Titus Moetsabi
(Zimbabwe, 1963)   
Titus Moetsabi

Titus Moetsabi read law at the University of Zimbabwe and currently works for a development organization. He has published two volumes of poetry: Fruits and Other Poems (1992) and Fated Changes (1999).

Like many African poets today, Titus Moetsabi is deeply concerned about the lives and futures of his countrymen and fellow-Africans. His poem ‘Uprising in Squatter Camp’ is a flaming protest against police raiding a poor people’s camp. ‘Prisoners’ prisoners’ he calls the poor devils who ‘dream of justice’, but ‘live with brutality’. In another poem, ‘Paradigm Shifts’, he calls for the whole African continent to be reborn: ‘Quiescent minds turn to ash! / In my Africa’s renaissance’.

But there is more to Moetsabi’s poetry than his commitment to Africa. He also confesses to a passion for life, for instance in the simple poem ‘Things without Answers,’ which is a moving plea for love, and in the poem ‘Nature, Love, Peace’, which actually bubbles with the poet’s lust for life, as does the equally high-spirited, yet more evocative poem ‘Milkman’s Morning and the Pretty Woman’, which creates the subtle suggestion of an erotic encounter.

In his best work, Moetsabi uses extraordinary images: In ‘Whistle Night’ he makes the dusk ‘creep like a caterpillar’, and a guard ‘bleed like a broken sewage pipe’. And in ‘Uprising in Squatter Camp’ he writes about hope which ‘gazes / at soul hanging from invisible ropes / Dangling from the Camp’s dead trees’. It is at such moments that Titus Moetsabi’s poetry seems to assume a mysterious power.

© Jabik Veenbaas (Translated by Ko Kooman)

[Titus Moetsabi took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2002. This text was written on that occasion.]


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