Home 9 Literary Journal 9 Volume 21 9 Volume 21 Poetry 9 Zolani Kupe – “Mixology of life” and “Push him against”

Zolani Kupe
“Mixology of life” and “Push him against”

Mixology of life


maybe I must

change L

to become R

and maybe if I do it

like that

Mandela will become


and greed will

become build

and then this means

instead of having


we will have greatness

who knows?

yes, I know

in Soweto there

once lived Mr Terrence Gumede

who was a dirty clowner

but one day

while he was doing his tricks

a car washer

offered him a ‘car’

wash just for fun

ironically, Mr Gumede

became a car cleaner


I mean we do love

Our bodies

because they keep us busy

by making us take care of them

but sometimes, sometimes

we change the excellent nature

by wanting our bodies to

take care of themselves

by eating and drinking too much poison
when what we need
to know is that a dove
will never be a crow
why don’t I dance
on my own rostrum
and you keep dancing
on yours
instead of twisting things


Push him against

Push him against
The deepest gorges
Or cliffs
For he possesses
No foresight
How can our children
Be led by such a
Short-sighted mongrel
Of all the bastards of this world?
We need leaders
We need seers
We need far-sighted
People who will take us far
If he says he is a leader
But does not lead by
example, push him
towards the deepest cliff


Zolani Kupe is from Eastern Cape. He writes poetry in both isiXhosa and English and his poems have been published in Botsotso, Stanzas, Litnet, New Coin, Kotaz, Hekima, and by Oxford University Press. In 2005 one of his poems won an Impress Writers Competition at Stellenbosch University. Unisa’s department of Linguistics and Modern Languages is his new home where he usually watches birds kissing outside of his offices’ window.