Friday, February 18, 2011


THE FIRST ARCHIVES- A poetic journey into and through adolescence


The sun slaps the ground.

Once again I’m woken by the city chaos.

Mummers and whispers.

Jangling, banging

Clashing, squeaking

Shouting and yelling.

Horns beep and traffic forms as “wauza maji”

Try to lure their customers by the jingle jangle of coins.

Cars grunt, snarl and honk as drivers sit

Disappointed and annoyed in traffic jams.

Colourfully clothed people skip, drag, run and walk by

Forming a cocktail of pinks, purples, reds, oranges, browns…

Sirens go off, one after another,

Startled thieves flee the scene,

The bicycle boy buzzes off too.

The lane is now free and cars slowly roll by:

Whizz, voom, sssprrrreee, grummmm…

Lorry, motorcycle, van, taxi, “dala- dala”, saloon,

Saloon, “dala- dala”, van, saloon…

Diga- diga- daiga- diga- diga…

The drivers wait again in protest as their vehicles breath in and out

Diga- diga- diga diga-diga… vrrrr… oooom

The car motor’s beating stops being audible and the cars are off again travelling into the distance.

Pairs, groups, singles and couples.

Dressed in brown formal attire she runs towards the kiosk,

“clack- clack, clack- clack” say her shoes against the tar.

A rainbow of hair is on display:

Braids, afros, dreads, relaxed…

Curly-short, curly-long, Straight-short, wavy,

Wigs, straight-long

And all styles in between.

A spectrum of brown toned flesh….

Green is plentiful, like decorations placed elaborately

on the side of the road or within, or within private office zones,

to form mini gardens.

Walking sticks accompany old men

While “kanga’s” and scarves wrap the older ladies.

Blue and red are the “masai’s” colours, bald is his head.

It smells of labour and a hard days work.

Thirst and hunger attacks the city.

Darkness set in and night lands.

Shouting and yelling,

Clashing and squeaks,

Jangling and bangings

Murmurs and whispers.

People shed off the tired streets.

Bars fill up, music plays.

And plays.

Eventually the city rests…

it yawns as it drifts off into that land called yesterday.

- My first stop in Tanzania was always Dares salaam. And here is a portrait of her, as I used to see her and as I still remember her now. I used to stay at my aunts apartment in heart of the CBD area, we were almost on the tenth floor and there was a balcony large enough to walk across. I used to sit on this balcony and just watch people for hours. When I would first arrive everyone would look so foreign and when I was about to leave, I would peer out over the balcony and wonder when I would see it all again. This is just a record of bits and pieces of what I saw one day.