WELLBEING – by Bonede Thato Mmako

A poem on the harms of tobacco and nicotine products

I narrow blood vessels and enlarge blood clots
Then trap cholesterol in the artery hall
I give you slow thinking like rolling rugby ball
Pregnant? I give you spontaneous abortion
Am associated with sudden infant death syndrome on motion

I reduce blood flow
You like me when you blow
I paralyze body sides as a result of dead section of brain tissues
I see myself out of you when you have issues
I am a mother to lung cancer
I’m now after your wellbeing

Thato speaking to youth in the Tshwane University of Technology as a representative of SATFYF

I got nicotine to contract your blood vessels
I made a lot of people lose muscle
Old man? I give stroke
School kid? I leave you broke
I am dangerous to everyone who inhale me
But I am always right there where you inhabit

I am physical enemy ask Piet.
I love yellow colour I hope you got teeth.
I hate reproduction I hope you have kids.
I am not what you really need
I am that smoke you want.

You like the handshake look what I do to your fingers
You cough your lungs out it’s what I do to flingers
I carried seven thousand types of chemicals
Can’t get rid of me without a fight
You showed your kids am a cool dude?
Now I harm them with passion who thought I could

I’m very pretty have you seen my pipeline? Am gorgeous.
The way I decrease your life quality is outrageous.
Am a transporter I take eight million people to their grave.
Kids like me I got flavour and am fruity.
That glycerine of mine so tasty when they inhale, sounds fluty?

I heard you saying I saved your life!
Well, I collaborate with my old cousin and kill quicker than knife.
Am a proud member of series of darkness.
How does your blood flow if you are heartless?

I’m a bad dream
Just leave me alone
For the sake of your well-being!

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©Bonede Thato Mmako, do not reproduce without written permission from the author

Mr Mmako is a rapper and poet currently studying at the University of South Africa, where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education. He serves as the coordinator of the Atteridgeville Man as Gender and Child Safety Promoters as well as the Public Relations Officer for the Youth Social Crime Prevention Desk at the Atteridgeville Police Station on a volunteer basis. He also serves as the Tshwane Cluster spokesperson for the South African Tobacco Free Youth Forum and the Pheli Youth Information Hub. He is the forum leader for the Pheli youth conference. Born and bred in the Limpopo province’s Zebediela Mehlareng, Bonede Thato Mmako relocated to Gauteng in 2010 and attended Bathokwa Primary School before transferring to Saulridge Secondary School, where he completed his matriculation in 2017.

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