African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Migrant Labour

The Migrant Workers

A popular Zulu song about a young migrant worker who has left home to seek jobs in Johannesburg, based on a true incident.

We were sent by our parents
To search for our father’s child…

In Praise of Molefi Kgafela

Another attack on the damaging effects of labour migrancy to South Africa. In this extract from a Tswana Praise Poem, the poet appeals movingly to Chief Molefi Kgafela, who ruled 1929-1936, to bring home all the young men and women from Cape Town, Natal, Johannesburg and Rustenburg.

Seek the strays, child of the Makuka,
Bring home the human strays…

African Poems