Literary Birthday – 17 January – Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

Happy Birthday, Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali, born 17 January 1940

Three Poetry Excerpts


The rays of the sun
are like a pair of scissors
cutting the blanket
of dawn from the sky


I am the drum on your dormant soul,
cut from the black hide of a sacrificial cow.
I am the spirit of your ancestors…


Where did I come from?
When will I wear long trousers?
Why was my father jailed?

Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali is a South African poet. He is the author of Sounds of a Cowhide Drum, published in 1971, which went on to become the best-selling poetry book in South African history.

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson

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