Ekegusii Verse(Kisii)

Ninche Masese
Mbono nkare gocha korwa Bundo
Rigereria buna nyeagete ebundo
Nkogenda esegi n’enyundo
Nabogoirie ritimo n’etindo
Nachire buna omorwani
Namatimo y’abarwani
Nemesetwa y’abarwani
Tegerera buna nkobugia amakano
Chingoma na ebitureri
Tinkomiamia na riba ritaturi
Ritononkerete kobua eroti na ebitureri
Namonsegesa ritimo ekerege igoro
Buna chigi chigi
Nabo nkoirwana buna obonyoru ekegoro igoro
Nachire
Mbegete chianga buna amache riyenga
Bono bono kongera aare
Roar buna ngosata chinguba
Nchibeke nse chitube amaraba
Buna riyenga ri’embura
Esirikali y’omonto oyomo
Omwana entabo ntongetie riso
Namonseng’ensia ninsoe egetita ime
Nsoke n’enaigo
Natochaka ekinano
Nigo ngokorwokia enyangi
Bwoondoche togayanwe
Totarasamania na gokiritania
Nche naye ntogochia makari
Nche nigo ngwoka buna omorero
Okogwa korwa ase ekerende na esasi

Randa orande buna Emamnga na Esameta
Randa ko obugie ekenanda na endanda
Tagotwara ekeririanda
Nigo orabaise gotara getirianda
Bwateke buna enda
Onye n’omonto okogochanda
Kira takonya gwechanda
Rirorio rigia ekenanda
Gose soa getanda orare nda!

Ekegusii Verse(Kisii)

It is me, Masese
Now am coming from Bundo
Look how my body smeared with ebundo* is shining
Am going to the battlefield with a hummer
I have carried with me a spear and a mallet
I have come as a warrior
With warrior spears
Belongings and the spirit of warriors
Listen to the way I play the Obokano*
Trumpets and flutes
I will not close my eyes even if it’s misty
So misty and clumsy like heavy sounds of trumpets
Even if you pierce my waist with a spear-chigi!*
I will sway and fight like grass
On a mountain against strong winds
I come
Wearing clothes like moving stream of water
Now, stand over there and watch, don’t move closer
Look! The way I am preparing shields
Put them down to cover the soil like heavy drops of rain
One man army, one man government
I am the only son like the eye
Even if you trouble me, I can hide in a basket
And come out with a dagger
If we wrestle I will defeat you, like it is a wedding
Weaken you, make you wither before they come to separate us
Before we hold hands and fight
I and you will not draw
I burn like fire glowing from ekerende* and esasi*
 
Grow and spread further like Emanga* and Esameta* ranges
Grow and spread so you can play pianos- Nda! Nda! Nda!*
Don’t be jealous you may walk naked
Then you burst – NDA!
If someone troubles you,
Don’t worry yourself too much
Be silent and look for a piano
Or go to your bed and sleep –NDA!

  1. Ebundo – a type of paint made from some specific soils and clay that was used as a kind of body protection from dirt or in ceremonies
  2. Obokano-an eight stringed harp from the Gusii people of western Kenya
  3. Chigi- the sound made by a spear when it pierces flesh
  4. Ekerende and esasi-this was a traditional way of making fire by using a dry wood,ekerende with a stick to rub between your hands and esasi is the dry leaves and dung that is fed to the spot of contact between the wood and the stick
  5. Emanga and Esameta are two great ranges in Gusiiland and normally people are told to spread and produce like the two ranges
  6. Nda-the sound of music/strings, largely onomatopoeic here

Written and translated by Dennis D Mosiere

This poem was written in the Gusii language from Western Kenya. Dennis Dancan Mosiere aka Grandmaster Masese is a poet,musician,actor,writer/editor Human Rights educator and a Fahamu Pan African fellow For Social Justice. Follow him on Twitter @GrandMasese.

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