Poems by Louise Wondel

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(Suriname, 1971-2014)      

Poet and dancer. In her Secundary School spare time she developed as a dancer. She experimented with classical styles such as the Saramaka bandammba and the Aukan awasa.     

She wrote her first poems in Aukan, which she was allowed to read on the radio. The Ameva Foundation proclaimed her Cultural Activist of the Year in 1996 and Poet of the Year a year later. Her debut Ten (1998) and the collection Leleku fu Mekunu(1998) appeared after the Internal War (1986-1992), when the Maroons fled en masse to Paramaribo. 

Louise Wondel caused a furore  internationally with her impressive presentation. At the Writers’ Congress 2000 in Paramaribo (1997). A year later, as the youngest participant, she rocked Poetry International in Rotterdam with her performance, but especially with the banndamba. In 2000 she performed at Festival Winternachten in The Hague and at the International Poetry Festival in Medellin (Colombia). 

Poetry

Released in-house:

  • Ten (Paramaribo 1998).
  • Leleku fu Mekunu (Paramaribo 1998).
  • Katibo (Paramaribo nd).
  • M’Bigi Seefidensi Poema (Paramaribo 2002).

Literature

  • Hennah Renfrum and André Reeder, Tori fu Osa / Stories from home (1999) [MTV documentary].
  • Anita Twaalfhoven, ‘Ghanaian and Afro-Surinamese children swing at the festival’, Trouw , 6/15/2001.
  • Martijn Meijer, ‘Poetry in the language of fled slaves’, NRC , 10-2-2002.
  • Michiel van Kempen, A history of Surinamese literature , part 2 (Breda 2003) 1076-1077.
  • Charles Chang, ‘Great loss for Suriname and the poetry world’, De Ware Tijd , 7/26/2014.
  • Audry Wajwakana, ‘Culture bearers pay tribute to dyadya ndyuka uma’, De Ware Tijd , 7/24/2014.
  • Euritha Tjan A Way, ‘About Louise Wondel’, De Ware Tijd , 7/17/2014.        

A Gi Piisii  

Saanan a wan pikipiki kondee
fu buba-buba, denki-denki
anga biibi-biibi

a ben sa gi piisii
efu a na ben de
buba a buba tapu,
denki a denki tapu
anga biibi a biibi tapu
ma
wan bun fusutan libimakandaa

a ben sa gi piisii fu si
fa ala den nasi fu Saanan,
toon tuutuu Saananman,
fii taki
Saanan na nombuu wan

Saanan
a yu den e kay a gi piisii
a ini yu mi akaa paandi
na en meke mi e fii mi seefi
wan kankan Saanan-uman

Mama Saanan
mi e begi Gadu gi yu
fu a san fu koloku sa pii gi yu
fu yu sa si
fa ala Saananman mokisi ana
fu bow yu kon
fu yu sa gi piisii

It Gives Pleasure

Suriname is a hotch-potch country of different
skin colours,
ways of thinking,
and religions

it would be a pleasure
if it was not
skin colour on skin colour,
way of thinking on way of
hinking,
religion on religion
but one harmonious society

it would be a pleasure to see
how the different folks of suriname
become a real Surinamese nation
feel that Suriname is number one

Suriname you are called; a great pleasure
in you my soul is planted
that is why I feel myself
a real women from Suriname

Mother Suriname
I pray to god for you
that the sun of luck will shine on you
that you may see
how every one in Suriname
come together as one to build you up
so you may give pleasure

Ndyuka

 yu kaa mi Dyuka
bika
pe te yu denki yu de
na anda

yu kaa mi Dyuka
bika
yu don te
yu na sabi taki a na Dyuka
ma na Ndyuka

Ndyuka na mi
na en bobi mi diingi
Ndyuka na mi
na en kiya mi teke
Ndyuka na mi
na en dede mi o dede
Ndyuka na mi
na en mi nenseki o toon
Ndyuka na mi
Saanan pikin
Ndyuka na mi
libisama

Ndyuka na mi
sama na yu?
faakatiki fu yu na de

luku yu
on yu
yu na yu
mi fika yu
gi nyamansu

Ndyuka 

you call me Dyuka
because
you think you are superior
but you are not

you call me Dyuka
because
your are such a congenital idiot
you do not even no that it is
not Dyuka but Ndyuka

Ndyuka, that is my name
that is the breast-feeding I have had
Ndyuka, that is my name
I was raised like one
Ndyuka, that is my name
till my death
Ndyuka, that is my name
I shall reincarnate like one
Ndyuka, that is my name
a child of Suriname
Ndyuka, that is my name
a humanbeing

Ndyuka, that is my name
who are you?
you do not exist

watch yourself
“you are not you”
I leave you for the future

Mi denki 

mi denki
anga yu denki
na tu denki

na denki yu o meke mi denki
eke fa yu e denki

bika
fii denki
a mi denki
pusudey fu losi
ala ogii,
na mi pakisey

takiman taki langa
meke duman faaka way tu
goontapu ben o seeka koofaya
efu den ben wani sabi
mi denki

My way of thinking 

my way of thinking
and your way of thinking
are two different ways of thinking

do not think
that you will make me think
like you are thinking

because,
thinking about freedom
is what I’m thinking (about)
fretting about how to solve
all kinds of problem,
that is what I’m thinking (about)

speakers have spoken a lot already
let the “doers” do now
the world should improve charcoal
if they wanted to accept
my way of thinking

Katibo

mi denki katibo ben kaba
ma yu na si a no a sete bee
fu meke leleku
poti a ini baaka bee

bika
wetimasaa katibo
ben betee du fu
baaka-wetimasaa

luku, eke tide
na baaka-witimasaa
katibo mi de

a seefi tamalinwipi
di ben e wipi
Kwame, Adyuba anga Kodyo,
m’mama Abenkina
na en kon e sutu mi eke goni

pe wini na de
gi baaka-wetimasaa
anga en pikin

wini na de gi mi
di de a ini
katibo tu

bika den wipi mofu
fu a seefi tamalinwipi
di e wipi mi
e daay lontu

meke gaan soo
a mi baakabuba
di weli fu teke sitaafu,
mesaandi

ma, na baala Kwame
e du anga sa Kwamina so

kande wan winta sa way
a opu
fu puu katibo
a mi baakabuba tapu

a tyali
Fii, Fii,
Fii fika a membee

Slavery/ Oppression 

I thought that slavery was abolished
but it just got pregnant
to give birth to a tormentor
within the blacks

because
oppression by the white master
was better than the oppression by
the black-white master

see today
it is the black-white master
I’m enslaved by

the same whip
that used to whip
Kwame, Adyuba and Kodyo, (slave ) day names
my great grandmother Abenkina
is now shooting me like a gun

where there is no profit
for black-white master
and his children
there is also no profit for me
who is
enslaved

because the whipscratch
of the same whip
which is whipping me
around and around

made huge wounds
on my black skin
which is tired of being punished,
insulted

but, it is brother Kwame
who is treating sister Kwamina like this

perhaps a wind shall blow
in the east
to take away oppression
from my black skin

how sad,
Freedom, Freedom,
Freedom is a dream