Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Motion with Happy endings

There are times where we go the wrong direction. It may look right and feel right but when it ends, it reveals itself to be a false path.
But then sometimes you simply could not have taken a better path.
It leads you to happy endings. I think I am taking that train this time around.
I am taking that train with pleasant views and yet still offers me more and more still.
Here is to happy endings!
I'll toast to that.
Happy ending of 2012 everybody. See you 2013 with God's grace.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Concrete beauty displayed in Nature

A beautiful seat of history found at Cape Grace hotel, Cape Town.

This is a series of images taken in Seapoint.


 A view of Table Mountain from Century City.


Monday, November 26, 2012

What is Freedom

Freedom. What does that look like?

Freedom. Will you seek it if you knew just how much you lacked it. I want to see what freedom looks like as given generously by the Lord. The image of David breaking out into a dance before the Lord comes into mind. Freedom to bring down a giant with a stone while everyone trembled. The freedom of Jonathan to take on an army with his armor bearer while his father and his army were lost in confusion and weakened. Freedom to be unafraid of death like Stephen lost in bliss seeing the Messiah exalted as they stoned him. I conclude that Freedom is the absence of fear.

2Cor  3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom.

Friday, November 16, 2012

1st Love


Do you remember the first scriptures that came alive for you?
Remember your first excitement when you first heard God's voice?
Remember when you first obeyed God's word and the feeling you had when you experienced your first miracles.
Remember your first answered prayers?
Remember your first love.
What did you do with it all?
Do the things you did at first.
*Rev 2:4-7 WEB
But I have this against you, that you left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lampstand out of its place, unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Serendipity


All things are ready, if our minds be so.
                  - William Shakespeare, Henry V

My heart is aflame with inspiration.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ISRAEL

 En Gedi a place of refreshing springs in the hot desert.

 The most beautiful nature reserve in the North of Israel.

                                                                     Ceaseria

Jaffa Street, Jerusalem, the center of the world!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thoughts about origins of Sound

In God's kingdom sound comes from uncontainable joy.
In the kingdom of darkness sound comes from excruciating pain.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I am South African



I am a South African
I owe my being to the women in red, white and black
I owe my being to the women in purple and black
I owe my being to the women in black and white
Who seek no positions
Who take no credit
Who never fight to be seen
Who expect no crowns
Abafazi boxolo               (women of peace)
Abafazi bankol’ingagungqhiyo      (women of unshakable faith)
Abafazi abathi behluphekile bathi bahluthi     (women who are poor yet count themselves as rich)
I owe my being
To women who do not beg
Who seek no human favours
Who seek the favour of One
When they appear before God
They know that kugqinyiwe, kwanele  (it is finished, it is enough)

I am South African
I owe my being not to the hills
Nor the mountains
I owe my being to the women
Abathi mntan’am qina          (who say my child be stand strong)
Mntan’am kuyanyanyezelwa   (my child perservere)
Mntan’am uThix’uyaphendula   (my child God answers)

I am South African
I do not owe my being to the mountains
I owe my being to the women whose faith is as unshakable as mountains
I owe my being to women who have said God’s love is deeper than the ocean
I owe my being to the women
Who have gathered every Thursday from Colonial days, apartheid and post-apartheid days
I owe my being to the women whose prayers are going up to heaven as I write

I am South African
I owe my being to every unacknowledged missionary
Who left England, Germany or France
Who braved unknown lands and scripted languages never before written
Who made mistakes but created ways for the future
I owe my being to my grandmothers’ prayers
I owe my being to my great grandmothers’ conversion
I owe my being to the fire of the Methodists
The faithfulness of the Anglicans
And every mother who prays
I am a South African

© siki dlanga
Inspired by Women’s Thursday prayers over Mhlobowene radio station.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Siki Musing on Love

Love has rules of its own. It is senseless and nonsensical. It is foolishness to the outsider and wisdom to the partaker. It is irritating and boring to the onlooker. It is exciting and exhilarating to the ones engrossed in it. It is illogical to the thinker and logic to its drinker. It is clearly a thing not to be observed but to be had. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Leaving

Taking off from Tel Aviv after spending over 2 hours at the airport. They do their security checks quite thoroughly with grace. Very impressive. Everyone is incredibly patient at those security checks. It's a lot easier to go through South Africa.

Friday, October 12, 2012

do it again - (poetry africa)



do it again

i sat
beneath the light
of your performance
last night.
where you
fed me
with a silver spoon
many
rich
courses
of your rare
words.
then
when the night
was over;
i,
i
staggered
home,
because you,
you,
had me drunk
with your
poetry.
©  siki dlanga
27Sept2010


I wrote this the day after I had spent an evening listening and watching the greatest poets of Africa perform in Cape Town CTICC. Poets such as Gcina Mhlope, Lebo Mashile and many great poets of our continent including an interesting duo comprised of a White South African and a White Zimbabwean ripping each other off in the most fantastic performance. It was the night where a great base guitarist accompanied one of the poets. When we went to compliments since my friend is crazy about base guitars, the base guitarist was rather mesmerised by my eyes. My favourite performance of course the entire evening was Malika Ndlovu. What a discovery! Wow. I just love that woman. How I wish I could attend it this time again.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

This is the kind of day

This is the kind of morning
Where I know I was born to run
These weights I carry
I do not feel
These weights I carry
I do not feel
I can run forward
And never stop
Today
Not even the weight
of my body
Hinders me
This is the kind of morning
I know I was born
Today
I can run

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Shabbat

Holy One write Your words on my heart. Spirit of Truth show me Your ways and I will have fullness of life. Holy One only Your words matter because Your Word is life, light and water to my soul, springs of life! Holy One there are no gods before You.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The real Bethel

Today began at the crucifixion and resurrection site of Jesus on the Mount of Olives. I choose to believe that where new olive trees are growing over dead ones to produce even more olives...something special must've happened there hence only fruitfulness can take place in that land. The testimony is in the olive trees that can't die.

I went to Shiloh the place Hannah prayed for Samuel. I went to Bethel the place God promised Abraham the land. The ability to look and see determines what we will have faith for. It is also the place of angels ascending and descending. I ate the biggest grapes I have ever seen with my eyes. They reminded me of the spies that were sent to have a look at the promised land. I have tasted and seen that the land is indeed GOOD!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

SAKKOT

Tonight our soundtrack was thunder. Our light was the flashing light of the heavens. We ate food in the rain. It wasn't pouring hard. It was just enough to cool us down a little and increase the excitement of our celebrations. These blessed rains began shortly before the main meal of our sakkot celebration. A sweeter blessing prayer I have not heard "Lord we wait for Your coming and we know that You wait for us to."

The man who sat at our table told us about what a blessing it is to have rain during sakkot as it is what they always pray for. It hardly ever happens he said.

"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord." Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Peace of Jerusalem

I'm listening to the sounds of the city of Jerusalem. It is chabad. I can feel that this city is made of relationships. I saw it as everything was shut down today and people enjoyed rest. Sons walked with their fathers. Little children were with their parents. Husbands were with their wives walking hand in hand at ease with one another in silence.

I could feel that what gives Jerusalem its energy is its ability to stop and worship G_d for a full night and a full day every week. When people walk together slowly not rushing anywhere once a week, what they do is that they get to enjoy each other. Relationships become the focal point.

Today I have seen the peace of Jerusalem. It exists. Peace is indeed not an absence of war and turmoil but the ability to be still before God as though there were no guns at the boarders of your country. Peace is the faith to enjoy God and the people He has given you because no matter what is happening. This is truly what matters in life. Nothing else does.

There is no living without loving. Living without loving is like a cistern without water. It is like a city without people.
Living without loving is a purposeless life since the highest purpose of living can only be loving.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tomorrow




Tomorrow 
Tomorrow is not just tomorrow,
Tomorrow is that day,
It is the day of days.
It is that day that is worth waiting for. 
It is the kind of day you could not dare whisper
Not even in your sleep
You could not 
Wish
Upon such a good 
Thing
For sheer reverence
I shall not speak of it
I can only allow
Tomorrow
To announce itself
As an angel called
Today
Waiting to take me 
By the hand
To a place
Where angels gather
In awe
In anticipation
Of future days
Days whose bliss
Is ever increasing
Whose blessings
Multiply with each
Waking Day
The angels are here
I must 
Go

© siki dlanga


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Nunnery Wedding


I was one of four young ladies
Changing a car tyre for the first time
As your marriage set us in motion
Crossing boarders for the first time
When our passports were stamped
We could not say that we were fully outside of our country
Since we had never been more inside our Mzantsi
Lesotho Mountains curtaining our eyes from the sight of our provinces
Preventing our ears from hearing the noises of our cultures
Creating the perfect setting for intimacy
We forgot our lives
We were in a new land
Trying to communicate
Lost in Sesotho
The wedding took place at the Nunnery
Old non-smiling humble nuns looking on
Creating an unreal serene atmosphere
Fortunately the wedding priest was no nun
Sprowson announced Mthi and Lite man and wife
A few Sotho people responded in song
A song so silent we could have been at a funeral
South Africans took over
Fair enough nuns and marriage never do meet
Yet this day the nunnery would know the sound of wedding celebrations
In an instance Basotho land became Xhosa land
Singing, dancing, rejoicing fearlessly
With pride we boasted about the bride
We showed off the brilliance of the groom
I remember the night as though it were yesterday
Darkness fell that night yet unable to quiet our singing
Stars shone like angel eyes looking through the curtains of heaven
Watching and in awe of our uncontainable rejoicing, dancing and singing
Elation covered us like the blankets of the Basotho people
I could not recall anything of journeying back
What remains in memory is only happiness
That had me believe that I floated back
Leaving the humble world of nuns
In total wedding bliss
I sometimes wonder
If that nunnery
Still stands
Quietly
Or if our songs
Still loom over that night sky
While angel eyes testify
Proclaiming
Eternal wedding
Celebrations

© siki dlanga
25 September 2012 for Mthi and Lite Adonis on their Anniversary

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What a Year So Far!

We are into our final quarter of the year and I can honestly say "what a year it has been!" It has been absolutely great! This last few months I do need to be more organised than ever before inorder to ensure that next year is even better. I happen to think next year will be brilliant though I have not thought too deeply about it since this year has been an absolute ball!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marikana 45



45 men dead.
Twelf-thousand, 500 Rand.
Numbers that mean life or death
Yet no numbers give nor lead to life.
45 men dead.
What is the cost
Of a father?

What is the cost
Of a father
Who returns home
Alive?
What is the cost
Of a father’s hug?
What is the cost
Of a father’s voice
Over the phone
Telling you
He is coming home?
Bringing you dresses,
Trousers,
School uniform?
What is the cost
Of saying Tata,
uTata wam?

What does it cost
The man who demands
Twelf- thousand, 500 rand?
When his pocket
Is full with twelf-thousand, 500 rand?
How will he feel
When he closes his eyes at night?
What does his face look like?
Does he pretend
That he never knew his neighbour?
Does he demand
Twelf-thousand, 500 rand
With a clear conscience?
Or does he need twelve-thousand, 500 rand
To bury himself from the sight of 45 men dead?
To shut himself from the
Sound of gun shots that killed someone’s son,
Someone’s husband,
Someone’s father,
Someone’s uncle,
A neighbour’s son,
Someone.

Does he still hear
His own name
Without guilt?
Does he still know whose son he is?
Does he know his children?
Can he look at their faces now?
Did he shoot or did he watch his neighbour fall?
Did he too die as he watched his friend fall?
Was the bullet his?

Will he dig where that man once dug?
Will he turn to a sangoma
To kill his conscience and die a slow death?
Will he look to the sky,
Beat his chest?
Will he beg for mercy?
Will he beg for mercy?
Will he beg for mercy?
For the greed of men,
For the lust of power,
For brutal inequalities?

Will he weep and beg for mercy?
For his friend’s children
For himself
For the men in blue
For the men playing with power
For the men of the mines
For the men who thought
They were in charge?
For the 45 men?


© siki dlanga

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fantastic Quote

Home is ultimately not about a place to live but about the people with whom we are most fully alive. Home is about love, relationships, community, and belonging, and we are all  searching for home. Erwin McManus


Monday, September 10, 2012

My Beautiful Siblings


Aren't they gorgeous....
There is of course one more sibling missing in the picture plus myself.
But these two are probably the most beautiful ones. Give or take.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Inspiration to Believe

We live by faith and not by sight so that the God of glory may display His glory through us.
What greatness is there if all I achieve is what I can fulfill in my own human strength? It seems noble but it is not only boring but it is a lot smaller than what is really possible. Faith is an invitation to live larger and beyond yourself.

Yes, there is a higher place to live from. This is a place where eagles soar, a place where lions close their mouths and rather choose to sit with you for a night rather than shred you to pieces.

There is a place where the fire does not burn a single strand of your hair because you have greater, truer fire that burns brighter in you than any fire you could ever be placed in. This is when the all consuming fire shows up in the midst of the man-made fire.

Then you can dance in the fire. This is faith which the just shall live by. This is the faith that makes us righteous.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

To End Love.



To end love
There is no such
A thing.
Love
Is something
We
Found
Here.

It was
Before we
Ever decided
To take it up
Or to put it
Down.

To end
Love,
There is no such
A thing.

Love
Is a never ending
Circle,
Whose sphere
Is without measure,
Whose shape
Is unknown.

Love is
Not
A thing
To pick up
Or to put
Down.

Love
Is alive.
It cannot be switched off
Unless
Hell
We choose.
Where love
Forever hides.
Yet love
Is
More
Than what we choose
Or not.
It waits.
It watches.
It sees.
Love
Has always been
Here.
Long
Long
After we are gone.

Love
Shall watch.
Love
Shall wait
To show kindness
At the first opportunity.

Love
Is not a thing to end.
Love has no end.
Love does not end.
Not for me,
Not for you.
Love abides
Forever.

© siki dlanga
Aug 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Siki le Artist kule decade

So I was in Cape Town last week and I was introduced as a poet and an 'illustrator'.
This was done by a company that is taking Africa by storm show casing the best of African art. Needless to say, I took a second look at my drawings and suddenly believed in myself. If they did, who am I to say you're wrong. Not this time.

This is what I wish I looked like. With this figure.... But alas I can only draw it for now!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where Hope Abides


Hope
Is at the edge
Of your tongue.

Life
Grows
Out of the roots
Of your thoughts.

Love
Springs forth
From the fountain
Of the Eternal.

Joy
Is the fire
That sparks from
The words of
Hope.

(c) siki dlanga

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Poetry Book Is Here!!!

I am thrilled to present my new poetry book!! So thrilled!

This is the begining of great things!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

She said NO


1956
She marched on
She was black
She was white
She was Indian
She was coloured
She said NO 

Strydom hid
From her voice
Demanding justice
Strydom hid

Under her gaze
Apartheid shuddered
Apartheid quivered
Until it shattered

She said NO

2012
She is black
She is white
She is Indian
She is coloured
She says NO

Do not touch
My children!

She says NO
Do not
touch
me

She said NO

(c) siki dlanga
2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

The glory of dying to live




We may have falsely believed that we were just people chasing dreams or we may have been striving  to make something out of our lives.


I have a growing suspicion that we have had it all wrong. What I am begining to believe more fully is that what we are in essence is a great God adventure. Maybe we are an adventure God has longed to live in our lifetime but we have been too self absorbed to see anything more. First we must die, that we may live in His great adventure. Our small thinking that leads to selfish ambitions prevent us from experiencing the greatest God adventures God had mapped for us to live. Adventures that were planned to bring Him glory and fame by living unlimited lives. Yet we refuse to die.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Know The Lord!

We are living in the worst days in all of history. We are living in the best days ever imagined.

We are living in the most godless times. We are living in best days where God has never been experienced by so many, so often and so much. We are living in the days saints of old wished they lived in. Never in the whole of human history has God been revealed by so much to so many. Never, not even in the days Jesus Himself walked the earth. They were still asking who is He? Only a few women really knew who He really was. The men were generally clueless besides Peter by the Spirit of God. These days Christ is revealed to all in a frightening measure.

Those who don't see or don't know have mostly chosen to dismiss the evidence as the knowledge of God hourly increases on the earth as the waters cover the sea. We are living in the worst hour. We are living in the finest hour.

It is going to get worse. It is going to get even better than the best we have seen. It all depends which side you're looking from. I think I've got front row seats of the finest angle. Everybody can get the seat but not everyone choses it.

Habakkuk 2: 14
The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Matters That Can't Be Told

There are things that God does which you sometimes cannot tell.

You cannot tell them because some of them feel so sacred that you would be too afraid to say them. You cannot tell of other experiences simply because they can't be told. They can't be told not because you refuse to share  but because the language of words was not designed to describe what can only be known through being a participant of a particular experience in a specific moment of God's time. This matter continues to confound and captivate me.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shakespeare In Love vs Siki in Love


A crazy joyous love adventure is completely next. Sometimes you have to go on an external journey to find the internal journey. It is going to be as explosive as a volcano. It is going to be deeper than the depths of the ocean. It is going to be wide and spacious it will be so playful and bring such freedom. It is going to be so high it is going to be crazy joyous. It is going to be long because it will be forever. It is going to be worth giving up everything for because it will be the most valuable treasure. It is going to be so good and juicy you will taste it from afar. Yes I literally have waited my whole life for it. It is everything or nothing at all. I have done the nothing at all, now it is time for everything.

I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No! Not the artful postures of love, but love that overthrows life. Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love as there has never been in a play. I will have love.
Viola de Lesseps, Shakespeare In Love

We can do with love that brings peace. Yes to love that has never been in a play but let it not overthrow life let it create life anew. I have not come across a film with more beautiful poetry however, I have seen enough riots in my country to last centuries. I want a love so captivating that it will stop wars that have been carrying on for centuries. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finding The Queen of Afrika


I have many stories to tell you. I could start from the beginning but I cannot. The queen of Afrika commands me to speak of her first. I can think of nothing else but her. She grips my mind and she has my heart. She will let me say nothing of Zimpeto, Maputo or Mozambique unless I speak of her. I obey queens.

Since we found out that we had made it to the team that would be travelling to Mozambique we were told about the dump side. It is an area where people live and look for food. We were told of its unpleasant aromas. I doubted that I had the capacity to see such a sight. I was certain that I was unable to handle such an atrocious sight and smell of such death-like poverty. My heart fainted at the thought of such human desperation that would push humans to find hope in a mass dump area. I speak of hope. I speak of lifting the heads of the downcast in Afrika but could I do it when I am in the worst possible place? Is it all just dreamy talk? Do I truly believe my passion for Afrika? Is my talk possible? Do I believe me? This was the true test and I was afraid dismal self-failure awaited me. I would be exposed that I am just a dreamer and nothing more.
We prayed week after week as we prepared, praying for various things such as provision for the trip and for this. God broke our hearts even before we went as some of our hearts failed when we heard we would go to such a place of despair. God started to show me a different picture to share with some of the members who had verbalised their honest distress and desperation to see hope. God gave me a vision of the dump as not the stinky place we had been told of but as a rich gold mine. I held on to the picture.

The appointed day finally arrived when we were to go to this wasteland. God had been particularly kind to me the day before. He had prepared me in the most spectacular way possible. We went to minister to the homeless and each time we brought the delicious freshly baked bread of Zimpeto whenever we met with the people. People always take that bread as though it may be the only food they may have had that day. We went to minister late afternoon and evening with the Zimpeto street ministry team. We went to a rundown spot near Samora Michelle’s statue. The most imposing image I have ever seen. When I saw it I was inspired to pray: “God if I ever become famous and do great things may there never be a statue of Siki please! I beg you.” I had seen plenty of statues in my years though none had ever inspired such a prayer in me. In this sculpture I saw the height of human pride embodied in its great height. Human pride suddenly frightened me. We walked into an enclosed area opposite the imposing statue. 

There we stood under the tree and the young Mozambican men we were with started playing the guitar singing worship songs. We sang along even when we did not speak the language of the song our spirits worshipped one Lord. A few people arrived. People who were hungry even for hope, Jesus or the next meal. Each of us said something. It was sweet. The presence of God was with us. Like the other three visitors I preached for a few minutes under the tree. It all felt so authentically African. We hugged the people, gave them bread, some asked for prayer, we prayed and we left to the next place. The last place we went to that night was a building that used to be beautiful, now large trees were growing out of the house. It no longer had a roof and most of the walls were broken. It was now dark and we had joined the other team. Someone played the jembe, the other two guys played a guitar as the rest of us sang. People came out of the shadows and joined us. Others tried to smoke as fast as they could so that they could quickly join us. The people always smelled terribly. These people particularly majored in unpleasant smells of smoke, alcohol and lack of perfume. Some of them were prostitutes but they are not as obvious as our South African prostitutes.

They arrived shaking our hands and another kissing each person on both cheeks as it happens in Portuguese cultures. I take kisses seriously so I relieved her of the cultural kissing duty. I hugged her instead rather than accepting a polite mundane kiss on my cheeks. My hug would be a lot more meaningful and purposeful. My embrace was about sharing each other’s spaces and presence. It was about giving of the self and not withholding any amount of goodness that I had been blessed with. Lips are holy things. We say words with them and words are sacred things. Kisses are sentences of the soul when it is overcome with emotion. It is a language of intimacy I deeply respect, perhaps because my grandfather always baptised our hands and faces with dozens of kisses for more than 20 years. The most authentic expression of love I could show her was to hug her.  A hug is generous. It extends itself beyond the handshake. It shares smells. You can’t get closer. Of course she was as smelly as it gets. In this trip I quickly learnt to love smelly people and I was perfectly okay with it.  

We had hardly begun to sing when I felt the presence of God heavily upon me. I wanted to impart to each one as much as was possible. I wanted God to show them who they were in ways words couldn’t. I wanted each one to be free of alcohol and poverty and lack. I prayed for the people as they worshipped and the presence of God continued to intensify on me as I prayed for them desperately trying to transfer it. I could hardly contain it. I eventually laid hands on another woman who also smelled of alcohol and unpleasant smells. When I touched her I knew that the presence of God I felt when I touched her had nothing to do with the presence of God that was on me. It was the presence of God that was on her. It was heavy. I was completely boggled out of my mind. I thought how can someone who is so anointed by God be here? Did this woman even know the power of God that was on her life? This woman was powerful, did she even realise how powerful she was? God completely threw me off there because I could not explain that. How could God be so present in such a dingy place with such smelly drinking people? Yet there He was, undeniably all over them and He was loving it. The scripture is true: God lives in a high and holy place and with those who are broken in spirit and humble. That is where He lives. This seemingly God-forsaken place, and these God-forsaken people after all were not forsaken. It was where He was to be most found! I had no idea how literal these verses were. I was stunned!

If God was in such a place, with such a people then God would most certainly be even more abundantly found in the dump. I now looked forward to go there as soon as it was possible. The places where God lives are not in fancy houses, unless the fancy houses belong to those whose hearts are humble before Him and contrite in spirit but He lives in the places where the least are. It is the reason He insists that those who ill-treat the poor insult Him. He takes the poorest as seriously as we take the rich. I have found the place God lives. I needed to go to the wasteland to truly understand what God was doing in a place the world claims He has forsaken.

We got on to the bus and went to the wasteland where we were greeted with stenches of smoke that choked me even before we got off the bus. It was hills and hills of waste and smoke. Such a sight I had never seen. The worst part is that people lived not only in close proximity to the wasteland but some even lived right in it. They made their homes in the dumps. They slept there!

We climbed the hills of waste. We came across the first person. We said hello. She had been digging in the dump looking for things she might be able to use. I could see nothing useful but a place to escape. It was such a dirty place. It is a rubbish dump of course it is unapproachable. To touch it must be a health risk, yet there she was as though this were her only opportunity for survival. She stood up to talk to us. My goodness! Such beauty! Such grace! Such dignity! She was the queen of Africa! The environment where she was might have been smelly and filthy but she was clean. Her face and body were that of a model. Her head was stylishly wrapped with a beautiful cloth. Her neck was long and graceful. Her eyes were perfection. Her earrings were made of lovely beads that hung elegantly. Her face was almost black and very pretty. Her poise was dignified. She crowned the mountains of dirt, dust and old plastic until you forgot that we stood at a place neither she nor us should be found in. She was regal. The environment around her did not defile her yet it seemed she did not know this truth too well. She was there because she was trying hard to make a living. It is not how she wanted to do it but this is where she was. When I saw her I knew that the verses God had given me the night before were for this woman.
“Awake, awake o Zion, clothe yourself with strength, put on your garments of splendour…the unclean will no longer enter you again. …shake yourself from the dust, arise sit enthroned, O Jerusalem loose yourself from the bonds of your neck O captive daughter of Zion.” – Isaiah 52
I knew these verses well. Today they were definitely for her. I knew that God wanted this woman to know that in His eyes she is crowned. She needed to know that what we saw when we saw her, is what she is, a queen. As each team member prophesied over her, showing her the treasure that is in her, her countenance changed. She smiled. She was pleasantly surprised. I was even more surprised to find the queen of Africa in such a place but I also knew that she was the picture of Africa. Glorious, beautiful, majestic and yet living in the rubble of poverty. When I saw this woman and what God saw in her I knew that this is the true gold of Africa; the people. The greedy had it wrong all along. They took the gold and ran yet they had no idea what true treasure was. We walked away rich from having met her. She had come looking for possible treasure in the dump yet she found herself as that treasure worth seeking.

We might never find out how our encounter with her impacted her life. We might never find out on this earth what will become of her from that moment on but I know that she was not the same. Life had changed for her from that moment on. I knew what it did for me. I had found the queen of Afrika. I had found this incredible treasure. I had seen the story of Afrika embodied in all its beauty in her standing there. We were given an opportunity to interrupt her from a mundane moment. Something tells me that somehow she always believed there had to be more. There just had to be more. That is why though in deepest poverty she would not be found dirty, smelly or lacking in style. Life had to be more and she was dressed for the more even in the rubbish dump. It was evident that what she was wearing were pieces of clothing she had found that she had cleaned, worn and given value by how she wore them. Even in that she was exquisite. She was fit to be crowned. With the powers invested in me from above I crowned her queen of Afrika. I wanted to scream for joy. My heart exploded with God. God had given us the most unexpectedly magnificent treasure in the dump!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What I love most about Johannesburg


One of the reasons why I love Johannesburg is that I love the sight of focused shinny black men in their suits. If you will look beyond their careful good looks and hand picked designer suits you will understand that you are looking at a dream. The confident business energy you whiff as they zoom past you was not always possible. These young men are much more than what their great grandparents ever dreamt possible. They went to that same city digging gold that would never be theirs. Perhaps as they dug they prayed and now the city of gold is theirs through their descendants.

What I love most about the people of Johannesburg is that they come from anywhere. They are people with big dreams who are still looking for gold. People notice you when you are in Johannesburg. They seem to see you because you could be the gold. What could be more powerful than human currency? This is what I love about Johannesburg. I love these sons because when I see them, I see dreams that have come true. I see dreams many have feared to dream that have been realised. I see an invitation to be the next gold mine and to make people want to come and mine it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lessons On Love

When you have shown off all you know. When mountains have been shaken and moved. When all prophecies have been given and received. When laughter has occurred and tears have been shed. When no emotion has been shown. When miracles have been witnessed, what God requires beyond faith is love. There is a day when you will need love. You will need to know that someone cares, you will need to know that someone loves you. If you look around and find that you are standing alone in the cold. Look up because God loves you. He really really does. You and I are made for love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BRETT MURRAY BURN ZUMA PAINTING



All along I have been advocating Brett Murray’s right to paint what he wishes. I was like Tselane Tambo asking the president to get over it, inquire of the painting’s deeper meaning and get on with running the country. I have been like Ayanda Mabhulu the irreverent artist who had committed the same act as that of Brett Murray except that his artwork received no uproar. Ayanda said the response to this painting only shows how artistically illiterate the leaders are. I too thought so. Can everybody get beyond the president’s dangly bits in the painting and look at the full exhibition and concentrate on the cleverness of it all, I thought. I was convinced and am still convinced that the depiction carries a much greater meaning than making a mockery of the president as a man. I was pleading to everyone to look deeper. As a side issue unintended by the artist I am certain; I thought yes, the ruthless object that has been destroying femininity in South Africa has finally been named by another man. The president was merely a representative of the nation’s broader masculine community. The violent weapon that is most feared by any woman in this country that destroys children and women daily had finally been hung on the wall of the nation. There it was and its exposure caused a great uproar. It was named. It was hung. Its power suddenly dissipated and the fear of rape evaporated.

Had it been a different figure represented the image would not have represented the entire nation, yet we know that is not what the artwork is about. Yes, The Spear is social commentary on South Africa’s current politics and political leaders and the real uproar was that Jacob Zuma, the country’s president was depicted with his private manhood parts exposed. Indeed a powerful image, one that offended most of the black country and the more reverent nation. How could such an act be done to our president? The ANC called for it to be removed from the Goodman gallery while Blade Nzimande declared war on the City Press for refusing to remove it on their website accusing them of double standards. I thought Nzimande was being extreme for calling the painting racist. I thought that was uncalled for and it was a refusal to understand what the exhibition was about because it is about them. Nzimande further said the painting was an insult to all black people, this was a statement that infuriated me because I felt that he was highly irresponsible for inciting more racial anger in the country. I wanted Nzimande to control himself because he was simply upset that his demands were not met and now this was his retaliation, I concluded.

 I watched the president deliver a speech at the University of Forte in honour of Pixely Seme the great ANC icon, the originator of I am an African. He began his speech by singing a song I hate, a song that was sung during the struggle, a song I regard as one of gross self-pity. A song I could understand why it would have been sung none-the-less. The president’s face was not the jubilant face we have come to know since the fall of Julius. His face was somber and appeared to have more frikkles than usual. He sang with a lovely voice, and it was good to hear the president’s voice sing even though the song was “Senzeni na, senzeni na” (what have we done, what have we done). It is a lament that was sung in apartheid South Africa that said “our only sin is our blackness”. This I wondered if he sang because of Brett Murray’s depiction of him as he made reference to how Africans had been portrayed historically in a negative light and in this case Brett had done so even though he never spelt it out.  I looked at the president and felt that I did not want to pity my president. I wanted to admire him; I wanted to be inspired by him.

I spoke with my mother about these matters and my irritation at everyone who calls the artwork racist, especially Nzimande. My mother then recounted the times in history when black masculinity had been humiliated. She mentioned the humiliation suffered by Saartjie Baartman under the hand of whites. She told me of the many migrant labours who would be stripped off their clothing and dipped in water that would rid them of the germs they must have carried because they were black before they would be allowed to work. She told me how the black man would all strip naked and stand in line while a white female inspected them. She told me that Brett Murray’s painting brings back all those memories. Jacob Zuma in his speech said: “They want us to forget”. Those were very weighty words. What he was saying was; they, the whites, want us black people to forget everything about the past while they replicate the past only to remind us of what they want us to forget. Zuma did not elaborate as everyone knew what he meant.

Here is a man like Jacob Zuma who is the president of the Republic of South Africa despite all his weaknesses is passionate about reconciliation perhaps even more so than the former president Mbeki. While I am grateful that Murray showed the power of art and that he had us talking about it, is it too much to ask for a positive representation of the country? My mother concluded and said that in her opinion though we are a free nation, whites should tread with greater sensitivity and should perhaps be the last to criticise the current government harshly, out of repentance. We are all free but we must heal one another’s wounds first.  I concluded that Brett Murray must burn his painting if he wants to show remorse for the pain he has caused. The City Press and the Goodman Gallery need to also acknowledge that this has caused pain. Looking back at the SAMA awards, all I can remember is how beautiful the rainbow nation looked. It was beautiful to watch musicians from different cultural back grounds and across the colour line made melodies together. They celebrated diversity. They celebrated the streets we all come from. If we listen to the music coming out of our nation we will know that we are reconciling and that we are healing one another’s wounds. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

GOD

I cannot say the word God without being captivated by visions of enthralling beauty.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Know Nothing About France


I know nothing about France
I know only of what I have heard
I only heard rumours
I heard rumours
That France
Was a ruthless coloniser of Africa

I know nothing about France
Only one sip of French tea
Made me believe
That it is true
That the French
Have great taste

I know nothing about the French
I only know of exotic French-Algerians
I know of Zidane’s magnificent boot
I know of Cecile’s spectacular grace
I know of her passion for God
I know of her fire to spread God’s love
I know of the miracles that follow her

I know of the message of God
That sits restless at the tip of her tongue
Tongues like fire
Are waiting
To baptise masses with the Spirit
I know that when she steps back into France
Heaven steps in with her
The earth with shake
Demons will flee
When she steps in France
France will be colonised by heaven
I know that when they see her
They will know that
She
Is not
The same
The power of resurrection
Is at work within her

There is power in her right hand
She will raise her right hand
Like Moses raised his stick
Whenever a miracle had to happen
Miracles will happen
When she lifts her hands to heaven
She will be called
Miracle woman

© siki dlanga
For Cecile with love

Black Diamond

Science tells us that diamonds are made from charcoal. I drew my black diamond from the substance from which it was formed. Someone told me it was a brave attempt.

The Burning Pen

I wanted to draw an image that reflected my poem "The burning pen". I hope I pulled it off because I really liked it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to win a booker prize?

This is a very interesting report. What does it tell us about what readers want to read. Does it tell us about what are readers looking for but why? It could make an interesting conversation and commentary on the psychology of current readers. If you don't follow this method then at least you know that you are writing freely from your heart and will not win a prize so you might as well enjoy your writing process.

However if you want to write a winner click on the link below:

http://flavorwire.com/285358/awesome-infographic-how-to-write-a-booker-prize-winning-novel

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SUBMISSION: HOW FAR DOES IT GO?

1Samuel 25:25-27 NET
"My lord should not pay attention to this wicked man Nabal. He simply lives up to his name! His name means 'fool,' and he is indeed foolish! But I, your servant, did not see the servants my lord sent. "Now, my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and as surely as you live, it is the LORD who has kept you from shedding blood and taking matters into your own hands. Now may your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord be like Nabal. Now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the servants who follow my lord."

NABAL, DAVID AND ABIGAIL

I have heard it preached many times sadly by women, that a woman must submit to her husband at all times even when he is wrong as long as she has alerted her husband, whatever he choses to do or not to do is on his head and it is no longer on the woman's head. Not so with Abigail. Abigail heard of the folly of her husband, she knew that his folly had placed them under great danger, even death. She was not about to submit to a foolish death sentence. She would act quickly and without his knowledge because he would prevent her from doing what is right. I believe that she was inspired or motivated by God to act as she did. She did so even though she knew her husband's foolishness, she was not afraid of his reaction afterwards.
Abigail's response to David was almost poetic in her choice of her words to appease his rage. She spoke to his identity and prophetically declared his destiny. David must have been so impressed by her that he thought "I wish that fool dies so that I can marry that beautiful, wise woman who understands me so well and is so convinced about my destiny in these trying days."

Nabal died. David married Abigail in 10 days she did not even get a chance to mourn. She felt honoured by David for marrying her. She could have died had she submitted to a foolish decision by her late husband but instead he died alone with his foolishness. Abigail chose to submit to God instead. She moved from being a rich fool's wife to being a handsome, wise king's wife.

I do not think women are always right or should have their way all the time in marriage. I believe that submission is key to any successful marriage. I however have wondered how many Christian wives are sensitive enough to believe God and submit to Him in matters that could overturn death and bring salvation but because of a twisted idea of submission have dismissed the strong conviction that could have led to life. I even wonder if this weird idea of submission is passivity, an abdication of one's will since the husband becomes the one who shapes all things. (I am simplifying the situation I know) I am not concerned about day to day matters I am concerned about matters that shape destiny. I am concerned about the woman taking up her place in the kingdom and having a defined impact and voice of her own within the union of marriage otherwise it is not a union if only one man runs the show. Then, it is a one man show and the other is a mere audience.


I have been inspired by the few women who are married who are unafraid of having a voice that shapes destiny but equally I have felt a growing desire to see married women finding their voice and using it. What would happen if women saw what God has placed within them without shutting it down. I want to see and hear her growl like a lionesses growling for her cubs. Yes she has a voice it is distinct and it does not need to be taught because no one can be her.

Sarah submitted to Abraham and called him lord but she also had a voice that directed Isaac's destiny therefore a nation's future. She dictated Ishmael's boundary, it would be there and not here. Rachel did the same though a little more cunning. Mary said "yes" to having a baby without consulting her future husband first. She made an intense decision that would alter all of humanity without consulting any man to give her permission to follow God and do something wildly radical as give birth to The Christ. In fact, she later submitted the matter to another woman (Elizabeth) under the angels guidance.

In this hour I am finding that the ministry given by women is the most powerful and anointed than any other kind than before. I feel as though it is an anointing that has been poured out for the time but also because of a promise, that your sons and daughters shall prophecy. Yet I cannot stop feeling as though many more women, particularly the married ones are supposed to be doing this but most are too busy hiding behind their husbands.

I respect every man that has ever preached and still preaching may they continue but where are the daughters who are keeping the word that is given for you to share? However, who can demonstrate what being The Bride looks and feels like but a woman? Who will model it so that it will be cooperatively echoed and lived out until we all say in one voice "Come Lord Jesus, Come".

Friday, April 20, 2012

He is confident - for Belinda


He likes the way you are
He likes the way He made you
He likes you
Intensely
Immensely
Incredibly
He likes what His hands
Have accomplished
He likes the way you are
He is unlike an artist
Who envisions one thing
And it turns out to be another
What He envisions
Becomes
You are His wonderful vision
You have His seal
You are His perfect work of art
His work is flawless
His work of art is more than a vision
As an artist exhibits his artwork
He exhibits you
With confidence

© siki dlanga

for Belinda as per facebook request

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friends


You make me wonder
What friendship with God is like?
Is it anything
We have ever called friendship?
Do we treat it cheaply?
Is it something we fall back on after a bad day?
Is it something whose existence we doubt at times?
Is it something whose closeness we can’t fathom or touch?
Is it meant to be much more?
is it meant to be more?
What was it like
When Jesus visited His friend Lazarus’ house?
How was it like for Him to have Mary and Martha as His friends?
What was so wonderful about Him?
That Martha could not help herself that she needed help
To prepare Him a meal?
Was she preparing a feast fit for a king?

What was so attractive?
What was so irresistible
About being with Him?
That though Mary wanted to help
She was instead stuck to His feet,
Awestruck by His being,
Drinking His every word,
Perfuming herself
With His presence.

Did Martha get so busy
Preparing a feast?
Desperately wanting to prepare
The best meal
For one so great!
So angry at Mary
For not seeing
Whom she was talking to?
This is no person to hang around
Don’t you see Mary!
This is the Lord of glory!
You can’t just treat Him as a friend.
Mary, get off His feet!
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
You should be serving Him
Mary what’s wrong with you?
What made Martha so anxious
To serve Him
With such urgency?
So anxious to prepare Him a feast,
While Mary could not leave His feet,
Loving Him
Unable to rise
Receiving Him as treat.
What is friendship with God like?

What was it like?
When Jesus announced to His Disciples;
I no longer call you servants.
Selah.
I call you friends. 
Selah.
I call you Simon,
John, Peter,
Judas, Thomas,
I call you Amy,
Martha, Mary,
Siki
I call you
Friends.

© siki dlanga
03.’12


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gratitude


Siyabulela
I know that
I promised you verses
It had to be true verses
Not just written on any day
I had to wait for a day
Where a way
Had been made for my heart to be able to say
Without a single hint of ingratitude
Siyabulela

You see gratitude
Is not an attitude
Found in the pit of hell
Gratitude
Is what set apart the one leper
From the other nine lepers Jesus healed
Gratitude
Is what multiplied the loaves and the fishes
Gratitude is what fed the five thousand and the four thousand

Siyabulela
I could not just write you verses
I had to wait for a day
Where my heart was overflowing with gratitude
Gratitude is an attitude of heaven
My heart had to be sanctified
My thoughts had to be rectified
My language had to be a mirror of heaven

Do you know
That gratitude
Attracts
Angelic attention
When they see it
When they hear it
They position themselves
To multiply loaves and fishes
This is why I had to wait for my heart to be true
It opens the gates of heaven
It opens the very gates of God’s heart
How then can impurity be found
In my heart
When I say
Siyabulela


© siki dlanga

*Siyabulela is a Xhosa word that means "We are grateful". It is also used as a name.
Xhosa is a South African language spoken in the Eastern Cape, also Mandela's mother tongue and many other amazing heroes,



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About Me

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I write a lot. When it's necessary I draw. 
I have been called a Poet, a Writer, an Illustrator, a Banner of Freedom, a Word Magician, etc.
I am a Lover of Truth embodied in beauty.