Thursday, March 21, 2013

I've come to take you home ... Diana Ferrus

I am a bit of a sissy boy. I cried in "As it is in heaven" and "The curious case of Benjamin Button". I cried when the son of one of my best friends died. I cried when my own son recited his Amandla poem in a township to celebrate 100 years of struggle and victory in South Africa. I also cried when I interviewed Diana Ferrus on my radio show...

A story about humiliation ... but, a story that ended in hope. Sarah Baartman, displayed as a freak because of her unusual physical features, was finally laid to rest 187 years after she left Cape Town for London. Her remains were buried on Women’s Day, 9 August 2002, in the area of her birth, the Gamtoos River Valley in the Eastern Cape.

Diana Ferrus, poet, writer and human rights activist was the guest on my show this week. Her tribute to Sarah Baartman is one of the most beautiful  poems I have ever heard.

“I’ve come to take you home –
home, remember the veld?
the lush green grass beneath the big oak trees
the air is cool there and the sun does not burn.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white
and the water in the stream chuckle sing-songs
as it hobbles along over little stones".

To listen to the show (and the rest of the poem in her own words) just click play

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