Jungle of Spells
By Linda Iriza / Soul Alphabet Poetry / 22nd May 2019
Jungle of Spells
Soul Alphabet meets Kandake Nidal
Afrika’s history with poetry runs as deep as her jungles and the art of poetry in Afrika has always been used as a form of teaching, rehabilitation, freedom, resistance and much more. This art form has allowed many Afrikan cultures and traditions to remain alive throughout generations.
One of the crucial points, to be made, when discussing Afrikan poetry is recognising that most of it was created by women. For example in Sudan, women would get men ready to fight in war by reciting poems to them and to their nation. Similar stories like these can be found all across the continent. Therefore, Afrikan women for generations have been reciting poems that shaped and changed nations, as their words birthed revolutions. Today, we are still experiencing revolutions which can be seen by looking at the protests that have been happening in Sudan for the past several months, where protestors have been chanting poems that speak about the political change they want.
Afrikan women for generations have been reciting poems that shaped and changed nations, as their words birthed revolutions.
The word “revolution” should also be used to reference other realities that fall outside of the spectrum of war or politics. Essentially, every single day we experience revolutions. We are currently in a social environment where we speak a lot about personal growth, self care, self love and what we usually fail to notice is how revolutionary these acts are.
It is revolutionary to accept yourself with all your flaws in a world that heavily emphasises the fact that everyone has to be perfect. It is revolutionary to acknowledge that you are ever-changing and growing in a world that has told you that there’s a limit to everything.
Kandake Nidal aka Jungle of Spells writes poems about those revolutions in the most honest way. The 22 year old Sudanese-Australian has a diary full of poems that navigate the ideas of; detaching from trauma, self destruction, divine love, loneliness and much more. Here are some of her poems:
You are Divine.
I collect your compliments like post-it notes,
stick them to every inch of wall in my mind.
Yet each time I compliment you, you tell me,
“What you see in me is a reflection of yourself”
You teach me to how to be.
Now I see, you don’t compliment me, You complete me.
Every night after I beg for
Love to hold me,
I look out through the
curtain and wonder,
Does the moon get lonely?
Can she feel my despair?
Does she mind that the sun is praised while her darkness scares?
Does she think it’s fair the sun has more time in the 24 hour share?
The moon is lonely,
and no one cares.
Nadal’s poetry is reminding us to reflect on our lives. As you scroll through her instagram account, you are walking into a familiar jungle full of trees as old as earth and you might end up tripping on their roots. It is a familiar jungle because you can relate to almost every poem, as they each dissect an emotion you have felt before.
With that being said, you should also check out her work: