Reading a poem by Anna Richerby in Long Street
The poem was read with some gusto and good movement, so it actually stopped the traffic, including a red Hop-On-Hop-Off double-decker bus carrying tourists round the city. Some of the tourists threw coins and others shouted and wolf-whistled. One called: “Hey Babe! I luuve Afrika!” Drumming came out from one of the clubs. A little old lady stamped her zimmer-frame against the pavement. A man leapt from his car and rushed up to find out what was going on.
Poetry adds vuma to everything.
[Vuma: South African English – Energy; power; get-up-and-go]
From: Sex Lessons from Congo
‘Anna, Anna I pray for you too much, too much!
When God gives you a husband, you thank me!
And when God gives you that man, you come to me,
I teach you good sex!
I teach you move your body one two three.
Oooh – it’s gonna be so nice!
When I lived in Angola,
all the women in that village came to me for help with their marriage.
And you know what Anna, you know what?
Their husbands bought me gifts to thank me.
Really Anna, I will teach you nice sex!’
Anna Richerby is one of the 149 poets included in the anthology Africa! My Africa! She was born in Leicester, England, and moved to Cape Town aged 23 having completed a degree in Anthropology and Economics. She volunteered in a variety of settings before finding her purpose and now runs a small business making beaded items of adornment.