BUSANI NGCAWENI: To be young, willing but black

To be young, willing but black
Oh, what an unprecious moment to be in...

To be young, unemployed and black
Oh, what an inhumane our political economy can be...

To be young poor and black
Oh, come economic freedom and save us from nihilism
Come yeah Lembede, free us from economic bondage

Rise up Luthuli, we yearn for spiritual liberation too
For we are young, willing but unemployed
Oh, what a precarious moment we’re in...

Festivals of chairs
Extravaganzas of insults
Conference papers
Task teams
We remain poor, dislocated, disenchanted...

In a nervous condition
Of a future uncertain
We are not at ease...

They ride in black limos
Rest in balconies
Our lost black lives will be buried without limos...

Our black lives matter too

They sip flavoured tea
Gin and flavoured tonic
At high tea
On high tables...

We lick teardrops
Dreams shuttered
Wallowing in single rooms

We call to heaves: ‘Oliver Oliver Molo Sosha!’

It was not in vain
For we are young able and black
Someday we will be free from the slavery of poverty...

Oh, come Biko, save us from indifference!

It’s the new era, they celebrate
New! For who? For what!
Poverty is old, inter-generational
It crosses over every year, every era
Relentlessly chaining us

It’s the new era!
We remain black and broke...

They ride in black limos
Shop in Dubai
First class business class
Selfie sticks and Gucci bags

We’ll be buried without limos
Without headlines
Without tombstones
Just another murder
Docket lost, case closed

Oh, come Fanon re-member us as humans
The sub-city isn’t humane

We are black willing but poor
The political economy isn’t kind to us


Busani Ngcaweni is co-editor of 'We are No Longer at Ease: The Struggle for #FeesMustFall'. Follow him on Twitter: @busani_ngcaweni