Join Friends of Pambazuka

Subscribe for Free!

Fahamu Bulletin Archive

About our Programmes

Donate to Pambazuka News!

Follow Us

delicious bookmarks facebook twitter

Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
Buy now

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
Buy now

Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
Buy now

China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
Buy now

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
Buy now

Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

    See the list of episodes.


    This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    African Writers’ Corner

    Secrets of the Ethiopian Streets

    Homage to social workers

    Amira Ali

    2009-09-17, Issue 448

    Bookmark and Share

    Printer friendly version

    There is 1 comment on this article.

    She belongs to
    the corner
    whose whispers
    never reveal
    the secrets of
    the owner,

    guard the shadow
    of time
    leaves her son
    to the streets.

    A time
    so deformed,
    words prostitute
    a child's soul,

    Thee Word is
    as necessity

    Feminine divine
    Losing her
    still night
    suggesting, copulating
    a pilgrim
    of the night,

    twisting her afro curls
    seductive moves
    nightly enchantment,
    soul killer
    empty delight.

    Body traded
    for the price
    of kissing
    her life,
    reined in
    the capricious horses
    of passion

    she lays
    destiny down to
    feel the slivers of pain
    in dreams and when awake,
    hidden pain
    eyes reveal
    what words conceal.

    Pitiless life
    making her stay
    in a wild desert
    black dust of body
    desolated by floods
    of mortal life

    she heaps abet
    in the abyss
    of the night
    living no more
    of fate


    * Amira Ali holds an MA in International Relations and Conflict
    Resolution. She is a freelance writer, poet and activist.
    * Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

    Readers' Comments

    Let your voice be heard. Comment on this article.

    Secrets of the Ethiopian Streets could have aptly been renamed 'Secrets of the African Streets'; especially after having watched CNN's presentation of Joburg's 'prostitutes' in light of the forthcoming World Cup.
    It is a powerful poem and congratulations in order. What is probably lucking in the general discourse is how state failure leads to such cultural decadence.


    ↑ back to top

    ISSN 1753-6839 Pambazuka News English Edition

    ISSN 1753-6847 Pambazuka News en Français

    ISSN 1757-6504 Pambazuka News em Português

    © 2009 Fahamu -