Nuba Poems

The Land of Kush
By Kamal El Nur Dawud

From your sky, Oh Sudan, comes the name of generations

Land of Kush, in which two rivers run.

In the name of God, creator of the people of Sudan

History will go on, and the future will be made.

False identity and nationality were imposed on us.

The cause of humanity does not accept scepticism or denial

Sudan is known to be the land of blacks.

Those who lack ambition don't deserve to have land.

Why is land changed from African origin to Arab one?

From the boundaries of Kush arise two lions.

Our grandfathers, Baankhi and Tihraga, then came their descendants.

History is said to have started from that time onwards

We have a say in our land, using both our hands and our tongue.

Those who retreat deserve to be branded as cowards.

Our rights are just, and those of our enemy are not.

From your sky, Oh Sudan, comes the name of generations.

I still remember you, Karmal, the land of brides.

Nabta and Dongola El Ajuz reflect two faces

That's Saoba, a weapon with two blades

And that's Maggarat represented by two lions

From your sky, Oh Sudan, comes the name of generations

From now onwards, Baggat treaty will be broken

There will be no injustice, no slavery in the arena

On you who live in caves, paying no attention

The day has come to teach the enemy a lesson.

A Return to the Mother
by Mohamed Ibrahim Kambal on his return to the Nuba Mountains, April 1995

With mixed and emotions

We left Nairobi on our way to the inside—to Sudan

To the high mountains

When we crossed the border

the boundaries melted and the eyes flooded with tears

Eyes and quietness are eloquent expression

Suddenly the car stuck in the mud

The rain poured heavily

Zeal and enthusiasm on the faces

All rushed into the car

Happiness is a crown for victory

We were a coherent group

We all made a united group

and no-one could conceal his enthusiasm

until we reached the mountains.

It was a climax

The return home

To the people of the land

Barefoot and naked

Some are hungry

Some are sick

But hearts are full of compassion

That is expressed by the warm welcome

Chants, songs, dances and cheers

Trumpets, palm leaf stalks, water gourds

Nothing—but love

With love and open hearts we are welcomed

What are we going to do—

Towards these magnificent, innocent people!

We have nothing to pay—but tears

As a price for meeting these wonderful people

Children, women, elderly, youth

Men, animals and the kindness

It is the mother

Who is always pleased with the return of her children

Who never keeps her compassion and love from them

Without any reward—only the return

So, why not give thanks for this.

Mohamed Kambal is a former chief air traffic controller at Khartoum airport
and active trade unionist. Among his many accomplishments was closing
Sudanese airspace on 6 April 1995 to prevent the return of former President
Jaafar Nimeiri. A native of Kadugli, Mohamed decided to return to the Nuba
Mountains in 1995. He is now Information Officer with NRRDS and a member
of the SPLM South Kordofan Advisory Council.