There isn’t a school

There isn’t a school

There isn’t a school
for protesting 

but there is
for police
and policing

There isn’t a school
for protesting or
for protesters

to learn the trade
to learn the skills

but there is
for police
and policing

There isn’t a school
Though we have 
plenty of schools

(who is schooled
who is educated)

There isn’t a school

When might there be

An afternoon SAFM radio presenter ponders the killing of a passer-by “caught in the cross-fire” by the country’s police in the Wits student protests, 11 March 2021, in South Africa’s Human Rights Month.

By David Kapp

(Photo Credit: News24 / AFP / Emmanuel Croset)

Say it out loud

Say it out loud
(Gender-Based-Violence)

Irked is he
at the acronym
saying it hides
the word violence

Connected to jazz
is Nigel Vermaas
on evening Bush Radio
the 16 Days Campaign
at its end

Say it out loud
Gender-Based-Violence
don’t hide it
don’t let it hide

Behind an acronym
Behind a committee
Behind closed doors
Behind a veil a cloak
Behind a pandemic

Woman got a right to be
follows the little opinion
a Caiphus Semenya song
he finds fitting

He said it out loud

Bush Radio’s Nigel Vermaas puts his foot down on evening community radio.

By David Kapp

(Photo Credit: Design Indaba)

The whole world is Africa

The whole world is Africa

we are oft reminded so
in an evocative advert
by resident historian 
and the Blues in the Bush 
Sunday night presenter 

we are reminded so 
by stand-up comedy’s 
erstwhile chief resource 
and former resident
of imperialism’s palace

He stamps his feet
He says he won
He threatens mayhem
He says he won’t go
(He is out playing golf)

He is just
like those folks
who do the lifelong
clinging to power
for their own

The whole world is Africa
though Uhuru has not
reached everywhere
or everyone

We see the changing
of the guard and the guards
though the more things change
the more the guards guard
their bejewelled palaces

The whole world is Africa
it sometimes seems

An old Black Uhuru song it is – “The whole world is Africa”.

I crush them

I crush them

Justice Albie Sachs
on evening Safm radio
is reading from his
Quest for justice

I crush them
says a teacher 
quite nonchalantly 
of the insects falling 
into her tea

Cutting Edge
is on evening TV
highlighting schools
or rather their dilapidated 
physical states

shaky toilets
shaky classrooms
shaky infrastructure 
shaky promises too 

Justice Sachs tells
of The New Age paper
distributed back then

I crush them
the school’s office ceiling
letting the insects in

No New Age there
No Albie Sachs there
No justice either

How much longer
for learners 
and educators
will to be
crushed

A Tuesday night passes.

(Photo Credit: Daylin Paul / New Frame)

(2020) you’ve taken away enough

(2020) you’ve taken away enough

A community in pain
out in Eldorado Park 
a youngster the victim
where crime and drugs rule

A community in pain
out in Oudshoorn 
a doctor on the frontline
the victim of our pandemic 

2020 
you’ve taken away
enough from us
a teacher-friend’s remarks
could be a world-wide echo

from the Eldorado Parks
to the Oudshoorns
from Africa to Asia 
to the Americas and beyond

2020 
you’ve taken away
enough from us

The youngster brought comfort
The doctor brought comfort 

Comfort well needed
in schools
in communities
everywhere

2020
you’ve taken away
enough from us

(Photo Credit: The Conversation)

Love Me (tender)

Love Me (tender)

Love me tender
love me sweet
never let me go 
connections have made
my life complete
and I love them so

Love me tender
love me true 
my pockets now filled
money dearest I love you
and I always will

Love me tender
love me long
Covid-19 a good start
for it’s here that I belong
opportunity and l will not part

Love me tender 
love me dear
tell me you are mine
I’ll be yours in freedom’s name
till the end of time

When at last my dreams come true
Darling Democracy this I know
the rotten stench will follow you
everywhere you go

Here down South, an Elvis Presley song is the obvious choice.

Just not (speeches and elections)

Just not (speeches and elections)

Just not 
speeches and elections
our own Women’s Day is
a radio fellow expounds 
like he needs to convince
someone out there

Just not 
though most 
to be heard is 
often same old story 
often same old song

(and for some reason
a bigwig male-head
does an official advert
saying “all racial groups” 
were at that historic March)

Just not 
politicians politicking
preying on the moment
feeding on the moment
angling for a sound-byte

Are we all talk 
the world over
at a time of a pandemic
and Gender-Based Violence

and SA’s Women’s Month
where women are free
where women are not
where women are not yet

Are we alone
unique at that

See, too: “OPINION: What are we really celebrating this Women’s Day?”

(Photo Credit: Sune Payne / Daily Maverick)

Women doing it (for themselves)

Women doing it (for themselves)

Unashamedly 
there they are
on a busy main road
soliciting

soliciting they are
what will the neighbours 
have to say

especially those ones
gated and walled in
their neighbourhood
watches standing guard

Women doing it
for themselves 
on Mandela Day 
in a SnapScan 
Donation Drive-By 

this in aid of CECD’s
#PPEforECD campaign
to support their ECD centres 
with personal protective
equipment – PPE

Women doing it 
for themselves 
in memory of 
Nelson Mandela

Unashamedly

I mask-up and join the Centre for Early Childhood Development on Rosmead Avenue, almost Claremont. To much hooting!

(Image Credit: Centre for Early Childhood Development / Facebook)

What do they learn (in school today)

What do they learn (in school today)

a hawker deliberate
she open-mouthed at the youths of today
unmasked undistanced
outside their local high

What do they learn
in school today
assembling now
up close and personal in our Covid-19 era

do teachers not teach about these new times
about this invisible enemy
along with the other
linking all pandemics in critical thought and analysis

(do they just stick
to the usual to the syllabus to what is dictated
not wanting to stir)

What do they learn
in school today
it being just a day
before June 16
a Public Holiday

are there doctors here
epidemiologists too
gathered boisterously
it being just a day before a Public Holiday

Remembering June 16 1976
of struggles past and present

South Africa’s Youth Day, June 16 2020

(Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University)

Still many rivers to cross

Still many rivers to cross 
(with apologies to Jimmy Cliff)


Still many rivers to cross
for those whose language
includes words and phrases
the world has heard before

Riots and Rioters
Vandals and Vandalism
Terrorists and Terrorism
(Destruction of Property)

Did we here smile
a smile of Deja Vu
at images of that statue taking a river-dive
(where else were there)

not just a statue 
but a symbol of it all
just as those uniforms are
the planet over

Still many rivers to cross
will we find our way over


Television scenes of that piece of stone taking a dive, brought the 1969 Jimmy Cliff song to mind.

(Photo Credit 1: Daily Mail) (Photo Credit 2: INews / PA)