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Black Paint


Unathi Slasha, under the nom de plume ‘Dark-blood the bard’, is a spoken word artist, performer, literature enthusiast, poet, short story writer born in 1989, emerging from a small township named Dispatch in the Nelson Mandela Bay, infamous of its extremely high rate of illiteracy and dearth of artistic activism. A glimmer of hope carried out by this well-read young man determined to be a positive model and a trendsetter among his peers and set a perfect example for the up-and-coming young people in his community through performance art, with an undisputed aptitude. Unathi delivers conscious socio-political commentary with a skilled tongue.

Black Paint

Since I am black
I am still knocking on closed doors
with broken handles
Begging for a small change
submitting thanks and praises
To God for nothing we got this far
Sounds strange
Like believing crime pays
When you benefit benefits for the day
To get by without having to buy by coins
Make a living of the daily ordinary don’ts’
By collecting all the bad points
Mobilize them
To get food into storage
Like food residues
We remain the rejects from the throne
Been blown
Beaten by sticks and stones
Pistols and batons brought bruises
Broken backs and bones
Moans and groans
Were daily poems
We are still strong
Standing tall like a grandfather clock
Trying to live clean but they offer filthy jobs
To be done soon
Gave us goons
Took away the books
Like we are only good for hewing wood
And fetching water from the river
Rivers filled with filth and absolute filth
How could we possibly build firm homes
With sandstones
When you took away the flesh
And gave us dry bones?
Nowadays my streets and corridors
Are sprayed with a stunning graffiti
Called blood spills
My sisters are steelworks
They manufacture infants that are steel
Not still born but born to still stay stable
Steadfastly stand the storms with stances
That are stone strong.
Well according to my ancestral traces and traits

I am not a stranger to the planet dubbed blacks
Liable to preposterous attacks
Caused by the rugged rags
I rock bottom from top to bottom
That’s how I blossomed from riches to rags
The tall story goes on. . .
Commenced by the veterans
Who voted for this freedom and democracy
You enthusiastically proclaim
Well this is not 76
I insist this is not 76
But in the streets
I am still rioting, boycotting prejudice
And skin colour bribery
Police brutality
Human rights violation
Public harassment callousness
Where is black consciousness?
When we are susceptible to reliance
Poor domestic servants and peasants
each year
we are there
to dare
voting for the black Verwoerds’ and Malans’re incarnated
Let’s vote for the black Verwoerds’ and Malans’re incarnated.
We cannot just rest
we need a fresh installation disc
of black consciousness
my consciousness and conscience calls
what about yours?
My spirit sobs
When my time machine slide shows me
Of how blacks were taken to the dogs
They think it’s nice to live a dog’s life in a dog’s house
Lost touch with much
I only have poetry to spout!
Poetry of blacks!
Black concepts forsaken
This was taken
From the recycle bins of your daily trivialities
Of unspoken forbidden realities and mysteries
Of blacks who gradually dragged their
Identities & histories into the deep gloomy
Rooms of non-existent western philosophies
From the cocky coons
Who casted their customs
For common commodities
My poetry is a photographic slideshow
That constantly
Play video tapes of unsung
Forgotten heroes
The tip of my tongue
Is a host for Sobukwe’s and Biko’s ghosts
Spitting tantrums
Like who the hell marked our
Traditions and cultures with dark spots
Like dominoes?
The question is intended to be rhetorical
But only if you view with one eye like a monocle
I hold the answers to ransom
until you open Your Third Eye vision
so envision what’s missing. . .

*For more on Unathi Slasha and other Pan-African poets please visit Badilisha Poetry website, produced by the Africa Centre.

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