In the lead-up to World Poetry Day on 21 March, UCT News will be publishing poems from students and staff, particularly around issues related to human rights and about human rights activists.
Professor Harry Garuba, who passed away on 28 February 2020, was one of those activists, pushing for transformation at all levels of the university and beyond its bounds. A memorial for Garuba was recently hosted jointly by the Faculty of Humanities; School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics; Centre for African Studies, and the Department of English Language & Literature.
One of the many staff and students who paid tribute to the professor at the memorial was Lehlohonolo Shale, who read a poem he had penned in his honour.
Shale is pursuing his MA in Creative Writing and is an English tutor in the department, which is where he met the renowned Nigerian scholar. “I heard him speak at several departmental seminars and was intrigued [by] his understanding of decolonisation,” he said.
A tribute to Harry
At the festival of Letters, they say:
Greet Harry when you meet at the Academy
When you learn about Rodney at the Gallery
How anxious I was to deliver
Could not foresee the tempestuous winds of the Island
The same week as Mangaliso
Not long after Veronica
But one day the revellers shall be bolder
The smithereens of Change shall be stronger
Out of the sea they shall manoeuvre
Left-handed like the prisoner against the wave not dither
The same week as the reader...
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