When current rises
When water starts to flow
At the bank of the river
At the edge of the ocean
Breezed by the calming
Sound of the wind
Things start to change
I woke up one day to the worrisome sound of children crying,
It was night,not day
They were strippen, sores everywhere on both arms and feet
Their slippers mocked their Robes
Their feet conquered their slippers
Their mouth watered like an ancestry fountain
Eyes and lips dried and parched, they shivered under the nightly wind
Tortured and oppressed, red black stains coloured their nightly robe
Stripes of wound attached to backs, bellies everywhere!
But what I saw next was what affected me most
It wasn’t an animal attacking them
An insect oppressing them
It was they themselves,
But they themselves were not to blame.
2. You ask who is to blame?
If Africa had a history,a legacy
One that was written in pen and paper
Not just- ‘in the past’
Stories I heard from my teachers
Would we be here today?
And can our stories be rewritten?
I’ve watched the shores of Asia
‘ they who knew their past knows their future ‘ they say
But I’ve never known my past
Only the few sheets of notes on my desk
Written and rewritten by the White man’s fingers
Or my contemporary authors
Not the tongue which tasted and licked
Not the feet which felt
And my children would ask me where I am from?
How it would be to retrace my traditional footpaths
To imagine the past that feels surreal
To dance to the sound of the talking drum or the BATA drums
To kneel at my elder’s feet by day
Or to kiss the earth’s soil in greetings
Ten lashes at my back by family members and my mother’s sister
Or father’s sister whom I’ll call, mama
Folktales of the cunning tortoise by moonlight.
But now, if they ask me where I am from
I’ll say, I don’t know
But….who is to blame?
3. In every way I close my eyes,
To listen to the wild bustle of trees as it brushes against each other
The evening making its introduction with the crickets song
I can’t do anything about it!
Or can I?
Nature became nature before man was formed from clay
But I am it’s ruler, it’s champion, it’s supervisor
Shouldn’t I listen more? I hear the little birds sing far from me, crying in a language I still don’t understand
In the ‘dinning table’ the revolutionary’s boots were too heavy to carry him
Mine has grown weary
My little legs can’t seem to stand properly
When I then open my eyes, the only thing I see is an image of me staring, under the translucent sight of the river
If things began to change right before I was born, right before my little legs kicked in my mother’s womb, without dancing freely to the sounds of the bata drums, without tasting, touching or feeling
Things would begin to change when I take my throne as a ruler
Accept and conquer
Things would begin to change
When I tell my people, fellow Africans, we can live in peace, only when we stick together
The battle is not yet lost,
We may have made a mistake
Lost many along the way,
As children even hurt our mother,
But it’s alright, things would begin to change for the better
And it does change, it will only last forever