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Saturday, 30 March 2019

Peace and a Thorny Tree

Some of Africa’s greatest matriarchs
queens, rebels and freedom fighters
disturbers of the peace
scrubbed from history
but like thorny trees
may serve a purpose

In Zulu or isiZulu 
spoken in South Africa and Lesotho
one who disturbs the peace
is compared to a thorny tree and muddy water

"Dunga" is to disturb the peace
make turbid or muddy
stir up mud
befoul liquid or water
"ukudunga amanzi" to befoul the water 

"Dungabantu" is an agitator
a disturber of the peace
one who stirs up trouble
literally "dunga" "abantu"
what disturbs the people
making the comfortable uncomfortable

"Dungamuzi" is also a disturber of the peace
literally "dunga" "umuzi"
the village disturber.on one hand 
a large tree on the other
root deep known scientifically as "Euclea daphnoides" 
and "Euclea natalensis"
the bark and leaves used as a purgative
believed to cause quarreling in the village

"Idungamuzi lehlanze" and "idungamuzi lehlathi"
are nasty thorn trees disliked as firewood
"idungamuzi elinameva" or the thorny scolopia
an idiom for disturber of the peace

"Dungazela" is to mix liquids or to walk blindly
as an absent-minded person does
as if only when we take conscious action
we can create peace "ukuthula"
solve quarrels welcoming a new era
of freedom and peace for all

© Kimberly Burnham

Women’s Day Warriors – Africa’s queens, rebels and freedom fighters

Kimberly Burnham 

Kimberly is a brain health expert and poet. Kimberly's 2019 project is world peace / inner peace with her recently published book, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.

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