By Steve Hall
A tribute to Blessing Nyoni, founder of GOLD CO and human rights activist in Bhambayi, Durban.
With the food for the stomach settled, now it was food for thought
And the lessons we learn from Blessing, are gems which cannot be bought
Surrounded by Leaders who’ve influenced their world, Leaders who’ve shown us the way
To live in far brighter colours in a world depressing and grey.
We heard some harrowing stories, distressing and painful and true
And we feel the shame and the sorrow beaten both black and dark blue
This passionate Angel Blessing, she taught at a Sunday school
But she’s so much more than a teacher, she stands proudly as nobody’s fool.
Her time for praying was over, now it was time to act
And knowing her neighbor and all their connections became her self-driven act
And as she did this she uncovered, a modern Pandora’s box
And embarked on an activist’s journey without the throwing of rocks.
She didn’t bring politicians, she found a way of her own
She starts with herself, leads from behind, and nobody walks alone
Empowering others to lead, to change the plight of this place
She gathered the circles of dialogue and she gathered them all with grace.
Stop these attacks on foreigners, let’s have a place where all can belong
Besides the fact it is criminal, for Humanity it’s just plainly wrong
These people have skills, they have stories to tell, they can help our community grow
But if we don’t let them in, we continue in sin, and well, we might never know?
I sit in this circle as a Father, and my heart feels battered and sore
As stories of my fellow Father’s behavior rock me to my very core
How will I lead and who will I impact, and how will we Dad’s ever learn?
That love and respect and our right to lead are just things we can only earn.
They say in life you get judged by the legacy you left behind
But where do you go when you’re frightened and how do you settle your mind?
“Well I have a network of Love and things are not what they seem
And behind every activist women lies her dream and a trustworthy team.”
And now we have heard these stories, with all their horror and pain
And how do we live a quite different life without making mistakes again
Well, perhaps we learn here from Blessing who started just with herself
And what could we do with our power within if we dusted ourselves off the shelf?
And so she teaches these children through all possible manner and means
Without a salary or visible funding she’s lucky to feed them all beans
But yet she feeds their enquiring minds in the things they have to address
And she does it through love, and encourages poetry, and even teaches them chess.
For chess is a game of strategy which teaches a lot about life
About how to live in uncertainty and thrive in a world of great strife
Leadership comes unexpectedly, you’re never too young or too old
There maybe no mine in Bhambayi, but Blessing’s a nugget pure GOLD!