Hasani is a poet from Zimbabwe who left the country due to political strife. He writes protest poetry and advocates for recognition of human rights and justice in Zimbabwe. He currently lives in London.
Below is the poem he wrote to go with the image above. I read it for the first time in 2013.
The fires of dictatorship, oppression
corruption and incarceration burn
beneath the kettle in which the people
Torture, hatred and political rhetoric
stoke the flames.
Inside, the people are trapped –
hopelessness gives way to terror and
As the heat increases and the pressure
builds, they are forced out of this
unbearable prison, and propelled
across the world – helpless, out of
control, silent, to land wherever fate
They hope that they are escaping to a
better life, escaping from the worst.
They prefer the risks of lions and
crocodiles, of drowning, of suffocation
in a truck, of starvation on the journey,
to what they are leaving behind.
But when they land, wherever they
land, they may find they have only
exchanged the frying pan for a new fire.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2018