Poems by Ayabonga Molo

Slaughter Master

Low down, dirty shame; that’s my name,
Madness and creating chaos; that’s the game.
An outlaw, I taste like medicine,
Give me words I become venomous.
That’s my hustle; I’m no good deed, I tell you,
A wolf among sheep, I am so animal,
Wolves and lambs will never be friends,
God and the devil will never hold hands.
People don’t read anymore,
They just do what they told.
Man, they took books and gave you reality T.V.
They burnt your only freedom,
And so I add fuel to the fire.



We have endured –
Beyond all of them,
Above the darkness.
Beyond slavery, colonialism, racism,
Our wives became widows,
Our daughters made into orphans,
Our sons men without limbs, without eyes.
But we never give away the last of them,
For we are beautiful creatures,
With a strange kind of beauty,
Better than most;



I never bothered to worry myself about losing the battle against death,
But in-between the writing, drinking, the jobs I hated,
The worst came to worst,
And I started to realize that victory would be my success –
Parents, churches, religions, wanted me to die with them, eating slowly like cancer.
So I drank and killed my soul, stabbed its stomach and cut off the head later.
My gift and my curse was words; it’s in my blood.
For Chris’ sakes, I piss them out every morning.
Drunk, dead, liver bloated; sweating out the stench of vomit and nicotine,
It’s bad news, man, my lungs became ash, my kidneys clogged with poison.
And so I committed suicide last night,
Laughing at karma because there is no such thing as victory.
In defeat I become a Phoenix.


The Last Judgement

Before the dog knows it has to chase the cat,
Before the cat chases the mouse,
Before Cain becomes a savage,
Before Eve kisses Abel goodbye,
Before death knows it has to come for my life,
O God have mercy! forgive me for I welcome sin as a guest where I lie.
Give me strength and courage,
For there are those who wish me a death so cruel that I weep,
Imbue me with furious wrath on my enemies,
A fury so angry the devil may cry!

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Myesha Jenkins – Tribute

Botsotso would like to pay homage to Myesha Jenkins, the poet and promoter of poetry who died on Saturday, 05 September 2020. Myesha was a founder member of Feelah Sistah, the all-woman poetry group that in its time made such an impact. Thereafter, she was indefatigable in organising and strengthening poetry platforms on radio and for live performance/readings. Myesha’s work was included in two Botsotso productions – the anthology Isis X and the recording Roots and Branches. Her spirit as a politically conscious, jazz-loving artist lives on and is well expressed in her seminal poem Autobiography which was included in both these projects.

Click here to read Autobiography, a poem by Myesha Jenkins.

A Call for Submissions: Johannesburg in Poetry