Windhoek-Namibian-born poet Christi Warner’s latest book offering, ‘Ice Cream and Politics’, presents a true reflection of the Namibian society today. Jeremiah Ndjoze reviews the anthology.
This includes the bitter truth surrounding the clandestine socio-economic and political shenanigans that has become common in this society and the ramifications thereof that usually rear their ugly heads – not a moment too soon.
Subdivided in three sections, the book presents a collection of 36 strong poems built on her personal, emotional and social observations. In the poem ‘Mirror’ she speaks of the harsh realities of life that so often distort our visions and earthly desires. She brings to the fore the fears that threaten to derail the drive, which many a people need to survive. But at the same time, this poem celebrates the strength that we draw from deep within ourselves. It is this strength, which feeds our hopes and desire to thrive. She writes:
You are the thunder that barks when I’m scared
The lost key that mates with eternity
The sharp prickly thorn that makes a nest in my soul
But you are the lost piece of this puzzle that I am
Another captivating poem is titled ‘Finding Calm in a Storm’. This piece is a perfect concoction of hope, faith and courage. The writer is quick to indicate that her fate will not eventually be likened to that of SS Andrea Doria, an Italian ocean liner most famous for her sinking in 1956. Stating:; “My captain’s hat is still on, I know I can steer my ship,” the author is seemingly hinting at the fact that we are all masters of our own destinies.
The poem ‘Becoming Human’ is set to make the reader see life through the eyes of some of the world’s renowned trailblazers, whom despite being mortal beings, selflessly put their lives on the line for the sake of humanity. Here Christi asks herself if she, “will ever ignore [her] innocence, just to stand for a cause.”
Reading the poem ‘Family Portrait’, one is reminded that as long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well. This poem is a stark reminder that the narrative of one family will never be complete without mentioning the names of all family members irrespective of their social standing.
‘Untitled You’ can be described as a true reflection of the Namibian society today. A society ravaged by a sense of entitlement. Yes, one in which an adult with a sound mind will stare you down and remind you that he or she also “died” for this country. In this poem, Christi reminds you to; “Make sure you can prove your eminence” or “Your suffering has just begun.”
Who is Christi?
Christi N. Warner is a Namibian-born poet, singer, songwriter and theatre practitioner. She is a holder of an MA degree in Theatre for Development from King Alfred’s College, Winchester, UK. In Namibia, she worked for the non-governmental organisation, Bricks Community Project, where she used poetry and theatre as tools for community empowerment. She co-founded Township Productions Theatre Company with Keamogetsi Molapong and organised and facilitated creative writing workshops for young writers. While with Township Productions, she served as the editor of ‘Poetree’ magazine, and co-edited the Namibian poetry anthology ‘In Search of Questions’. She can now be seen performing in Oxford, the United Kingdom where she lives with her Italian husband.