in The Poem and art series

Monday, 22 February 2021

FFELIX TRANSLATED MY POEM " IN MY COUNTRY GIRLS DISAPPEAR" TO SHENG!


Felix Omondi


FelixSheng is a slang language that originated in the '50's in Nairobi' s Eastland suburbs/ghettos as a way for the young people to communicate amongst themselves without the older generation getting in on their discussions. The language which borrows words from English kiswahili and other ethinic languages in the country grew in prominence in the 90's through the local hip hop scene of the likes of Kalamashaka- a hip hop group - and is now mostly used by many youths in their daily communication instead of English and Kiswahili.



In My Country Girls Disappear 


The Sheng version 



Chibok

Kabila ya madenge yenye 

Ililoba wakati gova 

Ilikua inachea monopoly na magaidi        wenye 

Waliwasanya 

Wengine wao walirudi bure            wengine 

Wakagenya na uzito

Wangine bado wako kwa iyo ngori        na 

Wengine hawakuwai rudi 


Uwa

Mi uomba mercy kila time naandika poetry juu 

Hapa 

Sir-godi anaweza geuzwa vumbi 

Niaje mdenge anaweza omba ku 

Bakwa, kukat(i)wa, kupeanwa mbele ya 

Msalaba? 


Tina 

Stage yoyote  karibu na mtaa

Ni shooting range 

Hakuna mwenye alivuka baro in time 

Kumchapia eti kusimama ni catfish 

Wakati sanse ni synonym ya point alafu 

Angusha 


Jennifer

 Wakidaisha mdenge ameiva 

Kenye wanamaanisha ni -        je

Ako old enough kudishiwa?

Hapa, ni carnival kwa mtoi kunajisiwa 

Na mafadhelaa kadhaa


Girls 

Kwa zile kesi zaidi ya thao zinatendeka daily 

Wakiuliza victims timestamp, zabe gani

Na vile alikua amedunga 

Ni kaa izi vitendo vya kinyama 

Ni design flani ya sherehe



~ Translated to sheng by Felix Omondi




    Art: © Opeyemi Matthew Olukotun (@opeyemiolukotun).
    Art: © Opeyemi Matthew Olukotun (@opeyemiolukotun).


    The English Version




    Chibok

    A tribe of girls went

    Missing while the government

    Played monopoly with the terrorists that stole them

    Some of them returned empty         some of them died burdened

    Some are still in harm’s way           & others never returned


    Uwa

    I ask for mercy when I write poetry because here

    God can turn to dust

    How does a girl ask to be

    Raped & mutilated, offered in front of a cross?


    Tina

    Any bus stop near home

    Is shooting range

    No one took the road in time

    To tell her that standing is catfish

    When the police is synonym for point and kill


    Jennifer

    When they say a girl is ripe

    What they mean is  -                              is she old enough for us to devour?

    Here, it is carnival for a child to be abused by multiple men


    Girls

    & for thousands of daily unfolding cases 

    They ask victims for timestamps, locations & outfit styles

    As though this inhumane invasion is some sort of feast



    My thoughts:

    Each language in my opinion gives a different kind of depth, it possesses its meaning & it has a distinct texture on the tongue. So it means so much to me that this poem I wrote about a very sad but significant event in my country Nigeria has taken meaning in another tongue, in another language - Sheng!

    This means a lot to me and I hope more of my pieces get translated across the board!

    Thank you, Felix!


    Roseline Mgbodichinma


    Tuesday, 8 September 2020

    BODY LINGUA FEATURING JAMILLA OKUBO'S ART

    Disclaimer: The poetry is not an attempt to explain the artwork. This will just be me writing whatever poetry came to me when I looked at the artwork.



    Today we will be exploring the awesomeness that is Jamilla Okubo. I saw her Art on Pinterest and I was in absolute awe. Her art, in my opinion, is a raw and defined mix of Afro, colour and culture. Her painting calls you, mirrors your thoughts and leaves you wondering. It gives you a feel-good sense of adventure and wishes you into resonation. I want to say maybe it's just my eyes, but I know it's not. Jamilla is simply amazing.


    Jamilla Okubo's Bio


    Jamilla Okubo is a mixed-media and interdisciplinary artist exploring the intricacies of belonging to an American, Kenyan, and Trinidadian identity. Combining figurative painting, pattern/textile design, fashion, and storytelling, she celebrates the Black body in relation to movement, expression, ideology, and culture. Inspired by kanga cloth, which communicates messages derived from Swahili proverbs, quotes from the Qur’an, African folklore and popular culture, Okubo creates her own patterns in reference to the history, mythology, and vernacular of the African diaspora. 


    A fusion of Jamilla Okubo's Artwork and my Poetry


    Jamilla okubo



    Body lingua


    I soak my loneliness in wetness 

    And it is unable to dry,

     I knock my knees together 

    To silence the lips in between my legs.

    I pretend not to understand its language 

    When our bodies scrape past each other in the lobby.


    Jamilla Okubo art


    Last supper


    Many hands to one bowl

    That was my home,

    Was how I knew that 

    Boiling grain long enough 

    Will let it swell into satisfaction.


    Was how I knew eating meat was funeral,

    Our mouths could not suck on marrows 

    Or chew flesh

    Unless God struck something dead

    And left it decaying in the backyard.


    Was how I knew my mother to be a starving woman 

    Calculating & observing, 

    Marinating the meal in her saliva 

    Until my father swallowed his piece. 


    Jamilla okubo x dior


    The cycle


    You will understand

    Your mother's Night vigils, 

    Her paranoia 

    Her annoying dotting & scolding 

    Her firmness

    Her unsolicited advice & everything

    When you watch your daughter

    Becoming herself

    By reliving episodes of your past mistakes. 


    You will call her at your feet

    With confusion & anger,

    You will ask questions you already know the answers to

    You will try to fix unfixable things 

    Make calls to whatever is trying to

    Turn your child into a bone of loss,

    You, this same you 

    Will take a page from your mother's book 

    To close a chapter of your daughter's vacuum. 





    This is us


    Maybe we are a brainwashed generation

    Maybe we have become too fizzy & unorthodox for regular reasoning

    Maybe we are all the things they say we are

    Crazy - rebel - doomed!

    We have vomited status quo

    Trampled conformity underfoot

    Decided to live happy and free

    On our own risky terms.


    We have apologised to our parents

    Forced them to bury their expectations

    Because we would rather parent plants & cats

    Than produce people who will inherit our problems

    Maybe this is us

    Wanting to relax and be taken care of

    Wanting everything in the bag secure

    Wanting the table, the seat and the whole room

    If this is us

    Is it really such a bad thing?



    Let my body burn


    I want the type 

    Of love

    that feels 

    Like voodoo 

    Something enchanting

    that will make me fall 

    Head over heels 

    In touch with my emotions

    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

    I want to be bent 

    In positions 

    that break my 

    Bones into rainbows

    Twist my nerves 

    Into gummy bears 

    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

    I want the type of love 

    that calls me home 

    raises my moans 

    Above pitches & 

    Let's it go up like incense 

    ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

    I want this love that 

    Lights up my soul

    With a match 

    Of sensation 

    And doesn't care if 

    My body Burns 

    In ecstasy

    ⠀⠀⠀

    Did you know that Jamilla designed the book cover for An American Marriage  by Tayari Jones

    An American marriage by Tayari jones

    Read my review of the book here


    What was your favourite poem/artwork from this post?

    Wednesday, 12 August 2020

    ART SPOTLIGHT: EUNICE OTU

     

    Art spotlight

    Eunice's Art Bio


    When you can create beauty and magic by sketching, painting or drawing diverse shapes on blank paper with just a common pencil, it is no longer talent, it is innovation. Otu Eunice is a pencil sketch, visual and digital artist that has successfully painted the narrative that everything you need to grow and develop your talent or skill is innate and not far fetched. 

    It is amazing how she draws and paints amazing pieces with only a few tools, a perfect depiction of less is more. While she looks forward to having the resources to get all her art tools, she has chosen to utilise what is available and create content for the art community. 

    Eunice has been able to triumph over naysayers who try to undervalue her work because she is female or in college. She is steadily pushing the narrative that you can be good in school and still follow your dreams as she is a very brilliant English and literary student in Nigeria. She loves to read, watch anime and gosh about Shawn Mendes.  She is generally a joyous, fun and easy-going person. 

    Digital and visual artist in Nigeria

    Her ability to perfectly depict any picture given to her can be attributed to her very emotional trait, because of this, she connects with people and knows how to capture their joys, fears, facial expressions, curves, lines and body languages seamlessly.

    I am a sucker for women taking up space and showcasing their talent so watching Eunice grow has been nothing short of surreal.

    What I have done is, take Eunice's art and give my own interpretation of it. More like describing what I see and how it made me feel. 

    Let's explore, This should be fun


    Bone art

    I named this art "feelings" because we live in a world that doesn't actually associate masculinity to vulnerability. The flower resting on the cape of his neck and the rainbows just added some kind of softness to his bony frame, I love to see it. 

    Her unfinished work is an even deeper kind of art! 

    Illustrations
    I will print this and hang it on my wall!



    Pencil sketch artist
    See! The unfinished work has me spellbound



    I just saw this and I thought "power" an African woman's ability to hold her own is a concept generations of people from other continents will need centuries to fully grasp. It is the daring eyes, the sharp wing liner, the bare chest and the fitting firmness of the headwrap, that did it for me.  

    This piece screams confidence & beauty in culture


     
    Female artist
      
    Read this post to find out why I named this Artwork "choices" Brethren a queen is a queen wi or without full hair, plus look at the facial expression, it's screams " I did it and I am going to live with it and thrive, deal with it."

    Low cut art


    Bald black women

    This version of the sketch is my fav. look at the freedom. Beauty is not one size fits all, its diverse. It is good to have hair but it doesn't define you, That's the vibe I got from this piece.


    Kdrama art

    I honestly don't know why I named this "halo" I just know I admired the piece for a while until he started to look like a greek god. Starring at it again, I am thinking Kpop, I feel as though he was taken right from a Korean series.

    Kpop series

    See eh, if you like him just print him or blow powder because this hotness. 



    Draw braids

    Can we just take a moment to admire the accuracy, neatness and precision of the braids? I can literally feel the weaving by touching my screen. 

    Our roots and braids

    This artwork is very modern yet it portrays identity. Braids are originally African and it's amazing how it has gained worldwide recognition. Everybody wears braids these days. I love it.  The whole painting, for some reason, gave me some kind of afro-futurism feel.


    Comic art of a wolve

    I think there is a kind of fierce tenderness In this photo. I see protection and an understanding of something inarticulate. It's like there is this whole world ahead and she is strong enough to conquer it. A darling but daring soul. 

    Digital art
    The digital art adaptation of this piece is just amazing, looks like a comic book or anime cover



    Art spotlight

    It's very simple, this art is magic, there are roses on her head and my name is Roseline,   So I have a soft spot for it lol.  This drawing is so dreamy, from her eyes to the bridge of her nose to her curly hair and her collar bones. 



    Pencil sketch art
    This piece already makes me want to write poetry 

    I love the precision in the drawing and the fact that Eunice used her amazing shading skills to highlight the facial features, crisp! The roses took the drawing to a different level of beauty for me. 


    African woman

    I am getting Aladin vibes from this artwork, she looks like a genie. If I am to imagine one of my ancestors in her prime, it will be like this, looking like royalty with moody eyes, and a resting "we are the pacesetters" clueless face. (I am laughing at what I am typing but okay)  anyway, guys look at the Ankara on her head, do we all ageee Eunice is talented? Like the details!!!
     


    Okay, this is the End. To see more of her art. Visit her Instagram Page and be blown away!! She is open for bookings too and it's affordable, hit her up to draw you and your family members! 


    Friday, 1 May 2020

    POETRY FEATURING FRANK MOTHS ART WORK

    This is the launch of a new category on my blog. I think I'd name it " The poem per art series" what do you think?
    I have been deeply moved and inspired by a lot of amazing art lately so I decided to let you explore this beauty with me.
    The poetry is not an attempt to explain the artwork. This will just be me writing whatever poetry came to me when I looked at the artwork.

    Today we will be looking at the awesomeness of Frank moth. His whole collection tells you about the future in a tone that still holds the past as valid. It's unexplainable and retrograde in a way that is still progressing. I love the vintage vibe Frank moth displays in his artwork.

    Frank moths bio 

    Frank Moth, a self-taught digital collage artist with his other half. He has been designing for many years before the alias “Frank Moth” was born in 2014. He tries to create nostalgic postcards from the future, in the search for eternity 
    Current city: Veria, Northern Greece
    Clients: Bullitt Hotel Dublin, Stanford University, Estrella Street Food Greece, Electric Litany 

    A DISPLAY OF FRANK MOTHS ARTWORK AND MY POETRY


    Frank moth

    ORCHID 

    Dear girl with coco skin and silver 

    Uneasy lies the head that 
    bears a garden of thoughts 
    A crown cannot be as heavy 
    As a bouquet of uncertainties 
    Deeply rooted in the mind 

     When the body bears something
    That is  both pain and passion 
    It is bound to explode into 
    Something loud 
    A time bomb or maybe even fireworks 
    Anything to give the world a warning 
    To tell it that it is futile to bury 
     Dreams and thoughts 
    No matter how unsure they are
    Because you  can't bury a
     Potential seedling and except 
     it to just decay 

    Dear girl with coco skin and silver 
    That which fingers your mind to aspiration 
    Is a bright sunshine yellow 
    A living green 
    A divine white to 
    Remind you how important 
    the voices in your head are

    Dear girl with coco skin and silver 
    Even if your growth is tamed 
     Slow-paced or weird 
    Remember that butterflies don't perch 
    On gloomy flowers 
    Yours is something new to be witnessed
    A thing nature announces 
    So much so flying creatures perch on
    To see for themselves and tell the tale 

    The world is sustained by diversity 
    Not uniformity 
    So dear girl with coco skin and silver 
    Sprout in the only way you know-how
    It is the world's duty to revolve and adjust 
    Not yours.

    Frank moth

    LISTEN

    Be still and know
    Your ears were created with an
     opening capable of sieving,
    A mighty sound collector
    That can expel and retain
    Yet you are not utilizing it?
    They tell you how to move
    Live, eat, use your body
    And you absorb it like
     foam to soapy water?
    No!
    Your eardrums can go silent
     To the talking and
     drumming of negativity
    Who gave the stereo the audacity to blast without your approval

    Be still and know
    That the moving your destiny is tied to
    Your listening
    What background music do you want playing for your future
    The naysaying of the past
    The downplaying opinions of present talkers
    Or the quietness of your god feeling
    Sieve!

    Be still and know
    That your ears are the
    greatest sound instrument
    One ironic enough
    to hear without listening
    Let their banter be mere letters
    dropping in out of your ears
    Never let it be strong enough to
    Become a word you don't need

    Be still and know
    That you cannot see the rainbow
    Without first listening to the sound of the rain

    Frank moth

                     SLEEPLESS PILLOW 

    They say all you do is dream 
    That you imagine a lot 
    That you talk about the mountains 
    You will move 
    When you haven't even gone up a hill
    They say you are just a dozer 
    A common bedfellow 
    So you crawl and lay on
     your sleepless pillow 
    And instead of dreaming 
    Have a nightmare 

    Here's my advice to you dreamer 
    Don't wake up
    For you will never know if dreams 
    Come true if you don't dream about it 
    When they mock you again 
    Tell them that the nations
     you are building 
    Cannot be understood by men
     with earthly genes 
    Tell them that shutting your eyes 
    Is not to rest your mind 
    Tell them it is only to collect 
    Enough blueprints to rule mankind 

    Dreamer 
    It's okay to dream 
    But just don't take too long to wake up 
    Because wonderland may soon become neverland.

    Frank moth
        

                     EVERY WOMAN 

    When they call you ordinary woman 
    With the normalcy on their tongue 
    Forgive them 
    It is not easy to
    Pronounce mother of the universe
    Bearer of dynasties 
    Carrier of earthen vessels 
    godmother of fathers 
    In one moving of the tongue 

    When they call you weaker vessel
    With their physical strength in display 
    Enlighten them 
    Your model is not a thing to be 
    Understood by beings who think 
    With muscles and biceps 
    Teach them that during creation 
    It was not the able-bodied
     that were sought after 
    That the savior did not need testosterone 
    To be birthed  

    When they deny you a seat at the table
    Remind them that a curator like you 
    Doesn't need their furniture to be recognized 
    Ask them where they were when 
    You signed the contract with divinity 
    To bring lives into Earth
    Tell them that you don't need a seat 
    When your whole being is a citadel! 
    Then finally take that seat 
    Because you can and 
    When your body has been used as a passage
    Mere passengers cannot deny you wood.

    MORE OF FRANK MOTHS ARTWORK


    Frank moth

    Frank moth

    Frank moth


    Frank moth

    If you read up to this point you are a mastermind. So do you like frank moth? Did you like my poetry? Which one is your favorite? Do you think I should continue with this series? I'd like to know what you think of the artwork itself and then the poetry. Cheers!

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