What is the analysis of Sipho Sepamla's poem "Da Same, Da Same"?

Quick answer:

Sydney Sipho Sepamla's poem "Da Same, Da Same" reflects the poet's background as a citizen under South Africa's system of racial apartheid. In the poem, Sepamla argues that all people are basically the same no matter their race and that it is terrible when one group oppresses another.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Sipho Sepamla is a South African poet born in 1932. He wrote during Apartheid and had some of his work banned by the Apartheid regime. Apartheid was a strict and violently enforced system of racial segregation in South Africa that was enforced by the Dutch Empire and lasted from 1948 to 1990, though informal policies of segregation long preceded these dates.

The poem "Da Same" is a reflection on the ways that the brutal segregation of this regime can only be understood as disgusting and absurd. The poem repeatedly emphasizes the sameness of humans in the face of policies that claim to enforce differences. The poem has a pleading but also mildly threatening tone. While the body of the poem is mostly repetitions on the theme of sameness, the closing repetition is a reminder that we all bleed the same. The final line tells white South Africans that they should be ashamed to look in the eyes of black South Africans until they correct these wrongs.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How is Sydney Sipho Sepamla's background reflected in the poem "Da Same, Da Same"?

Sydney Sipho Sepamla was a poet of South Africa. He lived nearly his entire life under the system of South African apartheid, which segregated the country according to race. Apartheid affected everything from social events and public buildings to housing and education, and all South Africans were classified into groups and labeled as "Black," "White," "Colored," or "Indian." These categories determined where people had to live, how they could work or go to school, and what aspects of society they could participate in.

We can easily see how Sepamla's background of South African apartheid is reflected in the poem "Da Same, Da Same." He writes in resistance to the classification of peoples that apartheid forced. The speaker claims not to care about which racial class his audience is in because all people are made in the image of God. God made everyone with "one heart," meant to be one people no matter their race. What really counts is under the skin. People are really no different from each other beneath the surface.

Yet, the poet continues, something terrible is happening when one person makes another feel pain that he doesn't feel himself. This refers to the segregation and oppression of apartheid, and it is wrong. Everyone has the same red blood. Everyone is human. There should be no separate treatment and no discrimination.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on