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Poet reflects on Day of the African Child


TO celebrate the Day of the African Child, commemorated on June 16, budding poet Tinotenda Masunda (22) penned a poem which reflects on the importance of the day.

Running under the theme Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children, the day is an annual event meant to pay tribute to students who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976 for protesting against injustice and inequality under the apartheid regime.

Masunda told NewsDay Life & Style that he felt there was need to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and stood for others.

“My poem Melodious Tears is talking about how Africans cried for equality and equity. It is also calling for people to unite, either black or white reflecting on how innocent student’s lives were lost.

“Thanks to those who took part in the protest against imposition of Afrikaans by the apartheid regime, this helped in making the whites realise that Africans are not silent but they do speak up. This is the reason why I wrote this poem to celebrate the day with melodious tears and say ‘shine ye African child!’” he said.

He has produced other poems that include Cries of a silent man, which calls upon all men to stop gender-based violence on women, orphans and the disabled; Why Africa, which yearns to fight corruption, racism and disunity; and Tears of the black soil, which commemorates our late liberation heroes and Zimbabwe’s independence.

“My mother’s womb inspired me to be a poet. I didn’t choose to be a poet, rather poetry chose me. All in all, dark emotions motivate me to keep writing because I am a soul which writes for those in darkness,” he added.

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