Personal tools
You are here: Home Books u-Grand, Malume?

u-Grand, Malume?

by Sizakele Nkosi

u-Grand, Malume? (Zulu slang: are you ok, Uncle?) is dedicated to two uncles who were victims of the anti-apartheid struggle. The poems are my way of bringing Jabulani Maswanganye’s spirit back home; he joined Umkhonto weSizwe, went to exile in 1977 and never returned. My other uncle, comrade Mandla Maswanganye, was shot dead in 1992 by the Washington DC police. In remembering them – the good and the bad – the poems update both my uncles as to what is currently going on in our black ghetto lives; I believe they can reach them because poems are like prayers.

In this debut collection of 48 poems, Sizakele Nkosi reflects on her childhood and daily life and relationships in Soweto, the heartbeat of Black Jozi. Her parents, her own children and extended family provide a rich context for characters like gog’ sis Phakama who, while flaunting her renewed, middle-aged sexuality, is the chief mourner at family burials, and her BEE mzala (cousin) who evokes reactions of envy and disapproval because of her nouveau riche lifestyle. Ever-present is the energy of the erotic life which charges the poet with the will to continue despite the restrictive hold of a strict Catholic upbringing, as well as a sense of profound disappointment with the rising social crises that afflict our society. Lastly, one should mention that Nkosi’s free-flowing style and careful use of Zulu phrases root the work in kasi life and make it a remarkable record of our times.

Illustrated by: Warren Jeremy Rourke

ISBN 9781990922633 | 70 pages | 210x148mm | 2023 | Botsotso Publishing , South Africa | Paperback




Document Actions