Frene Ginwala On The BBC: (1933-2023) 11 February 1990

To FG, a memorial, with love.

Late into these nights
A radio keeps my work unheeded company –
Till out of the wind-urged static,
Through the winter blankets of northern clouds
And the insubstantial wraps of my tropical sky,
A crisp and familiar voice
Arrests my hand. I smile.
The voice of my continent.
Gratefully often now,
As the harbour of freedom is being negotiated.
Like the deep beneath the waves that catch the sunshine,
Many years lie under these sparkling moments;
The undertow pulls at the mind.
We are leaving behind one Island,
But ahead there are other islands of beliefs
For people to depart from yet, to arrive at a mainland.
For all that, this now is a different cape we turn,
Echoing from a stranger of long ago,
A premonition of good hope.
And so we celebrate this time with you,
Celebrate the strength of your voice in your struggle:
We celebrate its truth,
We celebrate your presence,
Scarred by the passage through dangers,
The more dear to us for that.


  • A Senior Counsel, is a human rights lawyer and author of Pio Gama Pinto: Patriot for Social Justice (Nairobi, Longhorn/Sasa Sema Books, 2007).

Related Posts