Zimwi Halijafa!

by Kulikoyela K. Kahigi

Zimwi Halijafa! The Creature is not yet dead!
Wan’odhani kuwa limekufa, Those who think it is dead,
Jihadhari, zimwi halijafa! Beware, the creature is not yet dead,
Tusipokuwa macho hakika, If we are not truly watchful
Na usingizi ukatushika, And sleep takes hold of us
‘Likokimbilia litazuka, It will suddenly appear from where it fled
Na hali itatikisikika, And the situation will be chaotic
Na maisha tena yatanywea, And life once more will drain away
Parafujo zake kulegea, Its screws (that bind it) having loosened
Tena utumwa utatuzonga, Again slavery will coil round us
Matesoni tutayongayonga We will totter and sway in suffering
Woto wa kijani utaoza, Green vegetation will rot
Maisha yenyewe yatap’oza, Life itself will atrophy/be useless, etc.
Rutuba ya ardhi hakika, The fertitlity of the land indeed
Bila shaka itakwajukika, Surely it will be unpleasant to see
Lalia la mgambo lalia, It calls, the clarion call rings out
Shimeni wananchi sikia, Let’s take action, countrymen, hear,
Tujikage hila za zimwi, Let us protect ourselves with charms from the treachery of the monster
Pasi kujua lisije zimwi, So it does not come without us knowing
Tusivimbiwe uhuru wetu Let’s not be satiated with our freedom (typo in Swahili text corrected)
Tukauuza umoja wetu, And so sell our unity
Umoja uliotuwezesha, Unity that empowered us
Zimwi hilo kulikurupusha, To chase off that creature
Usitulevye uhuru wetu Let not our freedom drug us
Tukauza wangalifu wetu That we sell our vigilance
Usitulevye uhuru wetu Let not our freedom drug us
Tukauza uzalendo wetu! And sell our patriotism
Usidhani zimwi limekufa, Don’t think the creature is dead,
Angalia zimwi halijafa! Watch out the creature is not yet died!
Zimwi linayo macho mekundu, The creature has red eyes,
Kucha zake mfano wa mundu, Its claws are like a sickle
Meno yake mfano wa tembo His teeth are like those of an elephant
Ila makali yasiyo kombo, But sharp without defect
Zimwi mate mate kama fisi, The creature (slobbering) saliva like a hyena,
Hutamani litulaze sisi, It lusts to bring us down
Lenye tamaa ya Lusiferi, With Lucifer’s lust
Lenye vitimbi vya kijabari Full of violent schemes
Naam, Zimwi lile dubwana, Yes, that creature is a huge brute,
Mashetani nalo hupatana, It also consorts with devils
Kaa macho, Zimwi halijafa: Stay awake, the Creature is not yet dead;
Litakuja bila taarifa! It will come without notice!

Glossary

dubwana/ma- [n. 5/6] Brute, fiend, large, ugly beast (TJH). Person of extraordinary size, a giant, a colossus (FJ). Naam, Zimwi lile dubwana, Yes, that creature is a huge brute (K&M-ZH).
jabari/ma- [n. 5/6] Brave, fearless, proud person; a violent person (FJ). See -a kijabari [adj.] violent (TJH). Lenye tamaa ya Lusiferi, Lenye vitimbi vya kijabari; With Lucifer’s lust, Full of violent schemes (K&M-ZH).
kaga [v. tr.] Protect by charm, put a charm on (in, near, etc.) (FJ). Vaa au zindika hirizi au dawa ili iwe ni kinga ya madhara, balaa au uharibifu (KKS). Tujikage hila za zimwi, Let us protect ourselves from the treachery of the monster (K&M-ZH).
kitimbi/vi- [n. 7/8] Deceit, duplicity, guile, scheme, ploy (TJH). Mischievous act, trick, artifice, strategem, an act which causes hurt, damage, bad luck (FJ). Lenye tamaa ya Lusiferi, Lenye vitimbi vya kijabari; With Lucifer’s lust, Full of violent schemes (K&M-ZH).
kombo/ma- [n. 5/6] Twist, turn, crook, crookedness, deviation from the straight or standard, defect, fault, ill temper, awkwardness, difficulty, sticking-point (FJ). Meno yake mfano wa tembo, Ila makali yasiyo kombo; His teeth are like those of an elephant, But sharp without defect (K&M-ZH).
kurupusha [v. cs.] Chase off, scare off (Kahigi). Startle, rouse (FJ). Zimwi hilo kulikurupusha, To chase off that creature (K&M-ZH).
kwajuka [v. i.] Be unpleasant to see (TJH). Lose color, beauty, shrivel, shrink, become spoiled, be no longer pleasant to the eyes (FJ). Haribika sura (Kahigi). Rutuba ya ardhi hakika, Bila shaka itakwajukika, The fertitlity of the land indeed, Surely it will be unpleasant to see (K&M-ZH).
laza [v. cs.] Bring one down, place in a prone position (TJH). Cause to lie down, put to bed, lay flat or horizontal; see –lala sleep (FJ). Hutamani litulaze sisi, It lusts to bring us down (K&M-ZH).
levya [v. tr.] Drug sb. (TJH). Make drunk, intoxicate, cause to reel, make stagger, make giddy; see –lewa be drunk (FJ). Usitulevye uhuru wetu, Let not our freedom drug us (K&M-ZH).
mgambo/mi- [n. 3/4] Clarion call, demand for action (TJH). Public proclamation. Mbiu ya mgambo, formerly a buffalo horn blown to all people together to hear a proclamation of announcement. (FJ) Mkutano agh. unaozungumzia mambo ya busara au ya wazee: Mbiu ya mgambo ikilia ina jambo (mt). 2. hutumika katika msemo: Kumbi la mgambo pahali ambapo pamekusanywa watoto zaidi ya arubaini walioingia jando. 3. hutumika katika msemo: Askari wa mgambo askari wa akiba ambaye amepata mafunzo ya kijeshi kwa ajili ya ulinzi wa taifa lakini ambaye hafanyi kazi jeshini (KKS). clarion call (baragumu ya mgambo) Class 5 augmentative (KK) Lalia la mgambo lalia, It calls, the clarion call rings out (K&M-ZH).
mundu/mi- [n. 3/4] Sickle, billhook, chopper (FJ). Kucha zake mfano wa mundu, Its claws are like a sickle (K&M-ZH).
nywea [v. appl.] Drain away (TJH). Shrink, shrivel, recoil, or curl up, e.g. as of a dog when frightened, or a leaf when dry; see –nywa and -nya (FJ). Na maisha tena yatanywea, And life once more will drain away (K&M-ZH).
parafujo [n. 9/10] Screw (FJ). Parafujo zake kulegea, Its screws (that bind it) having loosened (K&M-ZH).
patana [v. rp.] Have alliance with, be in league with, consort with, go along with (TJH). Get each other—commonly used as ‘come to terms, strike a bargain, agree, be reconciled, work harmoniously, harmonize, correspond’; see –pata get, etc. (FJ). Mashetani nalo hupatana, It also consorts with devils (K&M-ZH).
pooza [v. i.] Waste away, wither, atrophy, decline (TJH). Become useless, withered, paralysed, impotent. Mwenye kupooza, a cripple, an impotent man; (2) be spoiled, lose beauty, appearance, fail, etc. (FJ). Maisha yenyewe yatap’oza, Life itself will atrophy (K&M-ZH).
tamaa [n. 9/10] Coveted object, longing, desire, lust, ambition, avarice, cupidity, greediness Lenye tamaa ya Lusiferi, Lenye vitimbi vya kijabari; With Lucifer’s lust, Full of violent schemes (K&M-ZH).
tikisikika [v. st.] Be chaotic, be disordered, be confused (TJH). See -tikisa cause to shake, wave, move to and fro; (2) make restless, agitate, excite (FJ). Na hali itatikisikika, And the situation will be chaotic (K&M-ZH).
uzalendo [n. 14] Patriotism (TJH). Usitulevye uhuru wetu, Tukauza uzalendo wetu; Let not our freedom drug us, And sell our patriotism (K&M-ZH).
vimbiwa [v.ps.appl.] Be satiated, be overfull, be full, be sated; be complacent (TJH).   See –vimba swell, expand, be distended (puffed out, swollen, bloated, stuffed; also -vimbiwa e.g., nimekula hata nimevimbiwa, I have eaten so much that I am stuffed (FJ). Tusivimbiwe uhuru wetu, Let’s not be complacent with our freedom (K&M-ZH).
wangalifu [n. 14] Diligence, vigilance, watchfulness (TJH). See uangalifu carefulness, attention (FJ). (K&M-ZH).
wezesha [v. cs.] Enable (TJH). Empower, give authority to (FJ). Umoja uliotuwezesha, Unity that empowered us (K&M-ZH).
woto [n. 11/10] Vegetation, See –ota grow, sprout, spring up—usually of vegetable life, etc. (FJ). Woto wa kijani utaoza, Green vegetation will rot (K&M-ZH).

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Discovering Swahili Poetry