One poem – three languages

Uzuri

Uzuri wa uso mwema,
Unavuta vitu vyote,
Vya macho ya kutazama,
Unapopita po pote,
Walakini kwa kupima uzuri wa tabia bora.

Uzuri kupita huu,
Katika hii dunia,
Nawapa msisahau,
Ni uzuri wa tabia,
Ni johari ya heshima duniani kila mara.

Tazama!


Dunia nzima,
Huendeshwa na tabia,
Kama tabia si njema,
Si ajabu kupotea
Kitu kilicho adhama ni tibia na busara.


Kwa kutengeza tabia,
Rai yangu na fikira,
Vyuo katika dunia
Vingekuwa na tijara,
Kwa kuwa nayo daima sera na tabia bora.


Shabaan Robert


Shabaan Robert [1909 – 1962] is well known in Swahili literature. He was born an lived in Tanzania all his life.


Runako


Runako rweuso hwema
Huno kwezwa zvose
Zvine maziso anoona
Parunopota napo pose
Asi pakupima runako, rwehunhu hukuru.


Runako runopinda zvose
Pasi ne denga, mugurudunhu
Ndino kupa ubatisise
Runako nderwehunhu
Ruremekedzo ndirwo rwega ngara pasi pose.


Tarisa! Uone pasi rose
Muendeswa hwehunhu
Ukaita hudera chose
Unoto rasika mudunhu
Imhanza kuita hunhu ne njere pamunhu wose.


Pakutaura nezve hunhu
Pfungwa yangu ne vimbiso
Inoti nzvimbo dzedzidzo
Dzingato batsira vanhu
Dzikasimbisa kururama netsika zvikuru.



Yakaturikwa kubva muChiswahiri
na FD Madzimbamuto


Beauty


Beauty of the face is attractive
It draws to it all objects
With eyes to perceive
Whatever it passes by
But in comparison the beauty of character is best.


The beauty that outshines
In the universe
I give you to hold fast.
It’s the beauty of character
One’s honour is the only true jewel in the world


Look! The whole world
Is conducted by character.
If the character is weak
No doubt one will stray
Lucky is one with character and wisdom


Speaking of character
My idea and conviction are
That places of learning in this world
Would render a laudable service
To insist upon discipline and unfailing courtesy


Translated by Ali A Jahadhmy from the Swahili from ‘Kusanyiko la mashairi Anthology of Swahili poetry’
East African Educational Publishers 1975

Sundowners and Sunsets
Location, cost and convenience

Post published in: Arts

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