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Archive for September 2nd, 2008


Quite recently I’ve translated a poem written by Wayne Visser into Afrikaans. The poem can be found here with Wayne’s comments:

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/ek-weet-van-n-plek-in-afrika/

A couple of days ago, he asked me to translate this poem: “I am an African” into Afrikaans and I felt it was an honour to be asked by him to do it. I’ve tried my best, as all my Afrikaans-bloggers know I’m no expert in translations, but I do try to convey the “message” of the poem, but sometimes, specially when not asked to do a translation, I might want to change the poem slightly to what I like, although I will keep the overall “message”, like the poem written by Wordsworth…”I wandered lonely like a cloud.”  Wayne also understands Afrikaans. He liked my interpretation of Wordsworth’s poem and I felt happy that a professional poet could also view his opinion, as you would agree that you sometimes don’t know really if you do any poem justice by translating it. I’ve done some translations from Afrikaans to English too and if you want to read some poems of some of South Africa’s best poets…you can click on the page that says…”my poems-gedigte” and read a few there. You will find Eugene Marais’s poem…”The dance of the rain” and Totius’s poem…”oh the painful thought..” and some others too. I do like to write my own too, which you will find on that page too. I want to stress it out …that I’m no professional, so enjoy whatever you find here and there’s always poetry sites where you can find poems written by professionals! Today, Sunday 7th Sept 2008,  I had two people putting in “Is Wayne Visser an Afrikaans writer” in  a search and were directed to my blog…as far as I could see, he doesn’t write in Afrikaans, I couldn’t find any of his poems or works in Afrikaans, but he does understand the Language…he speaks Afrikaans too. I do hope this helps, you can contact him via his website address…link at the bottom of this post – and email him!

Image: DK-images…Langebaan, Cape Town

Ek is van Afrika

Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek daar gebore is
Maar omdat my hart met Afrika klop
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat my gelaat donker is
Maar omdat Afrika my gedagtes omgrens
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek van haar leef
Maar omdat my siel tuis is – in Afrika

Wanneer Afrika oor haar kinders ween
Is my wange deur traandruppels deurweek
Wanneer Afrika haar voorvaders eer
Buig my hoof in respek daarheen
Wanneer Afrika oor haar slagoffers rou
Is my hande in gebed gevou
Wanneer Afrika haar oorwinnings vier
Dans ek op die maat van die oorwinningslied

Ek is van Afrika
Met haar asemrowende ylblou lugruimtes
Laat sy die toekoms skitterend skyn
Ek is van Afrika
Waar ek gegroet word asof familie
En ek ervaar die gevoel van meervoudig
Ek is van Afrika
Want haar wildheid bring vertroosting vir my siel
En bring my nader na die bron van Lewe

Wanneer Afrika-musiek in die wind weerklink
Volg my polsslag die ritmiese klop
En word ek een met die klank
Wanneer die Afrika-kleure in die son glinster
Verdrink my sintuie in haar reënboog
En is ek die natuur se pallet
Wanneer die Afrika-verhale om die vure op-klink
Volg my voete hul tydlose ‘wink
En is ek die spore van die verle’

Ek is van Afrika
Want sy’s die krip van geboorte
En troetel die oer-oue wysheid
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy leef in die skadu van die wêreld
En brand met ‘n gloeiende inspirasie
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy is die land van môre
En ek eer haar tydlose geskenke

©Nikita — 2nd September 2008

The English version:
I Am An African

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa

When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing

I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life

When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history

I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Copywright: Wayne Visser – 2005

Read more of his poetry at: www.waynevisser.com

Images: hotelsbible.com/travellog 19

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