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    African Writers’ Corner

    I am a fighter

    Jwani Mwaikusa

    2010-06-22, Issue 487

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    I was once a fighter,
    A fighter of great prowess,
    A fighter of great calibre.
    "I am a fighter!" I shouted,
    And before I had realised it,
    I had won the fight.

    My opponents gave way
    And surrendered with fear
    "You have won," they said,
    And grim faced, they left.
    Without another glance at me, they saw the fighter,
    Carried shoulder high by cheering supporters.

    "I am a fighter!" I shouted
    But there was nobody to fight,
    So I had to relax.

    But how can a fighter relax
    Except by fighting?
    How can a killer repose
    Except by killing?
    How can a dancer recreate
    Except by dancing?
    I had to relax too,
    I had to repose,
    I had to recreate.

    "I am a fighter!" I shouted
    But my enemies were no longer there,
    They had long joined the mocking audience
    Looking at me with nobody to fight.

    I turned grimly to my supporters
    Holding me high in worship:
    "I am a fighter!" I declared to them.


    * Jwani Mwaikusa (1980: 63-64), 'Summons: Poems from Tanzania', TPH.
    * Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

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