(scroll down for the English translation)
Wanjiku, nĩwe wee ma
watuĩka mbata kĩengei
woha njĩra na rũrigi
Kaĩ ũtoi maica nimoi kũhuhũra mwĩyambo
Kamau nĩwe ma
wacinũra thoguo mbere ya andũ!
ka ũtoĩ urĩa mwĩgerekanio wekire cĩũra
Maica nĩ gĩthiũrũrĩ
Translation: Life is for the humble
Wanjikũ is that you
insulting your mother.
You are now a peacock
you home can no longer contain you
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