(Translated from isiXhosa by Robert Kavanagh and Z.S. Qangule)
Thus spake the heirs of the land
Although it is no longer ours.
This land will be folded like a blanket
till it is like the palm of a hand.
The racing ox will become entangled in the wire,
Too weak to dance free, it will be worn
Out by the dance of the yoke and the plough.
They will crowd us together like tadpoles
In a calabash ladle. Our girls
Will have their lobola paid with paper.
Coins that come and go, come and go.
Blood should not be spilled, so they say
Nowadays, to unite the different peoples;
Until we no longer care for each other,
As a cow licks her calf, when love
And nature urges her to do so.
Can money bring people together?
Yes, a man may have words with his son’s wife,
His son need no longer respect her mother.
Yes, we fold up our knees
It’s impossible to stretch out,
because the land has been hedged in.