Saturday, 6 June 2015

Mankokosane - Hale Tsehlana

Mankokosane1, pula e ea na
re tla hola neng? ha tsatsi le chaba2
Let the sound of ‘Mankokosane play on,
it warms the aching heart,
it holds away the falling skies.
It wakes up the little girl inside me,
buried beneath tons of make-up
and foreign tongues.

Let the sound of ‘Mankokosane play on,
it makes grandma smile. It tells of nostalgia,
for innocence and purity.

Let the sound of ‘Mankokosane play on,
it’s the story of our childhood.
A story of dreams to become the best,
of nurses, teachers, doctors,
film stars and mothers of the nation.

Let the sound of ‘Mankokosane play on,
it is healing to the broken dreams,
broken promises of a life
led in concentric circles.

Mankokosane, pula e ea na
re tla hola neng? ha tsatsi le chaba’

Let the sound of ‘Mankokosane play on,
it is a song of hope, it is a song about tomorrow.
It fills the empty heart with fond memories,
It holds away the falling skies,
it wakes the little girl inside me.

Hale Tsehlana (20th Century) Lesotho
1There is no English translation for `Mankokosane, but some informal sources say it is the name of a rain god. The song also describes the kind of dance Basotho children would do at the beginning of light showers of rain. They skip, hop and sing that: ‘the rain is falling and ask when they will grow up’.
2Ha tsatsi le chaba – when the sun comes up.
This suggests that the children see themselves as little crops that are being watered by the rains and will have become taller when rain the stops falling.
From: Badilisha Poetry

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