The Brave Voices August Edition is such an amazing platform for young but resilient poetic griots , solemnly holding on to their faith and remain composed to face the AFTERMATHS with due diligence despite the hellholes of the COVID 19 pandemic. writings boldly articulates inspirational messages of hope and courage to adapt to the new normal .In this installment , ten poems were selected; the bigger number of poems is from the hosting country Botswana and the other six from Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda As the editor for this month I would love to thank all contributing poets who responded to this great call and give salutations to those who made it to the top 10 and encourage that we hold on together in these difficult times of the COVID19 menace  as we face the realities and complexities  of  the new normal . As a poet I take it that poetry is a powerful medium to express our feelings with for attaining freedoms and that it is a formula to connect the mind, spirit, soul and other humanity realms. TOGETHER WE RISE-( Gorata Ntshwabi Brave  Voices  August Edition  Guest   Editor and  Brave Voices Botswana  Associate)

AFTERMATH
 
every night I leak dream from the 
fissure I sewn my insecurity  
the dying night is fear, is empty 
& all nights are the same, coldblooded 
night’s knife of victories & losses  
placed in the cliff of darkness 
cut to the heart in silence like bread 
the grief I ran away from 
changes shape like ocean bubbles 
it is the god I worship for favor 
for paradise & mourning avoidance 
the war has ended on the outside 
but, the killing is a river’s journey 
something is always on fire here 
open violence preordaining destinies 
the old gods in the lips of history 
might recognize these arsonists 
the fire that keeps changing its form 
the war has ended, but the ghosts 
of casualty refused to be buried 
they have mistaken what harm them 
for a scent of something delicious 
since this world only recognize 
the handiwork of villains 
every night, the grief I leak from — 
the filled, unused hope, the cracks 
I am picking up life pieces after the storm 
I would use it to cleanse my fate 

UMAR YOGIZA JR-is a poet, builder & photographer, author of three collections of poetry. He writes between Lafia & Abuja Nigeria, where God & Devil toss the coin of his life. His works appeared in Reviews & many online platforms

HOW CAN YOU BE SILENT
 

 
While we think we okay 
Black lives matters doesn’t matter anymore 
 
It now shaken by disease called racism 
Breaking all chains of kindness, unity and love 
 
How can I be silent 
 
While world has turn into mockery 
We as Blacks and white with fabricated faces pretending we all into one unity as one 
No more rainbow nation 
 
How  can I be silent 
 
While the is new epidemic disease 
Invaded our beloved homes 
 
While a young 3year old child is been raped, brutality murdered by her 
Protector, provider front line soldier called father 
 
How can I be silent 
 
While we sang Umkhonto We Sizwe 
Spears of our falling soldiers 
Falling heroes memorabilia of 
 
Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govern Mbeki Oliver Thambo,Chris Hani,Mama MaDikezela Mandela 
All the metaphonical warrious, freedom 
Fighters who spilled their blood put lives on front line 
Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu his blood split 

THAMAGA DITSI, SouthAfrican Wordsmith born made with traceable experience in the entertainment industry embraced his work as Poet, Rapper, motivational speaker,event management,community developer and radio presenter .Born in Monakato Town ship(Rustenburg) SouthAfrica.He developed his love of entertainment at tender age where he began as rapper and poet in 2007,He later registered his company Kasi koncept krew brand

WRETCHED COVID


Manipulation covered by devastation  
Covid you are indeed hungry for our lives 
You feed on the lives of the most vulnerable how dare you 
I am scared of your horrid ways oh my God 
You conquer, destroy and devastate our glittering land  
You have killed hundreds and thousands of innocent human lives 
Like the elegant Nerium oleander you are so toxic  
You so wish to endanger the human species  
We can no longer predict our future as children 
For you have bid a feast of fear and panic upon us 
I still wonder where you really transpire from  
For it seams of the giant devil’s piercing claws 
I may be so scared but I still hold on my faith as a child 
I stand on behalf of the young souls covid we won’t give up 
I swear to my beloved Ancestors and the Heavens 
We shall destroy you to no trace like you have never crossed boarders of our beloved lands 
You are just nothing but a minor obstacle we need to cross while thinking and acting wisely  
We shall conquer you evil destructor 
Like we did with your monster relatives Swine Flu, Ebola and HIV/AIDS  
Children let’s unite apart and hold up our spears and arrows not forgetting our shields as we get ready to conquer  
For the future belongs to us! 

 BRUCE KAGO NTSHWABI  is an upcoming poetess and writer born in Botswana. She is a student at Nanogang Junior Secondary School. Her love for literature started with her passion for writing stories during play time and reading for her siblings. She also enjoyed reading her mum’s literary writings and helping her as well. Bruce’s 1st poem “Rain” was acknowledged in her mum’s poetry book “Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage,Living Arts” published in 2016.

 .

THE AFTERMATH
 

 
The gust of August  
Only painted our brows with dust. 
It whistled the same old tunes 
Rattling pass through grass dunes 
Unraveling the African spring life 
Clearing the chaff for the summer. 
Scattering mounds like careless charmer. 
 
Oh you noisy drummer, 
Your drums rumbled to awaken the slumber, but 
Why didn’t you warn the farmer? 
That the seeds you sow will rise no more. 
Like forgoten heroes buried underneath, 
For the heaven we call on is merely an empty store, 
That once shying sun now a scotching hearth. 
So swift its sag wilting to dry. 
 
Hope as clear as the blue sky 
We stagger to the next summer but, 
Harnessed on my thoughts and imaginations 
Are the smile musked faces  
Worn by my countryside folks, 
Kissing my soul with hope, 
Whispering to my spirit that  
The reservours of penury will fillup. 
Flash flooding our hearts of doubt 
In the aftermath of this drought. 
 

 ENERGY MAVAZA -His stage name is Poyetik enej. Energy is both a page poet and a spoken word artist  He manages various blogs and love inspiring people through poetry.

.

YOU FOUND ME

In catastrophes you taught me balance

Now I stand, a better man I have a stand

Against the mighty wind I walk

Against the great mountain I rise

You found me

Helpless and naïve you shown me my hands

Dull now I have color

Corona, I don’t want to spell you right

Sometimes I sit with colleagues

They bite me, my name is La-Rona

Like I’m somehow responsible for Co-Rona

What an honor

If thus is me then behold I make all things new

You found me, helpless in the dark and gave me a chance to shine

I’m that black sheep, now it feels as if I’m the white in the dark

I am the balance, I am the Black Child

I am found, I rise, I shine

It is what is it is

In this cyclone, I am the eye

LARONA BARUTI is a young Motswana Poet with aspirations of making the world a better place through himself.  A Banking and Financial studies student. He practice poetry and photography

AFTER THE SHACKLES AND WHIPS.

The world faced me

with shackles and whips.

Hours of pain blended perfectly

with the course memories,

That stayed so clear.

My eyes dripped.

Vengeance and bitterness

stacked up,

Filled the air,

And I clinched onto them

To fight my way out.

But,

Two wrongs would not

clean up the mess.

I smiled,

When I meant cry.

Maybe, from the outside,

Life would slowly trickle in.

But it never worked that way.

Slowly,

I realised it was what

the stars had chosen.

Hands once cuffed,

started getting stronger.

I reached out for a cup of coffee,

And clinging onto hope,

I knew luck was still

within my reach.

Life started trickling in.

My face started beaming

and the pain,

Faded at my keyboard.

Having known

two wrongs would not

clean up the mess,

That is what I live for now.

After it all,

Hands once cuffed

are here to defy,

The malice of

the shackles and whips.

PATRICIA JACKLINE FAITH is a budding poet and writer whose ink seeks to transform lives. She is a student at Kabale School of Comprehensive Nursing, Uganda. She lives in Arua, Uganda.

AFTERMATH. 
 
Waking up from thunderstorms of life, 
With thunderbolt consequences, 
The rubbles of tormenting storm, 
And the debris of quaking tornadoes, 
 
It feels like being in a polar convulsion, 
And iceberg confusion, 
With just a slight torrent of hopes, 
 
Picking up the broken cone pieces, 
I mould them into porcelain of brave peace, 
I clay my soul into a mosaic, 
With my mindset optimistic, 
 
I surge ahead, 
With a cyclone of diligence 
And a hurricane of courage, 
Leaving behind the failures of old adage. 

Kenneth Kibet Cheruiyot is a young Kenyan Poet who hails from Molo.
In 2016, he graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology.
His love for Poetry began way back during his High school studies.
His Exquisite skills in Poetry has made him get local and international recognition.He has featured in several online journals, with his work getting published and is part of the upcoming International Anthology pitting him together with the world’s best poets

.

SUFFERING THE NEW STRIAN
 
Empty hearts, empty words  
We have become speechless, hopeless and helpless  
We are like a fallen tree, weeping and screaming  
The new strain has control, power over our lives  
Covid19 how can you be such ruthless?  
You have banned us from visiting our loved ones even during hard times like these you created 
Not even to give them a hug to show our love and commitment! 
Life is all complicated, 
We are losing our loved ones and can’t even say goodbye the way our ancestors taught us 
 
The less privileged are dying of hunger  
Bound in chains and cannot go around search for food  
They are trapped in their poor houses  
Business owners are running at a loss  
Well,about the economy of my beloved Botswana its crisis  
With high shortage of resources  
No petrol for our engine footing 
No food to feast our growling stomachs 
We are democrats and independent please don’t ruin our freedom i beg you 
We believe in hard work and fortitude for success  
In my mother tongue we say “Monna o ja mofufutso wa phatla ya gagwe” 
 
How could you live us in so much pain  
We are children we have the future ahead of us 
You have messed up our academics 
Left us all worried about our suspended academic schedules hanging like palls of smoke 
Our dreams are slowly shuttering and fracturing  
Each day future leaders are fading away how painful  
Oh God!stuck in the dark,eaten by the sharks  
I don’t want to lie  
Each day we live in fear of you Covid-19  
Our hearts are broken but  
Our faith in God shall never disappear though  
You must know that! 

LESANG RACHAEL NTUNYANE is a 16 years old Botswana born poetess with a mission to be the world’s great poetess Lesang is a form 4 student at Kgari Sechele Senior Secondary School  She has done poetry performances at various church and youth conferences.

THEOLOGY OF HOPE 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am 
Hopeful for today, 
Tomorrow and the future 
Whenever I sense a loss of Hope 
I raise my head and  
look up to the blue skies 
I cry my plea to the Almighty LORD 
In outer space 
Who’d never resent me 
Nor rail against me 
 
I say LORD please rescue the world 
Mother Earth is crying a bucket full 
A bucket full of tears of pain 
Because of this horrible pandemic 
The horrible pandemic called corona virus 
For it has entered the souls of the innocent and scattered them 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am 
That one day things will brighten up 
The heavens doors I’ve been long knocking upon shall eventually open and I shall rejoice 
 
Sometimes I imagine where hope is 
In my dreams whispering  
Sometimes I imagine in my dreams that my theology of Hope has finally come 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am  
Whenever I lose my sense of wonder GOD casts the theology of hope upon me and I’m indeed as grateful as I can ever be because of my Theology of Hope 
 

EUNICE BONASO SEBULA is a creative ,self driven writer, poet and teacher based in Botswana  .Her work history includes the Gender Affairs Department where she worked as an Assistant Women Sector Coodinator in 2010-2012 .Eunice had worked closely with the community on HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence related issues

COVID 19, ( Cruel evil bug)

Structs Chinese and mistaken for a lab error

Disguised but yet an invisible terror

   Creeped into God’s own              

      America

   Determines to drain all 

        and crush costa rica

Devilish catastrophe to mock God 

Dr Facuer made the mess more odd

    Universe shutdown in 

        awe

    Uncertain commotions

         in the air 

Undercover the whole

 world went

Thought God will react as we wept

Science and Technology has failed us

Death knows no one but dust

It’s dreadfully contagious I can’t kiss

A caregiver but cannot touch my son Kings

     He is lamed with 

          feeble ribs

    Imprisoned right inside                         

         my crib

Harry and I can no longer mingle

Had to flatten the curve for love to be be maintain

   Hunger awakes to sing              

        war song

   Hoodlums attack with  

         war gong

Terribly living for the moments

Death tolls multiples every minute

Crushed down once endowed economy

Credible nation’s cries out  as it echoes

A medical war frontline

Doctors turn soldiers 

They fought took the bullets from medical folders

     The battle fought yet 

         antidote unknown

    Revived llost hopes          

        restored felt 

            unloved

Health heroes good jobs evergreen mentors

Sands of time forever will store in anthological memoirs

Silence a powerful  scream yells the creator

Sanctioned children  out of school 

Church doors closed  as clerics are mocked

    Evil genius bug marred 

       clerics beliefs

    Symbol of religious 

        strife hostility now

           faithfuls believes

Nation’s unified 

Knitted with love dignified

Behold the new eldorado of the creator

Where unity is trusted with Realtors

     This new normal mist 

        is crazy

     A God forsaken norm 

          so crafty

A norm that denounces cultures

A world of masked face we must cultivate

Has torn families apart 

Yet a bliss in disguise.

Blows it’s trumpets of sanity as it sensitizes

     New normal slogan

          embraced us

              masked

      Hand washing 

          mandated all

               tasked

Elbow shakes over hand shakes 

A phase of erupted twist of nature

Will end with a toast of assured future.

©️ Andrea Okoye

ANDREA OKOYE is a Poet, a journalist and a blogger from Nigeria. She is a graduate of Statistics and Economics from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  Andrea’ has worked with both the print and broadcasting media outfits respectively. She has written so many works in in both local and international journals. She is a Girlchild advocate and a human rights activist.

GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI( August Edition Guest Editor).Botswana Poet and Gender Rights Activist Gorata Ntshwabi is the August Edition Guest Editor of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal.GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI is a result – oriented and self-driven, Artist Poet and Activist. A registered Poetess herein as Poko Boswa Poetry my Heritage specializing in both traditional Spoken Word and Page poetry. She has since authored an English poetry book “Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage, Living Arts and self-published in 2016 and the collection is transcribed into brail for the visually impaired.Gorata holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences with majors in Sociology and Psychology from Central University of Technology Free State in South Africa and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in African Languages and Literature from the University of Botswana. Her Writing and Poetry Arts career was realized since years of her childhood .She participated in Schools Arts Activities.Gorata is a member of Maruping Poetry Organization, had an opportunity to mentor young upcoming artists Tlhale jwa Phala Entertainment Group, potential youth leaders for the African Women Leadership Academy and young Karatekas for Botswana Defense Force Thebephatshwa Air Base Karate Club and some individual youth poets.Gorata’s poem ‘’My Environment my Pride’’ was selected among the best poems published in an anthology entitled ‘’Tranquil Peace/Muse’’ for the 2018 11th Guntur International Poetry Festival in India and her Poem Dear South Africa was also selected for top 10 during the Brave Voices Poetry Journal 67 in 2019.

INFLUENCER- IN CHIEF –Mbizo CHIRASHA- UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist .Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum  Deutschland,Germany. Alumni  of the International Human Rights  Arts Festival in New-York, USA.Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie.  Globally Certified  Arts Mediums Curator and Influencer. Internationally Published Page and Spoken Word Poet. Writer in Residence.  Arts for Human Rights Catalyst.  Core Team Member of the Bezine Arts and Humanities Project. His illustrious poetry , hybrid writings , political commentary ,short fiction , book reviews  and Arts Features are published in more  than 400 spaces notably the Monk  Arts and Soul in  Magazine  in United Kingdom. Atunis Poetry.com in Belgium. Demer press poetry series in Netherlands. World Poetry Almanac in Mongolia.Poesia journal inSlovenia. Bezine Arts and Humanities Webzine in USA. The Poet a Day in Brooklyn ,USA. Litnet Writers Journal in South Africa. African Crayons in Nigeria. Poetry Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Pulp-pit USA.the FictionalCafe international Journal , Texas USA. Best New African Poetry series in Zimbabwe, Zimbolicious Poetry Collections in Zimbabwe. Co-edited Street Voices International Publications with Andreas Weiland  in Germany.Co-Edited  Silent Voices Anthology, a Tribute to Chinua Achebe. Co-Edited the Corpses of Unity,solidarity collection to victimized Cameroonians with Nsah Mala. Curated and Edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry ,Inside Digraceland speaking poetic truth to the Mugabe regime and other bad regimes.  He owns the Time of  the Poet blog zine ,MIOMBOPUBLISHING that published the #GlobalCallforPeaceProject titled the Second of EARTH is Peace.A LETTER to the PRESIDENT his experimental  resistance poetry BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL-A digital literary arts culture republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power , Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. WordSlingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression

BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL-A digital literary arts culture republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power , Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. WordSlingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

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