Abdilatif Abdalla. Poet in politics by Rose Marie Beck, Kai Kresse

By Rose Marie Beck, Kai Kresse

Abdilatif Abdalla: Poet in Politics ­celebrates the paintings of Abdilatif Abdalla, considered one of Kenya's so much famous poets and a dedicated political activist. It contains statement essays on points of Abdilatif Abdalla's paintings and existence, via inter-weaving views on poetry and politics, language and background; with contributions via East African writers and students of Swahili literature, together with Ngugi wa Thiong'o, stated Khamis, Ken Walibora, Ahmed Rajab, Mohamed Bakari, and Sheikh Abdilahi Nassir, between others. Abdalla turned recognized in 1973, with the booklet of Sauti ya Dhiki (Voice of Agony), a set of poems written secretly in criminal in the course of 3 years of solitary confinement (1969-72). He was once convicted of circulating pamphlets opposed to Jomo Kenyatta's KANU govt, criticizing it as 'dictatorial' and calling for political resistance within the pamphlet, 'Kenya: Twendapi?' (Kenya: the place are we heading?). His poetry epitomizes the continuing forex of vintage Swahili shape and language, whereas his paintings total, together with translations and editorships, exemplifies a two-way mediation among 'traditional' and 'modern' views. It makes previous and new voices of Swahili poetry and African literature obtainable to a much broader readership in East Africa, and past. Abdalla has lived in exile when you consider that 1973, in Tanzania, London, and as a result, formerly, in Germany. however, Swahili literature and Kenyan politics have remained valuable to his existence.

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Example text

Translation is one the strategies of creating communication through literatures of different languages and cultures. However, the kind of translation project that we need is a geopolitical one which must be used to alter the balance of literary power and rearrange existing hierarchies. Such a translation project must first and foremost deal with the issues of ‘power relations’, ‘purpose of translation’, ‘choice of source texts’, ‘choice of target language’, ‘choice of translators in terms of whether they have sufficient ‘competence’ and ‘ideological commitment’’.

To this effect, Damrosch reminds us of Franz Kafka, Katib Yacine, Henrik Ibsen and James Joyce – all found themselves faced with the same alternatives and curiously discovered the same way out from the same dilemma of smallness. In some cases they managed to bring about successful revolutions and to pass through the mirror and achieve recognition by changing the rules of the game in the centres of the literary world (176). In this case less dominant literatures must sustain evidence, resistance, resilience and efforts to achieve a successful breakthrough towards world recognition and acceptance of Swahili literature and other small literature in general.

In this case less dominant literatures must sustain evidence, resistance, resilience and efforts to achieve a successful breakthrough towards world recognition and acceptance of Swahili literature and other small literature in general. ”. The document accuses the government of silencing the opposition by using intimidation and coercive means. In Sauti ya Dhiki therefore, we learn of the poet’s political conviction and his quest for the right to speak out and to participate in political activities and contribute constructively towards the progress and development of his country.

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