Lesotho: Oral Poem (Excerpt)

Seeiso accepts no cowards;
The children of the family of Mary he rejects:
On hearing, ‘The chief is riding’,
They usually begin to comb their hair,
And I’d hear them ask, ‘Where is the teacher?’
You trust in the father more than in the chief!
There in the battle someone takes fright,
He puts on his trousers back to front,
And the buttons are shining on his buttocks!
Seeiso, make friends of the Christians
But don’t tell the Christians of war,
For of death they’re much afraid:
They’re always being told of it in church!

 From Oral Poetry From Africa. 

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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