September 30, 2015 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION



Constance van Niekerk




I am an African



Africa is my home

With it’s vast grasslands

The Savannah plains

The arid deserts

Great Sahara,

Kalahari and the Nubian

The African landscape

beautified by

magnificent mountains;

Mount Kilimanjaro,

Mount Kenya,

Mount Stanley and

Mount Cameroon


The mighty Boabab

Pretty Jacarandah

Musasa, munhondo, Mopani,

Collecting golden rays of sunshine

In the evening glow

The enchanting splendour

of the Tangala, Tugela, Ouzoud,Maletsunyane, Mutarazi, Howick

Kalambo, Livingstone and Victoria Falls


The flowing waters of the Zambezi, Nile And Niger

Africa is blessed with

Majestic animals

wild and free

Elephants, zebras

Buffaloes, lions, giraffes

Even small ones as

the ground squirrels

and the termites

They share this home with me

Africa my pride my joy


Africa is where my heart is

Born and bred in Africa

My feet dance to the Afro-sounds

of the mbira and hosho rhythms and the

African drum beat under

the African moon

my body swaying to the sounds of Mirriam Makeba

LadySmith Black Mambazo and The Soul Brothers

Tuku music reminds me of Dande

Keita, N’dour, Lo

fill me with heady thoughts of home


My skin baked

by the strong African sun

Serenaded by the African birds

The crickets and the owls by night

The sound of the African rain, healing

and calming as the melody of

an African lullaby

When I move, when I dance

My curves, my hips

The hair on my head

The beads on my waist

The language I speak

I am an African


I stand tall, I stand proud

As did my ancestors

before me

Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi

Lobengula and Nelson Mandela

An African wonder,

The blood that flows

in my veins

The heart that beats

in my chest

I am an African












She awoke with a fright

Deafening screams

Body violently shaking

Drenched in sweat,

blood and fear

Cold un-feeling steel

restraining her hands

Was it a nightmare

or her mind bringing

to remembrance

a cold deed long done.

She scanned the

unfamiliar surroundings

Dark, with a pungent odour

narrow bed, bare and stiff

Puzzlement and confusion

Clouded her mind

Was it just a nightmare

or was she paying for a

dark deed long done.












Taboo and forlorn,

Yet certain and embedded in

The fabric of everyone’s life

Uninvited but definitely visiting

Every home and everybody

Young and old

Neatly tucked away on forbidden


Under lock and key

But, somehow, always escaping

And creeping in unexpectedly

Never to be talked about

Unless having rudely invaded

The lips and lives of mortals

So macabre and silent

Is this uncouth harvester we know as Death!








Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk is a South-African based Zimbabwean-born freelance music critic, poet, photographer, educator, creative writer and blogger par excellence. She has written for The Southern Times Newspaper of Namibia as well as Zimbabwe’s foremost daily, The Herald, blogging also on Up Close and Personal with Zim Artists since 2012. Early in 2014 Constance rebranded the blog to L’Afrique Beat to reflect the interests the whole of Africa and create a continental flavour. L’ Afrique Beat features well researched and informative articles on Africa’s musical icons, entertainment, as well as the lifestyle issues of Africa.


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