Burundi | Batwa Oral Poem

A Batwa oral poem, recorded by Etienne Ndayishimiye and transcribed by David Shook. Read Etienne’s article on the Batwa people of Burundi. 

Tamba Imana Yawe
Tamba Imana Yawe
Aho wabunda mu bisaka
Ninde yahagukuye


Dance to your God
Dance to your God
Who else helps you
when you languish in the bushes?

Etienne Ndayishimiye is a Twa Parliamentarian in Burundi. Founder of UNIPROBA, a human rights nonprofit advocating for Batwa equality, he also serves on the board of Community for Burundi and mentors young Twa leaders.

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

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