Scorned, but lives

Beautiful mountains of Umbulwane
Look up, you see the Drakensberg
Look down, you see Umnambithi
Shaka Zulu named it Umnambithi,
Because of the tasty water.
He had such a good palate
The mountains have such rich history
So many stories to tell from the river
Your grandmother has probably told you a lot about water snakes
My uncle died there; it’s no myth.


The landscapes
Such serenity
The evergreen grass
Shades of brown
Giving you the contrast of life
Water silently flowing from the river
But when the water snake (inkanyamba) is angry, all hell breaks loose
Roofs are damaged
Houses flooded
Nature – so mysterious

This is all in Steadville
Umnambithi resembling a river of melancholy
The blood that’s been shed
The violence that took too much
Battle of the Blood River?

People moving with smiles
Pain hidden behind them
Shoulders hanging
Irascible due to the deep-seated pain
Unhealed wounds
No justice

Dreams flooded with screams of loved ones
Mothers crying for who could have been a breadwinner
What a scorned community
Life goes on…
They forge ahead

Place still remains beautiful
Hail storm came and took everything
It was a black Christmas
They remain smiling
Beauty haunted by blood
Blazing gun shots
They still have a rich history to tell!

Let’s tell our story Steadville!!!

Ntando PZ Mbatha


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