In the absence of leadership
Lawlessness prevails
And citizens are forced
To take the law into their own hands
Inevitably casualties are to occur
Bonds of all types – break
Families get destroyed
Unity dissipates

In the absence of leadership
A country burns to flames
Like wildfires so strong
And quickly floods
into neighboring countries
Spilling havoc and trace of destruction
Lives are destroyed
Yet in silence politicians, political parties and presidents
Of different countries fail to do right by their people
And take a firm stand

In the absence of leadership
Nations turn against each other
Those at fault ignorantly fail to acknowledge
Their wrongs in all aspects
Fail to take full responsibility
For crimes committed
A blind eye they turn
But if tables were turned
A threshold most of them
would instantly reach
for crime has no racial connotation

Leaderships lacks
When desperately needed
This rather reveals
That only citizens
Can create the change
They need
Through an alternative civilians led government
For government is non-existence
Only citizens can rescue themselves
Through various legal means
Available for their usage

In the absence of leadership
Another form of leadership
Should take its course
For the citizens
By the citizens


I woke up with a smile on my face

Wonderfully all my worries and complains had already faded away

Coincidentally the sun too, outside was at its shining peak and best

The effects of the light rays were directly felt from all directions

It was a sign, indicative of the era we all find ourselves within

An era, of new possibilities and hope

An era, of everything, is possible

An era, whereby dreams and goals are all achievable

An era, whereby essentially respect and love are a way of living

But neither forgetting our past nor letting it dictate nor pollute

Our way of thinking and interacting with others, now

Irrespective of one’s culture, religion, belief and colour

Due to the fact, that we are all one

We dearly owe our existence and oneness, to those fallen heroes and heroines

That gave it, their utmost best fighting for the freedom and rights,

That we inappreciably take granted for and abuse, hence celebrating

Those that made this taste and feeling of liberation possible

What an unbearable insult to the dead, who put the life of theirs

And those of their families in jeopardy for us to be freed

In our own native (indigenous) land, the land of our ancestors

The land, which its beauty is worth the suffering, struggling and fighting for,

As it showers peace and harmony unto ordinary people

A land that has it all; the magnificent landscapes, hills, mountains, bushes

Slopes, dams, natural resources, wetlands, oceans, wild animals, rivers and the forests

The land that is selectively, uniquely beautified and shaped to meet the requirements,

The expectations and the needs of the indigenous habitants

What else could it be if not, the breath-taking motherland of ours

For we graciously owe our souls to our environment, for it, protected

Our unsung fallen heroes and heroines during struggle times,

As they had nowhere to hide, but to use it as shelter, meanwhile crossing borders into our neighboring countries

Let us now, not destroy it, but rather preserve and take good care of it, as it did to our struggle heroes, and still does to us

Then why destroy it, kill or even poach animals that complete the environment

It has been a long and not an easy road, but I still woke up with a smile on my face

Not because I have money, but because I am free like a bird

I am neither a prisoner nor institutionalized in my own thoughts

For I am not restricted by any racial laws from unleashing my own potential

And being the best that I fully know and believe, I am destined to become

For I am free like water that flows underneath the ground,

I am free like a river that flows freely without any disruptions, whatsoever

And all that is left for me to do, is to move around and explorer endless opportunities

That I am graciously blessed and provided with

And start making things happen for me instead of expecting hand-outs

And always complaining on how one is suffering and heartlessly stricken

By poverty meanwhile one is not willing to work, to have a better life

Meanwhile one’s behaviours, actions and doings are somehow contributing

And going against any measures of combating poverty

The fallen heroes and heroines from all ages may have laid down the foundation,

But it is now up to us, to finish building and roofing the shelter

No one else but you and I

Let us not let bad times, be the only defining moments of change

Because even good times could still be the defining moments of better things to happen

And when we as a country don’t reach the success and expectations we have set for ourselves, let us not blame the past

For we fail to do the same, when there are beneficial developments and opportunities occurring

As a result of the lessons from our past that had been heavily clouded by oppression, racial prejudice and suppression

But still though, in my world a horrible past and experience always teaches one as well as a country to be better,

And that needs to be acknowledged,

For it is the honest truth is no longer about where we have been, but rather where, we as a nation

Are going to, and how our future shall turn out to be?

As a result of what we decide to do, from now on,

You and I now have immeasurable power to make a huge difference

Of which we all long to have

This is the freedom we got through and in exchange with certain leaders losing their wonderful lives, whilst leaving innocent kids to be without parents

Only you and I can make our nation something to be proud of

I woke up with a smile on my face

And felt the wind blowing softly to my ears

And as I looked up, the sky, gave me a clear reason to smile even more

Meanwhile the beautiful melodies of birds were making me feel like I am truly in heaven though I’m simply in this exceptional democratic country of ours

You and I have the power to create the change, which we are in need of, in our own land, the land of our ancestors and gods.

What a beautiful land it is?

I am proud to be a South African

© Mmaletsema Mokgohlwa


An on-going struggle

right that has been fought for decades

during colonization

until post-democracy,

struggle restlessly continues still

from one generation to the next

though its impact directly scars,

brutally paralyzes as well as deprives

a black African child

desperately in need of an escape from poverty

seeking any form of advancement

through education – a heavy burden it’s considered


victory we are yet to achieve

once education is of a high standard

decolonized, classless, faceless and free for all

then automatically equality shall reign

mirroring rivers flooded with blood

rained through tears of 1976 students uprising,

their legacy in the form of a fight,

of what should now be a free educational system

for everyone

we the born frees – are now determinedly fighting for,

to see it to an end; intimidated and deter – we shall not be

understanding, patient, silenced – we have been

status quo still remains the same

but no more, shall this proceed on our watch

this is our country that our forefathers fearlessly died for


the freedom charter vividly stipulates

“free education for all”

words glued on the lips of our political leaders

though implementation

seems to take centuries to come to effect

just like our government mistakenly think it shall not fall

and will always rule forever

like it is the Kingdom of Eswatini and we are the disciples

forgetting the fact we (the people) elected it into power

thinking it would liberate

and do right by everyone

specifically a black African child fully deserving

to be at a higher institution of learning

but simply cannot

as it is unaffordable


in a black child jungle state of mind, I find myself

exhausted, lost and enraged with fury and millions of unanswered questions

whilst opportunities pass me by

“I worked hard to be accepted at higher learning of institution

now doubly I have to stress about fees

which seem to be the constitutional court

and ultimate decider of my future

this should not be”

financial circumstances should not preclude anyone

from furthering their educational ambitions

especially in a democratic country built upon equality

but excluded I continue to be still

and so are my fellow struggle-mates

dropping-out of institutions of higher learning

as fees crazily intensify like climate change


we complain

we protest

then our government shockingly looks the other way

worse teargas, jail and deny us bail

that’s their response hiding behind the notion

that we complain unnecessarily (over nothing)

and that all is under control

instead grateful we should be

for having mere access to higher learning

as a result of its heroic liberation credentials

that brought about change

yet selectively forgetting the fact that it was the entire nation

that collectively fought against the apartheid system

and the entire world as a whole in solidarity – for freedom


in exclusion of some leaders that disappeared into exile

some imprisoned and others on vacations

only to resurface as proclaimed leaders after flames had gone out

knowing completely well they had selfishly sold out

yet now feel a sense of godly entitlement

to remain in power as they wish, that is indicative of them – politicians;

mostly not paying for basic necessities,

and making laws that they, themselves are exempted from

only to preach equality thereafter

while utterly failing to comprehend the significance of free education

and the long term advantages associated with it


yet corruptively steal from the poorest of the poor

with failure of taking full responsibility where it is due

oppositely they habitually draw a comparison from

and blame their corruptive behaviour on apartheid still,

as if the previous unjust system is still in control whereas it is them

doing almost the same, if not worse of what the previous unjust government did

but the fundamental visible difference still remains the same

the unjust government looked after its own people – “the minority”

at whatever cost

and never pretended to care for the majority


What is freedom? – If basic things meant to be free, are not?

neither is there any progress – to show something is being done

inequality is vastly deepening – socially, religiously, economically

so is education; a privilege it seems to be nowadays

although our government knows what is going on

it forever tries hard to convince me and my other fellow youth

like they have always been doing since the dawn of democracy

which serves no difference of that which they would repeatedly do

with no permanent solution until Jesus comes back

if immense pressure they are not put under

I am free, I constantly say

but reality dominantly displays the opposite

that I am free not; as the same black government

that should relate to our educational difficulties

and boldly help lift-off financial burden incurred by students year in and out

does not even care – what am I, what are we to do

when our black leaders, who are currently in power

able to grant fellow black child free education

those deserving at least – an opportunity

to break away from a vicious cycle of poverty


a blade; our political leaders are in words – shifting the blame

but blunt and blind; they remain with implementation

yet do not realize their faults and imperfections

for they hardly think they have any

when criticized

they instantly label you a traitor, an agent, and anarchist

though touch they lost with the people

they are supposedly leading

a massive problem that it – soon to be accompanied by a revolt

a ticking bomb soon to explode

if nothing is done to address the issue at hand

and many others


“Once you reach a point in your life and career where you feel as a politician or a leader, the need not to account to those that elected you into power. Then just know without a doubt, the time has arrived for you to humbly pass the leadership torch to someone else who shall. Anyways, it’s not a bad thing for such to occur. However, it only becomes a huge problem when a leader refuses to accept the reality and the depletion of whatever sense of connection that may have existed based on communal or societal accountability other than self” – Mmaletsema Mokgohlwa

© 2015 Lordwick Mmaletsema Mokgohlwa