Monday, March 25




LIVE AND LET DIE (Kundi Faraja)
That they never take a bath
Until the system changes,
Because we are on the way
The system has not changed.
So that the poor nation may live:
So that the poor man may live
Let them digest the sunshine
It’s because I’m lazy
That they don’t have food.
That they don’t have good health.
Thinks that it’s because
I’m a slave of a system
As usual Kundi Faraja is speaking for
the lower class. The poet disabuses the idea of vicious cycle of poverty which
asserts that ‘the poor are poor because they are poor’. For him he shows
that the poor are so because somebody is behind it. Most of the time, it is
because the rich (men or countries) have exploited the resources and efforts of
the poor that they have remained at the bottom. So the poet shows that there is
a need for the upper class to sacrifice their interests a little so that the
poor people may also have something to push their lives.
The poem has successfully depicted
various themes that justify the condition of common people in our country. The
central theme is poverty and the following themes justify the causes of this
poverty. These include exploitation, classes, awareness, bad leadership and
The poem discusses how poverty
dehumanises the dignity of people and makes them slaves for the rest of their
lives. The poet complains because people keep on mocking his/her children that
they are dwarfs, dirty and hungry. However he shows that it is the exploitative
system that keeps him/her at the bottom.
Until the system changes,
He also shows that it is even harder to
get food although he states it in a more exaggerated manner. He does all this
however to show his dissatisfaction towards the system.
Let them digest the sunshine
The excuses of the rich are that, the
poor man is poor because he does not plan his family and is lazy.
The poem shows that one of the reasons
we have poor people is because the rich are feeding on their efforts and
resources. In any society where the bourgeoisie class exploits the proletariats
the poor live miserably. The poet shows that there is exploitation at
individual level, national level and international level.
At individual level the
poet says
At national level he
shows that the system of the country also exploits its citizens and there are
no changes yet.
Until the system changes,
At international level he
shows that the rich nations also exploit the poor nations.
So that the poor nation may live
Another issue discussed is the issue of
stratification on economic basis. The poet shows that there are two contrasting
classes in this society-The rich and the poor. He goes a step ahead by showing
that the poor are so because of the exploitative system that favours the rich
at the expenses of the poor.
So that the poor man may live
There are rich and poor people in the
society. Nevertheless, these rich people have become parasites who feed on the
blood of the poor. So the poor get poorer and poorer while the rich get richer
and richer. The poet uses the figurative language that the rich ought to die a
little that the poor may live. Actually he does not refer to death as we
literally know it, but at least that the rich should be ready to consider the
poor people by helping them to get their basic needs.
The poet shows the cases of
neo-colonialism and how it has put a powerful influence on the poor nations.
The poet shows that at international level there are also rich and poor
nations. But the poor nations are in the state of poverty because the rich
nations keep on exploiting them. The rich nations, like rich people are not
read to sacrifice some of their demands so that the poor nations may rise out
of poverty. The poet says
So that the poor nation may live
The poet is aware that his poverty is
caused by exploitation by the rich people. He is aware that his efforts are
wasted because he is not working for his own welfare but his efforts benefit the
rich. However the sad thing is that he is not ready to do anything to change
his current state. He is patiently and optimistically waiting for the system to
change by chance. That is not a good approach for building the future. People
must be active and take measures to solve the problems facing them.
Until the system changes,
He believes that the time is not yet
ready for him to enjoy the fruits of independence and he says.
The poet has also discussed about bad
leadership. Rich people especially leaders and rich nations have been
exploiting the resources and efforts of poor nations but they claim that it’s
because poor nations are lazy, have no family planning etc that’s why we are
poor. They don’t remember that they are rich because of exploiting our efforts
and resources. He says
The ruling class is irresponsible as
they exploit the efforts of the poor and claim that the poor are lazy and they
don’t plan their family that is why they are poor, have no food in the house,
and have poor health and so on. Irresponsibility is also seen on the side of
the citizens. While the persona knows that he is poor because of the rich
person/nation. He is not ready to take any measures to change this status. This
is irresponsibility. He believes that the time will come when the system will
change automatically.
Until the system changes,
The children are suffering from
malnutrition as a result they have impaired growth. They look like dwarfs and
that no one looks taller than the other. This is a result of eating poor diet
or lack of proper balanced diet.  The poet uses strong images to show
his dissatisfaction. He says
Let them digest the sunshine
The fact that the persona says his
children eat lice, air, and digest the sunshine, is an emotional appeal to show
his deep dissatisfaction about the current situation.
1)   What
is the meaning of the title of the poem; “Live and Let Die”?
The poet uses a paradoxical statement
that some people should die that others may live. It may seem ironical but it
does not refer to the literal death that we know. It implies that the rich
should sacrifice some of their luxury and unnecessary wants so that the poor
may get at least the basic needs.
2)   What
is the tone and mood of the poem?
The tone is lamenting, and unhappy
toward the rich people and rich nations. So it creates a sad and sympathetic
mood to the readers/ listeners.
3)   Who
is the persona? How do you know?
The persona is a citizen from poor class who is a
victim of the system. This is evident as he says;
I’m a slave of a system
4)   Comment
on the rhyming pattern.
The poem has irregular rhyming pattern
with exception of few lines (8-11) that seem to rhyme accidentally.
Until the system changes,
5)   Comment
on the Figures of speech
(a)                Overstatement/exaggeration.
The poet exaggerates some facts in this way; that his children eat lice, air
and sunshine.
Let them digest the sunshine
(b)               Personification.
The rich and poor nations are regarded as people who can live or die.
Because the rich nations/Are not yet ready/To die a
So that the poor nation may live
(c)          Parallelism
Let them digest the sunshine
(d)         Simile
And that their house is like an
abandoned hut
(e)                Barbarism (using
more than one language)
To build ujamaa (ujamaa is a Swahili
word which means socialism)
For uhuru to flower (uhuru a Swahili
word which means independence)
(f)          Metaphor
I’m a slave of the system
(g)         Anaphora
That they never
take a bath
6)   Is
the poem relevant to Tanzania?
Ø  Oh
yes it is! In Tanzania we have these two basic classes of poor and rich.
Ø  Poverty
is scattered everywhere. And most of the time it is due to exploitation of the
poor by the rich class.
Ø  There
are people who are aware of the exploitation but take no measures/actions.
Ø  Our
nation is also suffering under the heat of neo-colonialism.
Ø  Bad
leadership and irresponsibility are common in African countries.
7)   What
lessons do you get?
Ø  The
rich people should stop exploiting the poor people.
Ø  Classes
are an obstacle to national development.
Ø  Poor
countries should be careful with the tricks used by rich nations to exploit our
Ø  The
poor should take measures to change the system instead of waiting for the
system to change automatically.
Ø  Bad
leadership and irresponsibility are obstacles to individual and national


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