ARUSHA IN TEARS BY SHOANENG EPHRAIM SEFALI
These pieces are all written in memory of my sister and friend, Sharon Umoti Piere, from Arusha, Tanzania. Sharon was born on 14 February 1986 in her home country. I never met her personally, I was just connected to her by my brother, Prof. Julio C de Carvalho in Lowell City, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. I had to connect with her as she was one of the Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Project: The poem that I wrote on the 18 th July 2020 in honour and commemoration of this universal icon, former President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Prof. Carvalho advised and arranged that the poem be translated into world languages. Sharon was then tasked to do it in Swahill, and her friend Goodwin was on the camera for Sharon’s video. Sharon gave her all in that project, I mean her time, strength, skills, knowledge, and compromised a lot just for me. I am informed that she succumbed to the bus accident… I cannot control these tears in my eyes as I am writing these lines. Nonetheless, I cannot stop…
Sharon was just a humble soul that I don’t think this world is complete without her. I think of her two beautiful daughters, Jachobed and Gracia. I think of her family, siblings, and neighbours. I think of her colleagues, learners, and the all the people of the Republic of Tanzania that had known this good-nurtured fruit tree. Arusha has lost a young daughter, but a giant in the heart. Arusha is in tears, lamenting for the voice and footsteps of this stalwart.
Her death came too soon…
I begin to understand what Karl Shapiro in his poem, The Auto Wreck, means by:
… For death in a war is done by hands;
Suicide has cause and stillbirth, logic;
And cancer, simple as a flower, blooms;
But this invites the occult mind,
Cancels our physics with a sneer,
And spatters all we knew of denouement
Across the expedient and wicked stones.
I will forever be in debted to you my lovely sister. May soul live eternally…
Shoaneng Ephraim Sefali