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Elvis Nyathi

This is an ode to Elvis Nyati, the Zimbabwean man who was brutally murdered in Diepsloot, South Africa. The poem was written by Crestabel Nandipa Mahoko.

What land is worth my cries?
The job that you claimed
Was it really worth my life?

I came here only in the events of my tries!
Hoping for a better living
As in your land l saw a ray of light
To fulfill all the wishes of my children

Yes l admit,
Even if give back my life l will gladly accept
I had no documents that permitted me
To live in this land you call your own
Any punishment deserving of my crime, l will accept
But burning me nearly to ashes, even God will judge that

Even l feel pain
If someone takes over what’s mine
But l took over nothing belonging to someone
My only mistake was walking in your land
Trying to survive
And remove the tears of hunger from the eyes of my children
Sadly l added more tears and wounds to all the hopes of my children and elders

I was no criminal
Yet l had to die under the hands of men,
Burning and crying from flames
Couldn’t you atleast hear me cry
Did you not see l was in pain
Wishing, just wishing you could set the fire off
Trust me l would have walked myself back home
For back home the economy is not attractive
But back home no one would have burnt me alive
For back home we respected life over jobs
And understood our aim to survive

Yes people die
One day l would have
But why did l die under the hands of men?
Burnt alive, what was the main aim

I was just a man living in South Africa
Trying to make a living
And today l regret ever going there
For they ripped me off my life in the name of wanting their jobs back
Since you sacrificed me, l hope more jobs will come your way
And hopefully God will judge that!
You ended my road, there’s no way to go back

By Crestabel Nandipa Mahoko.

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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