To Venerate Kgositsile

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2017

This literary piece is dedicated to the literary giant and South African Poet Laureate Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile who passed away on January 3, 2018 in South Africa.

Photo of the South African Poet Laureate Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile in the  cover of his book of selected poems If I Could Sing.

The land he longed for
The land he departed from
The land he returned to
Hitherto, apprehensive
Hereafter, like tentative
Phefo incense, ignited!
Sacred incense, inducted!

His literary piece “Dawn”
Soulful chord, overdrawn
Viviparous placenta
Unrehearsed, before landing
Despite exiled, for too long!
We venerate, the syntactic!
Rest in peace, like ballistic!

Contextual Commentary

Deprived of life-giving water, the African desert plant remains underground for decades and even centuries, if necessary, to anticipate the cosmic advent of the falling rain.

In spite of being restrained and forced to defer self-gratification in the  underground, the desert plant does not lie there passively doing nothing. The indefatigable desert plant engages in the great struggle to resist the killer sun rays of the ultraviolet B wavelength along with the invasive bacteria of the underground that have the power to destroy a desert plant by means of decomposition.

While preserving and enhancing its survival experience in the subversive underground, the desert plant is also in tune with the cosmos while listening and watching for the extraterrestrial manifestations of the falling rain. When the rain falls, it springs to life because the rain will soon be gone.

This is the case with the great legend Keorapetse Kgositsile who remained in exile for decades while listening to the slightest indications of the return of the exiles to the South African motherland. When the news of emancipation was confirmed in 1990, Kgositsile jumped at the opportunity to contribute his superior talents and skills to the land of the ancestors. The myriad of perturbations and the undivinable permutations of exile did not stifle his love and service to the land of the erudite ancestors who have gone before us. Robala ka kgotso Morokapula!

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