A Famous Sibling


He was a brother,
A dear friend,
A dear colleague,
A fellow straggler,
A true comrade in arms.

She was a sister,
A dear friend,
A dear colleague,
A fellow struggler,
A worthy comrade in arms.

We used to walk together,
We used to talk together,
In these dusty cow paths,
We used to fetch water together,
From this very river,
From this very well,
We used to play together,
In these vast, expansive and lush plains,
And at night,
We would both gaze at the moon,
We would both gaze at the stars,
And make a wish,
We would wish to be famous,
We would wish to be wealthy,
And we would laugh,
In the silvery night,
And dismiss,
Our silly wishes…

Only we never knew,
How deeply,
How truly,
You held on to those silly wishes,
How truly,
You believed in those silly wishes upon a star.

We lived our simple lives like we had always lived and loved our simple village ways,
We held the village dear,
We were the village,
And the village was us,
Nothing could separate us,
Nothing could come in between us.
Nothing ever.

Then one day,
One day you announced,
You announced that,
You would be moving to the big city,
The city with brights lights,
The city with many people,
The city with big cars,
The city with crooks,
The city with beautiful ladies,
The city that held your dreams…

We were utterly shocked,
By your audacity,
By your madness.
But you have never been a normal person,
You have always been a strange person to us,
It is only that we could not tell you,
So we consoled ourselves…

We tried,
To stop you,
From going to the big city,
But you had already,
Made up your stubborn mind,
To leave us,
And go to the big city.

For many years,
We never heard anything about you,
Our dear sister,
Our dear brother,
Our worthy comrade in arms,
Our true comrade in arms,
You simply disappeared,
From the face of the Earth,
Just like that…

Then suddenly,
And out of nowhere,
One day,
You descended upon our village,
And in the company of important looking people,
Who drove big cars,
Who spoke in funny languages,
And you proceeded to announce to us,
That you would be leaving for America,
We never knew where America was,
We only knew of the markets and villages across those ridges over there,
We understood however,
That you had never been a normal person,
Then you gave us such a huge feast,
For a whole week,
We ate,
We drunk,
We danced,
And made merry,
In the name of you…

You left the village,
And went to America,
We promptly forgot all about you,
But not for long,
Because before long we started hearing about you,
In Voice of America,
In the local newspapers,
In the local radios…

My brother,
My sister,
You had grown so big,
You were known all over the world,
You truly became,
The son of the world,
The daughter of the world,
You were an accomplished musician,
A true celeb,
An international star,
So famous,
So rich,
A person who had the whole world,
At his feet,
At her feet.
We wished you the best in life…
We the villagers,
Were awed by your conquests,
Were amazed by your feats,
But unfortunately,
You had become a stranger,
A stranger to your own people,
A stranger to your own source of life,
But you had always been the strange one in the clan…

You travelled,
Through the capitals of the world,
New York,
And yes,
The list is endless….

But finally,
The news reached us,
The sad news,
That you were found dead,
In your hotel room,
In Las Vegas,
What a plain pain,
It was,
To loose,
Such an illustrious and dear stranger,
Though you had left us,
And forgot all about us,
In the village…

Now, here I am,
Silently wondering,
If those silvery nights,
We spent on wishing upon a star,
Were indeed lost nights.

What a famous Sibling…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013


Going Down….

  • Last night,
    I dropped by,
    At the Tavern,
    At the Shebeen,
    At the place,
    The source of night life,
    The other life,
    The dark life.
    I sat in a dark corner,
    Sipping away at the ethereal existence,
    All alone,
    And watched life pass by,
    But under the recessed lights,
    Life never passed by,
    Instead, it danced nearby
    Shaking it’s well endowed “Strongholds” with abandon.
    Then out of the thick smoky air,
    He materialized,
    A tall lanky fellow,
    Holding his cigarette,
    Askew in his mocking dry lips,
    And without a care in the world.
    His shaggy hair never helped things.
    He was a pale of his former self.
    He looked wasted.
    He looked tired.
    Dear brother.
    Dear friend.
    A dear brother from the past.
    Then he spotted I,
    And he came over,
    Tripping over in the process
    And breaking my beer bottles and glass with excitement.
    I never minded.
    He was a long lost brother.
    But going down.
    And going down real bad.
    He gave a bear hug.
    And I sat him down.
    He was frail,
    From personal burdens.
    Life had not been kind to him.
    Time had been cruel to him.
    He had gone down.
    Over copious flow of drinks,
    And his evil smelling cigarettes,
    He told me his story.
    A life of misfortune after misfortune.
    No love.
    No work.
    No family.
    No hope.
    What a way to go down
    For a dear brother….
    I looked him straight in the eye,
    And told him that he were a good man, and that sometimes things didn’t have to make sense to be understood or be good,
    That everything happens for a reason and in a season,
    And that the most important thing is not to give up but to hold in there until something gives.
    It hurts to see a brother going down.And we spoke,
    And spoke,
    Till the wee hours of the morning.
    Laughing at the vagaries of life.
    Taunting the unfeeling gods.
    Lamenting at the unfair fate.
    I felt for my brother,
    He who was down and out.

    And I promised
    To uplift him,
    To support him,
    To give him hope again,
    Before he hurt I again
    With disappointments….

    And when the sun rose up
    From her deep slumber,
    And when another day had been given birth to,
    We found our way home,
    Staggering and struggling with self doubts in the muddy footpaths to nowhere…

    If only this dear brother knew the many demons and evil fates I had fought before and I was still fighting….

    Going down.

    © Ayoub Mzee 2013

Uncle Stu

Stu, a distant uncle
Came home last night
We had a drink together
And I could see that he had something in his mind
But he never spoke
I let it pass
We drunk our wine in silence
While watching the starry night
And wishing upon a distant star

Then out of the darkness
He muttered
“I think I am in love”

I really didn’t know what to say
I kept quiet
We kept quiet momentarily
Both of us
And continued to sip at our muratina wine while in a curious silence

Then he expounded
He told me that he was in love with a beautiful woman
Both in heart and in body
I told him that I was happy for him

He turned and looked at me with a certain intensity in his eyes and asked
“How well do you know about love?”
I looked down at the smouldering fire embers and answered him
“A little bit I guess. I used to know love but she doesn’t live here anymore”

He patted my shoulder and whispered “Son, she will be back and you better be ready”

And I was convinced
Of his faith
In a hopelessly romantic heart like this
And I was happy for him
To have found true love albeit so late in life

Yes, life indeed begins at 40.

Ayoub Mzee Mzima ©2013

The Spirit

This spirit soars.

It soars beyond the skies.

It exists in the universe,

Holding the life force together,

Nurturing peace and prosperity.

It is our spirit.

It flows and touches the mountains, the plains and  the oceans.

It moves the souls and kisses warm kisses to glad hearts.

And the love is so deep and so wide, that it can never be depleted.

The spirit silently watches,

Quietly filling up the firmament,

With messages of hope,

Gently feeding a beatific existence.

It has healed us.

It has sealed us in an eternity of fortitude.

In yore,

The spirit existed.

And now it must flow again.

Amongst the humanity,

To experience a rebirth and a reassurance.

In candour, I gaze at the spirit, seeing with a heart’s eyes, things that the naked eye can never see.

Memories can never be effaced,

But will dwell more in this spirit.

An affectional demise, of easy vexations shall pass.

And bliss shall claim us.

The spirit clears a mental mire,

Penitent, for not knowing you earlier.

In reticence, we acknowledge, the fact of dear life.

The spirit is ours,

To hold us closer,

And infuse fused truth.

My spirit….

Our spirit…

© Ayoub Mzee 2012




Those dainty things,
Those cute and distant things,
That flies away like butterflies,
That twinkles away like stars,
Whenever you come too near.
Whenever you come too close.
That they keep on offerring.
That they keep on giving I.
That I keep on calling promises.
Empty promises.
My people,
If not careful,
These promises will kill I.
I don’t eat promises.
Do you?
No, you don’t my people.
Shelf life of promises is too short.
My memory is too long.
Your tomorrow is your yesterday,
Devoid of substance.
Devoured by lies.
Here I lie,
Patiently watching your lies.
I’m not lying.
My people,
If you give me one more promise,
I will go mad.
My people,
Give me something else,
But not promises.
A promise is a beautiful lie.
A promise is an elagant mirage.
A promise is a cunning bird.
Always catching me off guard.
The promises have run away,
And my purpose is gone.
Don’t promise to promise.
I beg.

© Copyright 2012 Ayoub Mzee

No Colour

No colour can define me.
No colour can explain me.
No colour can speak for me.
No colour can tell my story.
I’m neither black, white, brown or coloured. The blood that courses through my veins
is as red as yours.
This blood is never black,
White, brown or coloured.
There is no colour.

I breath the same air that you breath. The very air that holds forth and gives life.
The firmament above attests to this. The stars and the lunar baths us gloriously in their silver lights and doesn’t care about our skin colour. The sun showers our hearts with her sunshine regardless of the colours and so does the rain. It pours her blessing to all and neither does it know what colour maketh thee.
There is no colour.

We are all sourced from the same spring. In stillness and in quiteness,the universe proclaims our connectivity. We are all one and belong to each other.The Universe is our nation, while you and I are its citizens.
Your pain is mine.
My joy is your joy.
There is no colour.
And neither will ever be any colour, that will completely define us, and tell out story fully.

©Copyright 2012 Ayoub Mzee

Finding Home

As the sun raises and kisses a new life.
As the darkness wanes and welcomes a fresh life.
I move amongst my people, ardent at finding an abode.
Seasons defines time.
Their occurances a stamp of authority.
It is a transition of spent days onto new promises that heralds a heart in search of an atonement.
In firmed firmanent, the spirit soars in an ethnic cadency.
Home I have found.
To contain pain and breath joy is magic.
Pronounced and lingering wants promise I some home.
Honed hard feelings deny sweet langour.
I receed for I have found home.
Wildness couldn’t contain this sole soul.
Vast skyscapes feigned accomodation of a spirit.
The stars twinkled distant aspirations.
But it was never home. Home is this now moment.
The beating and breathing present time amongst my people,
welcoming and holding closer stolen victories.
I have found peace in counted pieces.
I have found home.

© 2012 Ayoub Mzee