Text: Siyabonga “Gazi” Nxumalo
Photography: Supplied

Pretoria, your streets spew the HI-Virus
from Orange Farm to Mpophomeni
where your pharmaceutical cronies
profit from the poor
Pretoria, your foreign owned golf estates and shopping malls
slump the valleys of KwaZulu
where Nguni cattle perish in the kraal
there is no land to graze
Pretoria, your mahala condoms don’t last
the same as durex
Are your policies still remnants of Apartheid?
Pretoria, aren’t Clermont and Mhlanga Rocks
in the same country?
you disregard the Mandela spirit
of better life FOR ALL
Pretoria, my neighbour sleeps on the frosty floor
inhales kerosene smoke off the SIKENI
yesterday he tested positive for chest infection
Pretoria, poor people reckon,
your ears are blocked,
your brain jammed
Pretoria, is agrarian reform still a taboo?
Pretoria, financial monopolies, indentured compound labour,
land speculators and absentee-owners
in desperate poverty still hog your land
Pretoria, your infants neighbour broken liquor bottles
inside township dustbins
where ants creep up their nostrils
beneath alluring celebrity smiles on liquor billboards
Pretoria, Scottsville and Jozi suburbs never go dark
In Ntuzuma there’s load shedding
poor college students abandon their homework
Pretoria, Hollywood Cinema bloodbaths are damn-sickening,
foreign tunes dominate airwaves at the SABC
meanwhile, Mahlathini battles in his grave for royalties
Pretoria, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Eskia Mphahlele, Cyprian Ekwensi,
Chinua Achebe, Mandla Langa, Wole Soyinka,
Alex La Guma, Bernard Magubane, Bloke Modisane,
Arthur Maimane, Ayi Kwei Armah, Mongane Serote,
Mafika Gwala, Leonard Kibera and Simuel Kahinga
are missing at your bookshops
tell me, which literature frequents your shelves?
Pretoria, have you heard of Umtamvuna?