Category Editor’s Note

Luhambo, a wonderful journey

Today one year ago, 1 May 2013, we published the first essay on Luhambo – “Embracing the Grey” by Sarah Hempel Irani. At that time we published essays or poems thrice a week – usually two contributions by friends of Luhambo, and one editorial essay (or a Friday thought) by either Siobhan Passmore or Elizabeth Viljoen. […]

Give my eyes back to me

A love poem from the 17th Century eripuisti oculus: oculos mihi redde, puella.             erispuisti animan: redd, puella, animan. eripuisti ipsum cor: redde, puella, cor ipsum.             eripuisti ipsum me: redde mihi! Translated: Girl, you have torn out my eyes: give my eyes back to me. Girl, you have torn out my soul: give my […]

Hemlock and heroes

Complaining about people who always complain feels like shooting my own toe, then putting my woe in my mouth and slowly sucking the blood out.  (Yes, I meant toe, but I’ve decided to leave it like that, because the words that I’ve written below broke through the riverbanks, and I never got to what I […]

The village

I noticed two things simultaneously. Three people walking to work and an old woman, boiling water in a used tin, leaning against what used to be a brightly painted maze of concrete structures supporting the fly-overs: YAZOO, fUCk, ZOINKs, BOYZ. Steam from under the bonnet of the car. I rented the car the previous evening […]


My father and I walked into the store together. My hand was held in his. His grasp was never too tight or too loose, always firm and reassuring. I was intensely excited. My dad was taking me to one of his favourite stores to buy me a new recorder. I cast my eyes around the […]


Kindness. Justice. Courage.  These are the values I respect most. They remind me of 1 Corinthians 13’s faith, hope, and love. As a child my dad used to show us those pictures where you have to squint your eyes to see the picture beyond the dots. It’s called an autostereogram. Sometimes you have to look closer. […]

Quiet Time

Family Life  Sitting down to write a                                 poem called “moments of quiet” I find the pencil      strangely covered with                 hot glue

A flea ridden dog

He wishes for the cloths of heaven HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread […]


Yesterday my husband found an intriguing article online, titled Sixteen People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here. Much of the piece really deals with differences between America and other countries and is really pretty interesting. Of course all of these comments are subjective, and very much influenced by the specific […]

Carrying pain

Pain is something you mostly carry by yourself, especially emotional pain. Sometimes people can support you better when you have a visible wound. A broken arm, encased, will draw sympathy. Friends will draw pictures and write messages on the plaster. It will heal in six weeks, and people will celebrate with you when the cast […]