Magzhan Zhumabayev


Zeynep Shokanovna Tastemirova (her mother Kadisha, her father Zhakyp is a brother of Shokan Walikhanov). At the beginning 1918 representatives of party “Three zhuzes” arrested M.Zhumabayev, he spent about 7 months in prison in Omsk. There he has written a poem “Zhan-zharymdy bir suiemin tusimde” (“I kiss my beloved wife in a dream”). Lines were full of sadness and suffering, as if poet anticipated a sad fate of his family. The poem was addressed to his wife Zeynep – Shokan Walikhanov’s niece, Magzhan got married her before graduation the seminary. Their marriage was happy, but not long. Zeynep died on February 10, 1919 during childbirth. Magzhan gave a name – Grazhdan (Citizen in translation) for the child (probably because he was born during the Civil War). But the baby has died of pneumonia already after 9 months. Magzhan having experienced a deep shock wrote a poem “On the tombstone of a baby”.


In 1997 it was published feature article “Suigen sulu” (Beauty in love) of Gadilsha Kakharmanuly in newspaper “Turkestan”. The article is about love of Magzhan to Zuleikha Zhaltyrova. She was a first daughter of Kurmanbai-kazhy, resided in Kyzylzhar (now Petropavlovsk). However when she was five years old, she and her brother have lost their father. Their mother – Zhamilya brought up them alone. As there was no Kazakh school in Kyzylzhar in those years, Zuleikha and her brother studied in Tatar madrasah, where also future poet learned to read and write. A talented and capable girl has learnt Tatar, Russian and Arabic and became one of the best students. But after graduation of six forms her mother took away the girl to home. In the evenings Zuleikha and her girlfriends sang songs, played on accordion. In one that evening the poet Magzhan Zhumabayev has seen his love through the window. He’d coming to home of one of the future leader of “Alash-Orda” party Mirzhakip Dulatov for Russian language and literature lessons. Gadilsha Kakharmanuly wrote that Mirzhakip suspecting nothing about Magzhan’s feelings to Zuleikha, even trying wooed her, preliminarily sent herself photo. But Zuleikha refused and returned the photo. At this time, Zhumabaev preparing to enroll the Galiya madrasah sent her a letter: “Dear Zuleikha! Please write me. I’m going to study. Would you agree to wait for me?” Zuleikha could not answer the letter, but she also could not said Magzhan that she likes him…

Nothing is known about their meeting. Only one thing is clear, it was amazing romance, had captured them immediately and completely. Magzhan and Zuleikha having got married went to Orenburg, then to Moscow, Tashkent, where Zhumabaev taught at the Communist University of the working people of the East and only in 1927 they returned to Petropavlovsk.

Zuleikha collected bit by bit Magzhan’s works all her life, kept his manuscripts in pillows, mattress, on the loft. She lived almost 100 years and conveyed to us not only memory about his loved, but also his poetry. The name of great Poet and his creation had returned for people due to Zuleikha’s endeavors. As if she knew that his work would be in demand after years of oblivion.



  1. М. Zhumabayev. Prophet: Verses and poems. – Almaty: «Zhibek zholy».- – 400 p.
  2. Bazarbayev M.O. About a poetry M.Zhumabayev. // Bazarbayev M. Kazakh poetry: artistic quest. – Almaty, 1995.- p. 125-143.
  3. Magzhan Zhumabayev / М.; М. Sultanbekov // Vesti Semey. – 210. – 2014.- May 27.- P. 5
  4. The return of the poet: About creation and fate of M.Zhumabayev. / Z. Zhumabayev, Kh. Makhmudov // Case №… Chronicle of a bitter time.- Alma-Ata: Zhazushy,1989. – p. 296-300