Poetrimony – Guest Blogger & Poet – Afzal Moolla – Johannesburg, South Africa – Through Struggle – Creating Profound Emotive Art

Audio Introduction

Biography – Afza Moolla

I was born in Delhi, India while my parents were in exile, working as anti-Apartheid activists for the African National Congress. I subsequently traveled wherever my parents’ work took them. I feel I still haven’t stopped traveling.

I live and work in Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m 39 years old and particularly appreciate good literature, be it prose or verse. I share my literary musings with my most strident critic: my 12-year-old at.  Read More

Scribbled Verse – Scribbles by Afzal Moolla


Ndo Livhuwa

Thank you in tshiVenda


A language spoken in the Limpopo Province in northern South Africa usually called the “Venda” language from the Venda people who live in the Limpopo Province, which is known by the Venda people as “the Eden of Africa” because of the magnificent mountains and lush forests and the wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including a variety of Avocado pear which is almost triple the size of “normal” Avocado pears that we tend to eat nowadays!


Honorific title, almost like “father”, used to refer to one’s elders. It is pronounced “in-taa-tay”. 

Kea leboga (isiTswana)

Thank you!

Ngiyabonga Nkosiyami

All thanks to The Lord

Matla ke a Rona (isiSetswana)

Victory is Certain!

Amandla ngAwethu  (isiZulu)

Power to the People in

“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”

Lord Bless Africa


A name we know because its reality teaches about the extremes of human cruelty, but also about utter commitment to that unbreakable particle of the human spirit which forever defines, and forever seeks freedom.

Si Dela Nina E Ni Lele (We Envy You Who Have Fallen).

There is an isiZulu saying which rings of finality in its utterance, expression, and thirst for freedom: si dela nina e ni lele. It is a battle cry.

It is an expression of love and hope. It is a yearning that is insatiable which knows and aligns with the purpose of life that living life is a definition of Freedom. When Afzal names the freedom fighters, and as a series of these names emerge and spread throughout his poetry, it conjures that feeling and that understanding.

Poetrimony – Featuring Afzal  Moolla



in the debris of the past,

scraps of casually discarded emotion.


in hastily trashed yesterdays,

an inkling of moments flung away.


in heaps of rubbished words,

that tiresome sigh of defeated thought.


in the layers of moulted skin

the wilting self that once was true.


in the reflections between the ripples,

for the whispered pangs of roaring desire.


in the blank eyes streaming endlessly,

an echo of the faintest sigh of new life.


Video Poetrimony – Featuring Afzal  Moolla

today their lies have been consigned to the dirt.

They tried to murder an ideal,

the revolutionary spirit that burned bright in your heart,

they tried to silence you, not knowing your memory shall never depart.

They tried to kill you,

but they will never silence you,

for you live,

through the expanse of our land,

mingling in the rivers,

standing high upon our shared revolutionary hill,

they tried to silence you,

yet the hunger for justice will never be still,

they tried to silence you, but the memory of your martyrdom never will.

March 21, 1960 – Sharpeville

They shot you in the back.

The oppressors lead tearing into muscled flesh. The flesh of Africa.

They massacred you in Sharpeville, in Soweto.

Today we remember you.

We salute you…

That is what defines Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

They silenced you, yet your dream

resounds louder still,

in pastures not yet of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

The Wind Carries his Name

They shot him down,

to silence a man of flesh and bone.

Even as the bullets tore through him,

the wind carried his name.

Far across the weary fields,

high above the stubborn peaks,

over the blood-soaked streams,

the wind carried his name.

They shot him down,

to silence a man of flesh and bone.

Yet the wind carries his name,

to you and to me,

to them and to us.

They shot him down,

but his name resounds,

as it floats on the breeze.


still, they try to shoot him down,

to silence us all,

to stifle an idea.

But the wind cannot be stilled,

and the wind carries his name:



Struggle, Exile & Love – Afzal Moolla – Jul 1, 2020 – Polity SA

International Jazz Day 2013: Hugh Masekela, Marcus Miller, Lee Ritenour “Stimela” – Mar 1, 2016 – International Jazz Day

Here’s a classic by the legendary South African jazz maestro Hugh Masekela, whose sister Barbara Masekela and my father along with Hugh were old comrades in the struggle against Apartheid back in the 1950s onwards.

Afzal Moolla Launches: Struggle, Exile & Love – Jun 15, 2020 – Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

Writer and poet, Afzal Moolla speaks about his new book, Struggle, Exile & Love. The book was launched virtually on Youth Day, June 16.

Nelson Mandela Usilethela Uxolo – Dec 5, 2013 – Confused ClownRiot

Here is a powerful piece that ends the amazing documentary “Amandla – A Revolution in Four Part Harmony”

Miriam Makeba with Hugh Masekela – Soweto Blues (South Africa freedom song) – Mar 17, 2015 – Miriam Makeba Official Channel

South African Freedom Songs:  “Soweto Blues”

12 Songs that Shaped the Struggle With Lyrics & Translations Apartheid SA – Apr 9, 2017 – ANC Leads

…A great clip.

Amaqabane Slovo no Tambo – Jun 2, 2016 – SIBUSISO TSHABALALA

…Another great song.

“Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)” – Hugh Masekela – Dec 5, 2013 – Chingon Domino


…The documentary.

Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony – Wikipedia

Amandla! – A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony is a 2002 documentary film depicting the struggles of black South Africans against the injustices of Apartheid through the use of music. The film takes its name from the Zulu and Xhosa word Amandla, which means power.

The film was produced by Sherry Simpson Dean, Desiree Markgraaff, and Lee Hirsch. Simpson Dean and Hirsch also produced the film’s soundtrack of the same name. The collection of authentic South African “Freedom Songs” was executive produced by Dave Matthews and his label ATO Records.  Read More

…South African Freedom Songs…A good article:

The Story Of South Africa’s Apartheid Struggle As Told Through Music – Blog Editor – October 20th, 2014

Ahead of the annual Biko Lecture Europe at LSE on Thursday 23 October, we take a brief look at the role of music in the apartheid struggle.  2014 is a special year for South Africa. It marks 20 years of democracy in the country. While this landmark has prompted much soul-searching about what progress has been achieved during the intervening period, it has also been an opportunity to relive the long struggle against apartheid.  Read More

South African News

South Africa | World | The Guardian  – South Africa – June 2021
Read More

Documenting violence against migrants in South Africa – a photo essay – The Guardian – June 2021

Read More

Vaccine technology transfer center to open in South Africa – Johannesburg – Independent – June 2021

The head of the World Health Organization says the U.N. organization is in talks to create the first-ever technology transfer hub for coronavirus vaccines in South Africa, a move to boost supply to the continent desperately in need of COVID-19 jabs  Read More

South African Freedom Songs – All Music

A two-disc set, with one disc collecting 25 field recordings of songs and chants used in the long anti-apartheid struggle, while the second disc is a radio documentary providing an overview of the songs, commenting on their history and evolution and context in the antiapartheid movement. These songs were sung at meetings, mass rallies, fundraisers, and demonstrations, and while the sound is remarkably good, listeners should be aware that the source materials were often well-used vinyl and frequently played cassettes.  Review

Being cognizant of international visitors, I want to do all that I can to communicate wisdom globally for all.

How to translate a web page in Google Chrome on desktop or mobile

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