Kalamu ya Mapinduzi: Aluta Continua

This is what Mohammed Ghassani writes as a dedication of this epic:

To the country that rose, then fell down before it stood up
To the people who came out, strongly united to defend their integrity
To the tear that poured down, until lastly dried up, crying for the destiny
To the blood that was shed, streaming like rivers, deep into the soil absorbed
To the sweat that wet the bodies, and the tired muscles, for the unfinished job
To the faces that smiled, and in happiness erupted, before being beaten by fears
To you all, O my noble people
This epic I write
In your memory
There shall be no turning back!

In his foreword, Professor Ibrahim Noor Shariff has this to say about the book and the poet:

This might be the first and unique collection of poems that openly say things that are normally hidden through writers’ tricks in some literatures. This openness, however, does not reduce the value of this work in terms of figurative languages and the intensity of ideas. It just simplifies it for the audience to reach it. Through this epic, Mohammed Ghassani is voicing up the urge for liberation, declaring war against injustice and inequality and, at the same time, vowing to carry on the fight until the end.

In kalamu ya mapinduzi: mapambano yanaendelea

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Siwachi Kusema: The Freedom Is Jailed

Expressing our thoughts is one way of communicating and communication is, itself, one of basic human characteristics. A person who does not communicate – or is made not to communicate – lacks something so significant to their well-being that is similar to their breathing.

It is through the power of expression that our humanity is attained. Therefore, it is a right so intertwined in us that we cannot be separated from. Allowing any person – no matter how powerful they are – to suffocate our freedom of expression is to sign our own death certificate. Whoever tries to do so, they have to be met with radical reactions, because we cannot afford that stupidity.

That is a message throughout this poetry collection, hammering every element that aims at jailing the freedom of people.

You, the Iron Fist
Listen to what I say
Things that annoy you
Things that anger you
Want to beat me?
Want to subjugate me?
Well, on you can go
But silent I won’t be
Never will I stop speaking!

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‘Andamo’: A Young Traveller on Journey

Kiswahili has at least three meanings of the word ‘Andamo‘, which carries the title of this book. Depending on which context it has been used, Swahili people use this word to describe situations or actions. One of which is the situation of sticking tightly to something and never let it go.

Most poems in this book were written when Mohammed Ghassani was still in his 20s and some even before that. They tell a story of a young man who lives his life as an adult, thinking deep for the answers of his own from the questions he created. Buy the book here.