying
You only grew stronger

What strength lies in your heart!
What hope lies in your eyes!
Still sweeping the sand in the desert
You live from day to day
               from hour to hour
               from minute to minute

For the struggle of your people
                a struggle for justice
                a struggle for liberty
                a struggle for victory
Until the day you will be free and you will rise
Embracing the whole wide horizon of South Africa

Anneliese Kloeck

(from Bells Caught, a second anthology from Tyneside Writers' Workshop, 1984)