Poem: Maica matikwenda mwĩthũnũro ( Life is for the humble)

(scroll down for the English translation)

Wanjiku, nĩwe wee ma
waruma nyũkwa
watuĩka mbata kĩengei
woha njĩra na rũrigi
wamĩikia mondo?
Kaĩ ũtoi maica nimoi kũhuhũra mwĩyambo

Kamau nĩwe ma
wacinũra thoguo mbere ya andũ!
Watuĩka kĩũra
ka ũtoĩ urĩa mwĩgerekanio wekire cĩũra

Maica nĩ gĩthiũrũrĩ

Translation: Life is for the humble

Oh my!
Wanjikũ is that you
insulting your mother.
You are now a peacock
you home can no longer contain you
and so
you wrap the road
and put it in your bag
don’t you know this life knows how to pluck those feathers

Kamau is that you!
insulting your father
in front of his kinsmen
you are now frog
aping your friends
do you not know what aping did to frogs?

Life is a circle

This poem Maica matikwenda mwĩthũnũro (Life is for the humble) is part of a collection of 10 poems that I wrote themed around Indigenous people, culture, life, love, nature, and the advocacy for indigenous languages against cultural imperialism. The 10 poems were commissioned by The Joint Board of South and North Korea for the Compilation of Gyeoremal-Keunsajeon for the 2nd International Academic Forum on Sustainable Development of Indigenous Languages. The virtual event took place on November 25th & 26th 2021( Watch a video of the event here)

The recital appearing in the above video was done by my cousin Isaiah Ng’ang’a wa Nduati 

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