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PRAISE SONGS BY CREDO

THE RHINOCEROS

Credo Mutwa

Ubbejane, you are the thunder of the valleys
You are the roar among mountains
You are the noise upon the plains
And you are the horn that the moon loves to kiss
You are the rhinoceros
You are the invincible one
You are the weak eye that sees into years that are yet to come
You are the sharp ear that hears a lover’s whisper in the tall grass
You are the great foot that tramples everything into the ground
You are the delight of the woodcarvers
You are the joy of the painters
You are the song of those who cast in metal
You are ubbejane, the rhinoceros
Together with the elephant, indlovu
many generations ago, you danced the
world into existence, so that green
things may grow upon this world.
You are the one, who urinates backwards,
while other animals urinate towards the ground
And it is said that those who have been covered
with your urine in the forest will the headbands of kingship.
You are ubbejane, the rhinoceros
You are the darling of the waxing moon
You are lover of the waning moon
You are the thunder of the mountains
You are the vibration upon the rocky ground
You are the hard-working one, the labourer
who laboured so that the Earth Mother might
plant green things upon this Earth
You are ubbejane, you, whose dung unites the
nations of Africa when the great kings who fought
many great battles wanted to make peace between
themselves and their enemies, they walked
together, friend and enemy and former enemy
into a heap of your dung, ubbejane
And then they washed each other’s feet with
the milk of young cows as the sun rose early the following morning.

For it was believed that your dung, ubbejane,
which no one dares set on fire to make a fire,
can bring peace and take away enmity between people.
Ubbejane, long may you roar across the plains of Africa
Long may you be seen as a mighty bulk moving
between the trees at one with the tall anthills
and the great rocks, invisible to the
unpracticed eye so still you stand behind a tree,
watching with weak eyes, the approaching enemy
unaware of your presence
Ubbejane, symbol of our greatest kings
You whose escape from confinement is the darling of all poets
You who are the symbol of independence of the
human soul and its untameability
They kill you for nothing, ubbejane for your horn
And yet your horn is secret to the moon and not to
wife stealing dogs, Ubbejane, long may you urinate upon
the plants of Africa, long may you make the land wet with your urine.
For it is said that the tree upon which you urinate shall grow
to become the tallest tree in the forest
And the person upon whom you urinate will become
famous from one end of the world to the other
Ubbejane, animal of our forefathers
Pillar of the land of Africa
Post that supports the green world that we know
Long may you live, ubbejane
May you have a thousand sons and a million daughters!
Oh beloved of the moon goddess, bayete!

About us

Khulisa Social Solutions is a non-profit company that helps vulnerable children, youth, and communities unlock their potential and develop skills toward a sustainable future.  It operates nationally, employs over 180 staff through 18 offices, and works in approximately 150 communities in collaboration with 350 NGO partners, impacting the lives of close to 200,000 people per annum. Khulisa partners with national and local government departments, schools, correctional facilities, community leaders, corporates, thought leaders, academic institutions, and private companies.

Khulisa’s internationally
acclaimed and locally rewarded best practice programmes deliver positive and measurable impact with the main focus on youth and community development.

Through their work towards peacebuilding and restorative justice, Khulisa has been recognised locally and internationally. Within the past year, Khulisa has been awarded the Best Social Solutions Not-for Profit 2023 at this years Global Excellence Awards.

Founder and managing director, Lesley Ann van Selm was also awarded CEO Today Africa Award for her leadership in the peacebuilding and restorative justice space.

For more information, contact

Lesley Ann Van Selm | 082 601 2299 | lesleyann@khulisa.org.za  | media@khulisa.org.za 

www.khulisa.org.za