lunes, 1 de mayo de 2017

ABENA BUSIA [20.118]


Abena Busia (nacida en 1953) es una escritora, poeta, feminista y conferencista ghanesa. Es hija del ex jefe de Estado de Ghana, Kofi Abrefa Busia, y hermana de la actriz Akosua Busia. Abena Busia es profesora asociada de Literatura en inglés, y de estudios sobre la mujer y género en la Universidad Rutgers. 

Abena Busia nació en Accra, en la familia real de Yenfri en Wenchi, en la región de Brong-Ahafo, en Ghana, hija de Kofi Abrefa Busia, antiguo jefe de Estado de Ghana, y Naa Morkor Busia. Pasó su infancia en Ghana, así como en los Países Bajos y México antes de trasladarse a Oxford, donde finalmente se estableció su familia.

Bibliografía seleccionada 


Testimonies of Exile — poetry, illustrated by Akosua Busia (Africa World Press, 1990; ISBN 978-0865431614)
Traces of a Life: A Collection of Elegies and Praise Poems (Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2008; ISBN 978-0955507977)

Como editora 

Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women , co-editor with Stanlie M. James (Routledge, 1993; ISBN 978-0415073370 )
Beyond Survival: African Literature and the Search for New Life , co-editor with Kofi Anyidoho and Anne Adams (Africa World Press, 1999; ISBN 978-0865437098 )
Women Writing Africa: West Africa and Sahel (2005)

Premios y reconocimientos

Abena es co fundadora y presidenta de Busia Foundation International, organización no gubernamental creada en honor del ex primer ministro de Ghana , Kofi Abrefa Busia . 

La traducción corre a cargo de Gustavo Osorio.


Esta lengua que he dominado
me ha dominado a mí;

me han enseñado maldiciones
en el idioma del dominador

me han enseñado del sometimiento
en el idioma del dominador

y soy una mujer despreocupada y desnuda
cantando las palabras de una pequeña niña perdida
hollando el borde de las olas

tratando de volver a capturar…

el sueño de una virgen arropada con la luz de la luna
un gesto de extenderse a través de las aguas
cantando una canción de casa

soy la hija de un hombre negro, aún
varada en las costas de mares sajones


This tongue that I have mastered
has mastered me;

has taught me curses
in the language of the master

has taught me bondage
in the language of the master

and I am a woman ravished and naked
chanting the words of a little girl lost
treading the edge of the waves

trying to recapture…

the dream of a virgin robed in the moonlight
reaching gesture across the waters
singing a song of home

I´m a black man´s child, still
stranded on the shores of saxon seas



Abena Busia, Ghanaian writer and activist currently teaching at Rutgers University in the United States, wrote this poem in 1990 in the immediate wake of Nelson Mandela's release from prison but it has never been published previously. She read it movingly at a public gathering in Johannesburg in July of this year and at that time graciously agreed to SAR's presenting it in our pages.

I know Patrice Lumumba had been sometime dead, 
and Sylvanus Olympio only just, 
though I'm not sure why, 
As I try to re-connect myself with my child's mind, 
and the memories of events that jumble there- 
A knowledge of our distant world, pieced together, 
through overheard conversations 
and voices on the radio.

In 1962 the world was a very different place:

I didn't know where Montgomery was, 
but I'd learnt the meaning of boycott. 
Didn't understand Mau Mau, 
except it taught the impact of lies, 
and what all freedoms cost. 
I remember your name, and vague talk of a trial, 
and treason being a serious thing; 
Sisulu and Mbeki, Goldberg and Mahlaba, 
Kathrada, Motsoaledi and Mlangeni, at Rivonia. 
These names I have learnt through the years, 
but at the time, what I recall for sure, 
Is Abebe Bikila's second Olympic Gold, 
And Cassius Clay proving he was the greatest, 
By the time you made your statement, 
And disappeared.

We have not seen you since.

I didn't mark your fiftieth birthday, 
but in Ghana J.B. Danquah was already dead, 
and we had lived through coups 
and countercoups already, 
at the start of a second republic. 
While Baldwin warned of The Fire Next Time, 
the White Rhodesians declared UDI, 
and the Zimbabweans braced for war. 
But we were killing our brothers already in Biafra, 
while the whole world watched, 
and a young Christopher Okigbo reminded us 
that even the poets were dying. 
And you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

Though James Brown danced us off the streets, 
And "Soul came to Soul" in Ghana, 
No one remembered Paul Robeson, and 
Mahalia Jackson sung her last. 
Singing "We Shall Overcome", 
Through frustrated Freedom summers we left 
Mississippi, Watts, and Newark burning- 
And Medgar, Malcolm and Martin dead. All dead. 
And you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

In an angry and lonely world, 
we marked the passage of your tenth year 
reading Letters to Martha, and Soledad Brother. 
All "Souls were on Ice" 
As Arthur Nortje killed himself in an Oxford room, 
and an exiled Kabaka died. 
We freed Angela Davis, but, on your desolate island, 
You were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

Your sixtieth birthday reminded us 
"This struggle was your life". 
But by then, your life had become our struggle 
as we buried Hector Petersen, 
and a hundred slaughtered children 
on the scorched streets of Soweto. 
With a jailed Thandi Modisi 
We "Cried Freedom" for a murdered Steven Biko, 
People young enough to be your children, 
And children younger than your children, dead, 
So many of them dead. 
Yet you at least were still alive, 
But you were still not free.

We shouted Frelimo and another empire fell, 
Antonio Jacinto "Survived Tarrafal", 
But Augustinho Neto was dead. 
Eduardo Mondlane had been many years murdered, 
And we have since mourned the wreckage 
of Samora Machel 
On the South African side of Mozambique's mountains, 
And you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

By your twentieth year, 
Anwar Sadat had sued for peace in the Knesset, 
And had been later killed for his pains. 
And Haille Sellassie the Lion of Judah, had disappeared 
Leaving no memorial, except a three thousand year 
Imperial kingdom, now decades at war. 
And in Eritrea, Tigre, the Sudan, the Spanish Sahara, 
The "Harvest of our Dreams" "Reaped a Whirlwind" 
of nightmares 
And we searched for Jannani Luwum 
amongst Kampla's martyred. 
Marley, who sang for Manley and Mugabe, 
was so young dead 
But you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

The decades bring the deaths of leaders, 
the power and the myth that was Nkrumah 
lie broken, like his shattered statue 
On the Accra streets. 
And in the same week that Jomo Kenyatta 
"Faced his sacred Mount Kenya" for the final time, 
Kofi Busia's "Challenge to Africa" 
in Search of Democracy 
Ended. All your peers dead. 
But you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

Yet, on a continent being "liberated" "redeemed", 
Proclaiming "Uhuru", the people were marching. 
Twenty-five years after Sharpeville, we march- 
Ten years after Soweto, we march. 
And when they killed mothers and babies 
On their march through Mamelodi, 
Still, with them, we march, 
For you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

By the time we reached your seventieth birthday, 
Another generation of children 
Had learned to call your name. 
We carry old images of your face, in our hearts, 
And on the T-shirts on our backs, 
As an icon of a new morning. 
The Tembu warrior prince, the lawyer-activist, 
The prisoner. 
Around the world we marched in our millions, 
Demanding your return into this troubled world, 
So sadly bereft of heroes, 
For you were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

You disappeared from our view, 
in a world which had taken no small step on the moon 
for man; 
no Apollos, no Challengers, no Salyuts. 
No photographs of the furthest planets, 
no walks in space. 
The small steps taken on earth for mankind 
had included 
No Flower Power Love concerts in Woodstock, 
No One Love Peace concerts in Kingston, Jamaica 
No Art Against Apartheid freedom concerts in Sun City, 
No Bands in Aid proclaiming "We are the World". 
That world had known no "Cultural Revolution" in China, 
No drafted U.S. troops in Vietnam, 
No "Killing Fields" in Cambodia. 
No vanished Prisoner Without a Name 
in a Cell Without a Number, mourned by the 
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo- And through this all 
You were still alive, 
And you were still not free.

And now it is the Lord's Day, 
the eleventh of February 1990, 
And it is five a.m. in Los Angeles, California, 
It is eight a.m. in New York and Kingston Jamaica, 
It is one p.m. in Stockholm, London, and Accra Ghana, 
And half the marching world has paused- 
To keep vigil, 
For it is three p.m. in Cape Town, South Africa, 
And we wait to see your face. 
After twenty-seven years of fighting, marching 
and singing 
We keep a ninety-minute watch; 
To see you take these next few steps 
On this, your No Easy Walk 
To our uncertain Freedom; 
To witness your release into this changing world, 
Unceasingly, the same. 
For you are still alive, 
But we are still not free. 
Amandla Mandela, 
A Luta Continua.


Harshly aware of the brightness of electric light
against the chill January sky,
in the ominous silence of the Harmattan night
we kept vigil for the final shots.
From guns to guns again: full circle.


We are all mothers,
and we have that fire within us,
of powerful women
whose spirits are so angry
we can laugh beauty into life
and still make you taste
the salt tears of our knowledge —
For we are not tortured
we have seen beyond your lies and disguises,
and we have mastered the language of words,
we have mastered speech.
And know
we have also seen ourselves.
We have stripped ourselves raw
and naked piece by piece until our flesh lies flayed
with blood on our own hands.
What terrible thing can you do us
which we have not done to ourselves?
What can you tell us
which we didn't deceive ourselves with
a long time ago?
You cannot know how long we cried
until we laughed
over the broken pieces of our dreams.
shattered us into such fragments
we had to unearth ourselves piece by piece,
to recover with our own hands such unexpected relics
even we wondered
how we could hold such treasure.
Yes, we have conceived
to forge our mutilated hopes
into the substance of visions
beyond your imaginings
to declare the pain of our deliverance:
So do not even ask,
do not ask what it is we are labouring with this time;
Dreamers remember their dreams
when they are disturbed —
And you shall not escape
what we will make
of the broken pieces of our lives. 


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