This is Life

I met up with two good friends recently and to be honest, simply calling them “good” friends would be a massive understatement. These guys are great friends. If there was a personified definition of the term “day 1”, then these guys would be it. I met Tharaka in pre-school (Little Brown Hen) and I met Ioannis a few years later in primary school (Sifundzani Primary School) and we have all been homies ever since. Over the years we have spent a countless number of hours together in the form of: sleepovers, soccer games, birthday parties, house parties, leavers dinners, after parties, new years parties, breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, tests, exams, double dates, good times, bad times, happy times and sad times. We even slept on a golf course once, after a long night out in the streets (street?) of Swaziland – but that’s a story for another day.

During our meet up we discussed everything from maintaining relationships and building careers to searching for meaning and living out our passions. Having a meaningful conversation with two very close friends that have known you longer than you have known yourself,  gives you the ideal platform to fully express yourself. You say things as they really are and you can freely explain how you actually feel – vulnerabilities and all. Having an overwhelmingly confident expectation that your words will be met by ears, that come from a place of deep understanding. With any comments or criticisms being welcomed wholeheartedly, knowing full well that they are not coming from a place of ignorance or judgment.

A few weeks prior to our meeting I was working on the following poem and our casual afternoon catch-up session assured me that the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing were not just a psychological anomaly. This life thing is a crazy experience for the most part and while on the surface it may seem like we are all on our own unique individual journeys; the paths, obstacles, roadblocks, challenges and existential crisis that we go through are all very similar.

It is these common, seemingly inevitable life experiences that I have attempted to encapsulate in the following poem.

This is life – by Benjamin Mmari

The struggle




The feeling of emptiness

Yes, this is life

The anger

The pain

The sadness

The mourning

The loss of your loved ones

This grievance is life

The thoughts

The chaos



The lying authorities

Yes, this is life

The learning

The growing

The reading

The knowing

The need for improvement

This movement is life

The mistakes

The retakes

The bad friends

The failed dates

Abusive relationships

Yes, this is life

The searching

The seeking

The questions

The pleading

The roaming in darkness

This park bench is life


The chances

The gambles

The stone throws

The tickets

The trial and the error

This terror is life

The ambition

The hunger

The passion

The vision

The plans for tomorrow

This long road is life

The longing

The wanting

The waiting

The chasing

Your dreams and ambitions

This mission is life

The money

The success

The ladders

The focus

The yearly promotion

That bonus is life

The old age

The sickness

The wheelchair

The grey hair

The memory issues

That soft food is life

The ups and the downs

The joy and the sadness

The births and the deaths

Yes, my friends

This is life


Tharaka, Ben, and Ioannis



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