Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I am a fighter
I was once a fighter,
A fighter of great prowess,
A fighter of great calibre.
"I am a fighter!" I shouted,
And before I had realised it,
I had won the fight.

My opponents gave way
And surrendered with fear
"You have won, " they said,
And grim faced, they left.
Without another glance at me, they saw the fighter,
Carried shoulder high by cheering supporters.

"I am a fighter!" I shouted
But there was nobody to fight,
So I had to relax.

But how can a fighter relax
Except by fighting?
How can a killer repose
Except by killing?
How can a dancer recreate
Except by dancing?
I had to relax too,
I had to repose,
I had o recreate.

"I am a fighter!" I shouted
But my enemies were no longer there,
They had long joined the mocking audience
Looking at me with nobody to fight.

I turned grimly to my supporters
Holding me high in worship:
"I am a fighter!" I declared to them.

Jwani Mwaikusa (1980: 63 - 64), Summons: Poems from Tanzania, edited by Richard Mabala and published by Tanzania Publishing House (TPH)

"On a note of history, this poem was actually the genesis of Summons. Jwani sent me (his Literature teacher in Form 6) two poems from JKT one of which was I am a Fighter and I said ... somehow, this poem must be published it is so good. Then after trying to get other people interested in a book of poetry (as I was just a very young literature teacher and still quite young in Tanzania) without success, I said 'potelea mbali' and wrote to all my former students who were interested and their friends suggesting they bring poems so that we could develop our own anthology. But I am a Fighter is still one of my favourite poems of the whole collection" - Richard Mabala

"I have just received sad news from different sources that our Prof. Juan Mwaikusa passed away last night" - Daniel Welwel
"Total shock and disbelief. What a tragic loss, and a tragic waste. All my thoughts are for his family. May we be with them and support them at this terrible moment. And for us all. How can we afford to lose such brilliant and committed people." - Richard Mabala
"Aaaaa Jamani, hii ni mbaya kabisa.
Jwani, Mwanasheria jabari na mshairi mahiri is no more?
Oh God, but why these majambazi!!
My condolences to the bereaved family, and Tanzanians at large" - Adam Lingson
"Duh!very sad, may he rest in eternal peace! its shocking the timing too bad for us human rights activists we really needed him most!" - Bernard Baha
"Such a sad new. It may have nothing to do with his role as Friend of Court during the Independent candidacy at the Court of Appeal but the timing is disturbing." - Adam Jackson


Anonymous July 15, 2010 at 7:24 AM  

wema hawana maisha, ni mashaka yangalipo... he died empty. what about you and me?

Anonymous July 15, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

' Very sad , what a great Poet he was!
- Peter Nyanda

Anonymous July 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

...Wapelelezi makini wanaweza kiurahisi kutanzua nani kamuaa wakili huyu nguli.
Nani,kwanini na jinsi gani walimuua vitajulikana kama kutakuwa na team effort.

Mimi ni mtalaam wa upelelezi(homecide investigation) naweza kuseka hakika kuwa kazi ikifanyika vizuri wauaji watakamtwa.

Abdallah Mpogole July 16, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

Jwani... Jwani... The great great.. Poet.. Whom you was my light... Frontline you was holding that shining light.. Near i was reading everything you write... But now they take your right... Living with me for long that i thought... Father you have gone! Is it my lost? No.. No.. I'm a fighter.. I will fight.. As you use to fight... Rest in Eternal peace Soldier... ''forever fighting'' Jwani.. Jwani... Will you back and fight with me?... Wherever...whenever... I'll will fight. Thank you for the teaching.

kelvin john December 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM  

rest in peace Jwani!

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