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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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English readers… I translated an English poem wich I posted 2 days ago…”I know a place”…by Wayne Visser…in Afrikaans…you can read the poem at the bottom of this post in English. One Afrikaans-blogger has asked me for a translation as he’s thought that this poem would be fantastic  in Afrikaans  too….and I would like to agree with him, although Wayne’s poem is already a very good poem to describe your feelings/places about Africa and I believe only a person who knows Africa can describe it the way Wayne has done. I’ve sent him an email to respond on the translation I’ve done and he has responded…you can read his comments…he also responded in Afrikaans, saying that Afrikaans is a beautiful language for poetry…which I’ve said many times to my chess player friends…I do love English poetry too, but my favourite poems are without doubt the Afrikaans poems….not because it’s my mother tongue, but for the reason that Afrikaans is such a rich language and you can play with words a lot more than the English language.

As a native-speaking English person I know how much Afrikaans people are constantly ripped off by the English. Having a completely mixed up family I am also lucky to be completely bilingual. This all means that i have the best of both worlds, which I would like to share a bit of.

Afrikaans is an extremely expressive and descriptive language with words that can’t even possibly be translated into English…This is what meggwilson says on HER BLOG here…

  Visit Wayne’s website HERE to read his English poems…
 

 Nadat ek Wayne se gedig geplaas het, het Bib my gevra vir ‘n vertaling en gedink dat dit net so mooi gedig in Afrikaans kan wees. Wel, ek het probeer en ek glo ek sal nog oor die volgende paar dae “werk”/skaaf aan wat ek nou hier plaas. Ek het geen idee of Wayne Afrikaans magtig is nie en sal graag wou hê hy moet self ook ‘n vertaling doen, sou hy Afrikaanssprekend ook wees…ek het hom nou gekontak per email en hom gevra vir sy kommentaar …laat ons sien of hy gaan reageer…
nuusberig…nuusberig…nuusberig…Wayne het ‘n boodskap gelos oor die plasing van sy gedig, jy kan dit in die “kommentaar-blok” lees…


Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
 Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar ek die son op my rug voel skyn
En die sand tussen my tone speel
Waar ek die seemeeu op die windjie hoor
En  golwe op  eindlose strande breek

 

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die berge die blou lug ontmoet
En valleie die groen wingerde huisves
Waar bome hul pers kleed sprei
En die bosveld sy room kleed dra
Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die dondergode hul stemme laat hoor
En sien ek hul weerligspiese neerdaal
Waar ek die reuk van reenwolke intrek
En die soet van die stowwerige doudruppels proe
Dis ‘n wildernis, die plek
Van Evolusie en dinosorusse
Waar lewe begin het, hier was die eerste mens
Van lewende fossiele en olifante
Waar leeus brul en springboktroppe spring
Dis die plek van swaarkry
Van woestyne en doringbome
Waar paaie doodloop en jagters jag
Van horisonne en grense
Waar reise begin en sonsondergange bloei
Dis die plek van vryheid
Van ontdekkings en pioniers
Waar donkerte geskuil – en die lig deurgebreek het
Van ware legendes en wonderwerke
Waar dagbreek begin en hoop helder brand

My hart is tuis in Afrika
Waar die tromme se ritme in my klop
En  tydlose liedere in my ore sing
Waar die reenboogmis in my oë skyn
En vriende se glimlagte my welkom heet

My gedagtes ontspan in Afrika
Waar die mense na aan die aarde leef
En seisoene die veranderde gemoed aandui
Waar besige markte handel dryf
En die Skepping sy stadige gang steeds gaan

My siel is gelukkig in Afrika
Haar strome bring lewe in my are
Haar winde bring genesing vir my drome
Wanneer haar verhaal vertel is
Verenig dit ons in ons noodlot.

© Nikita…Mei 2008

Image:digitalekameraklub.co.za

image: digitalekameraklub.co.za

I know a place in Africa…
Inspiring poetry written by Wayne Visser,
a South African currently based in Nottingham, UK.

I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And Creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one

© 2006 Wayne Visser

Hierdie ou het op sy blog die gedig geplaas sonder enige erkenning aan die vertaling wat ek gedoen het of die verwysing na Wayne Visser se gedig! Ten spyte van ‘n boodskap wat ek hom gelaat het, ignoreer hy dit steeds.
http://www.suid-afrikaners.co.za/magazine/read/ek-weet-van-n-plek-in-afrika_14.html

Image: digitalekameraklub.co.za

 

images:digitalekameraklub.co.za

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Harrismith

This pic is from the BBC’s website, taken near Harrismith, South Africa

When I was at Primary School I had to know this poem. I’ve translated this poem as I’ve thought it’s just a brilliant poem to be shared and enjoyed by English readers too. Update 2011: I was lucky that this translation was chosen as part of a Reading Series in South Africa. I’ve just received my booklet from the publishers in South Afria. The series: Enchanted Stone Series – Wonderful Verses by F. Viljoen & L. Southey. The book is a Reader 3 Level 6-book.


This is my translation of the poem…”Dans van die reen”

Read my translation on this link too…

http://allpoetry.com/opoem/121576-Eugene-Marais-The-Dance-of-the-Rain

‘n Vriendelike versoek: Indien jy van my vertaling van die gedig hou, kan jy asseblief ook so gaaf en vriendelik wees en die Kopiereg-reel gehoorsaam en erkenning gee aan die vertaler van die gedig? Baie dankie, ek sal dit waardeer. Ek het die moeite aangegaan om die gedig te vertaal en dink darem dat dit net goeie maniere is om ook erkenning te gee waar nodig.

English readers: If you enjoy this translation of my poem and you would like to use it on your site – or somewhere else: It’s just good manners and being polite to acknowledge the person who translated the poem! There is the law of copyright and I think we should all obey it. Nikita is my nickname I use for the blog, my own Afrikaans poems and poems I translate. Thank you for your consideration.

The Dance of the Rain
Song of the violinist: Jan Konterdans
translated by:Nikita

The Dance of the Rain
Oh, the dance of our Sister!
First, over the hilltop she peeps stealthily
and her eyes are shy
and she laughs softly
From afar she begs with her one hand
her wrist-bands shimmering and her bead-work sparkling
softly she calls
She tells the wind about the dance
and she invites it, because the yard is spacious and the wedding large
The big game rush about the plains
they gather on the hilltop
their nostrils flared-up
and they swallow the wind
and they crouch to see her tracks in the sand
The small game, deep down under the floor, hear the rhythm of her feet
and they creep, come closer and sing softly
“Our Sister! Our Sister! You’ve come! You’ve come!”
and her bead-work shake,
and her copper wrist-bands shine in the disappearance of the sun
On her forehead, rests the eagle’s plume
She decends down from the hilltop
She spreads her ashened cloak with both arms
the breath of the wind disappears
Oh, the dance of our Sister!
©~~Christa (translator) pen name: Nikita
—————

DIE DANS VAN DIE REËN – Eugene Marais
Lied van die vioolspeler. Jan Konterdans.
Uit die Groot Woestyn

O die dans van ons Suster!
Eers oor die bergtop loer sy skelm,
en haar oge is skaam;
en sy lag saggies.
En van ver af wink sy met die een hand;
haar armbande blink en haar krale skitter;
saggies roep sy.
Sy vertel die winde van die dans
en sy nooi hulle uit, want die werf is wyd en die bruilof groot.
Die grootwild jaag uit die vlakte,
hulle dam op die bulttop,
wyd rek hulle die neusgate
en hulle sluk die wind;
en hulle buk, om haar fyn spore op die sand te sien.
Die kleinvolk diep onder die grond hoor die sleep van haar voete,
en hulle kruip nader en sing saggies:
“Ons Suster! Ons Suster! Jy het gekom! Jy het gekom!”
En haar krale skud,
en haar koperringe blink in die wegraak van die son.
Op haar voorkop is die vuurpluim van die berggier;
sy trap af van die hoogte;
sy sprei die vaalkaros met altwee arms uit;
die asem van die wind raak weg.
O, die dans van ons Suster!

[Uit: Versamelde gedigte – Eugene Marais]

On THIS LINK you can read more about him and read one of his books online…”The Soul of the White Ant”… a study of termites…

termite

Read HERE on BBC about the death of the rain queen in 2005. She was the sixth rain queen…Makobo Modjadji, the rain queen of the Balobedu people.  And… THIS is the “valley” of the rain queen.

rainqueen1

Rain Queen Modjaji

More about the Rain Queens on this link…..Please click HERE to read more and to see whereabouts the Rain Queen lives!

Visitors to the area always brought Modjadji gifts and tribute, including cattle and their daughters as wives, to appease her so that she would bring rain to their regions. The custom is allied to an emphasis on fertility of the land and the population. The name Lobedu is thought to derive from the practice, referring to the daughters or sisters who were lost to their families. The Rain Queen extends her influence through her wives, because they link her politically to other families or villages. Her status as marrying women does not appear to indicate lesbianism, but rather the queen’s unique ability to control others.
During the Mfecane, which took place in the early 19th century, Modjadji moved her tribe further south into the fertile Molototsi Valley, where they founded the present day Kingdom
p1270864.jpg
In South Africa they sell these little African dolls and I love them.I want to call this doll my little “rain queen.”
Read on THIS LINK about the Balobedu people.
Beautiful song! called the “Rain Dance”.- by Adiemus


This song’s title is also called…”Rain Dance”-by Michael Chapdelaine

 

6/3/2015 Found on Poem Hunter – my translation!

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