The Poem // Die Gedig

Wie sou ooit kon dink
datdit só sou wees? Jy wat sóveel rondtes
om diebaan triomfantlik kon loop
en
val
ongemaklik, diekomiek van totale toewyding
Wie
sou ooit die afloop van jou laaste wedloop
voorsien? Jy wat eens die rekords
enmedaljes
amper na willekeur kon verwerf: Neergeskiet
in
Molape onderweg na huis
wie het kon dink

op drie-en-veertig sou jy
met vier koeëls in
jou lyf roemloos
oor die wenstreep
val

hulpwaarts 
kruip

Line by Line Translation

Wie sou ooit kon dink
dat dit só sou wees? Jy wat sóveel rondtes
om die baan triomfantlik kon loop
en val
ongemaklik, die komiek van totale toewyding-
Wie sou ooit die afloop van jou laaste wedloop
só voorsien? Jy wat eens die rekords
en medaljes
amper na willekeur kon verwerf: Neergeskiet
in Molape onderweg na huis
wie het kon dink

op drie-en-veertig sou jy
met vier koeëls in jou lyf roemloos
oor die wenstreep
val

hulpwaarts
kruip

Who would have thought that it would have to be this way? You who runs so many laps around the track, in the lane, can run,            and fall?                                                                             Uncomfortable, the comic of total commitment Who would have thought that it would be your last race? You who has the records                        and the medals                                                  who won them so easily it could be random: Shot down in Molape on the way home.                                   who would've guessed

 that at the age of 43 you will,                                                          with 4 standard bullets in your body,                    fall across the finish line

                                                                                 helplessly                                                                       crawl                                

Background of Matthew Motshwarateu

He died at the age of 43. He was an exceptional athlete with a unique (eienaardige) running style. He beat the champion of the 5000m race, Ewald Bonzet in the Cotzenburg stadium in 1978. He later returned to the stadium to break Bonzet's 10 000m record in 1979. He was offered an athletic scholarship at the University of Texas in 1980, In the same year, Matthew broke the record of a 10km NYC Street Race (completed in 28min, faster by 24sec).

He came back to South Africa when his athletic career was finished. He struggled to find work and landed up being a second-hand car dealer where he struggled to provide for his family (a wife and four children)

 

 

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