Oh, Africa, my Africa
To your blends of sumptuous foods
Your generous land of glorious goods
Oh, Africa, my Africa.
The oceans that surround thee
The brilliance of the dolphins
Induce a jiving melody in me
Thy fishes, glow in biting fins.
The smile on your striking girls
Oh, Africa, beautiful thou art thy
In darkly mouths white teeth swirls
In these hairs, boredom waves bye bye.
Nature, Mother Nature,
You have been children's nest
In pure drinks, your virtues do nurture
And to Africa, your most is our rest.
O, cradle of world civilization
Africa, home to a people with a mast
Your pension neglected to desolation
You're rising, O Land, forget not the past.
Your sunsets, God has blessed thee
The trees and plants dance in the eve
All curses on the fringe do flee
O rejoice, Freeland, it's no time to grieve.
Hail Africa, your cultures shine like the sun
Hail Africa, you stand out among many
Hail Africa, all impurities shalt be shun
Hail, Mother Africa, grace you have plenty.
Oh, roar, roar Africa with a din of glory
Shout in glorious jubilation, shame insecurity
Oh, narrate your divine tale in fairy story
Your magnificent waterfalls embody surety.
Oh, carry me, sure Africa, carry me
At the junction of serendipity
Let me meet the honey-making bee
Embrace me for the sake of our privity.
Wow, wow thy offspring in thy famed azure
Do deck them in spacious brooding skies
And drive us in modern pride to our sature
Whence thy vicissitudes thy natures defies.
Thou shaped world genius into shape, Africa
In the rising Sphinx, loves meet sensuality,
Thou chiseled the edges of blub'ed America
And broughteth frozen mirage into actuality.
The pride of your plateux are rare routes,
To the epicenter of pleasure drive calmly,
Break not, spare not, lead straight via roots,
And stand you bravely, flavor culture's assembly.
To African governments, do not listen from the US president, Donald Trump, listen to WHO. Covid-19 is still spreading in Africa and relenting from social distancing, wearing masks and practicing hand-washing and other scientifically-known precautions will devastate the oldest continent. Prevention is still the best form of defence for Covid-19 in Africa. WHO has the best interest of Africa at heart, not Donald Trump!
July 22, 2020
Some town mayors and leaders in America are now asking whether it is finally the time America paid slavery reparations, see the new linked. This is the right move. But I keep noting that reparations have not been demanded for Africa - which suffered the blunt of four upheavals: Slavery, colonialism, Apartheid and Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs).
Many things have made Africa poor. One of them is a culture of not working. And this happens at two levels: At one level, not many people are doing gainful employment; at the other, those working spend less time actually working (but gossiping, browsing Internet, talking or simply sneaking or deceiving their bosses). Few people generate wealth in Africa - because the majority is not willing to work. One of the first things to do, is to inculcate a culture of work, and this can be done at two levels: (1) Education - from nurseries, children should be taught the culture of work (that if you don't work; you won't eat); and (2) Legislation - enact statues and effect precedents that encourage people to create jobs for themselves and to actually work when they work for themselves, someone else or Government. I can assure you, if you work, very hard, you can't be perpetually be poor!
Rome was not conquered by the outsiders; Rome conquered itself because of internal wrangles, discrimination, corruption and disunity. Any nation that oppresses its own citizens (whether that is because of tribe, colour of skin, social standing, sexuality, and etc.) will eventually destroy itself from within. Consider this: it was only three months ago when Trump was confident that he had prepared the greatest military on earth! Now, see what is happening in the USA. First, all the military power USA has, cannot defeat Covid-19; and second, USA is killing itself (cops killing Black people) and is destroying itself (people looting and setting fires to its assets). This story is not only germane to USA; it concerns Zambia, where tribalism is rampant, and Europe, where racism is common, and any nation on earth that encourages discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and etc. Unity is only possible where citizens respect each other's differences and celebrate diversity.
You can't watch the video in George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis and fail to find probable cause. The prosecution is patently wrong when they say they don't have enough to charge the White police officers who killed George in custody. Black people are charged for events that are 3 times less than that - isn't it why racism is painted on the face of this occurrence? It seems that no matter what Blacks do in America, the law is applied differently to them in comparison to the Whites. Just this morning, the police arrested a CNN Black-Hispanic reporter, then released him (they didn't wait; just there, they saw probable cause in the arrest of a CNN man holding a lawful media tag - but couldn't see probable cause when a Black man is chocked to death by three officers!) Amazing!!!
Do you know that Africa was enslaved and colonized using two weapons: Deception and Fear! For centuries Africans were told they weren't measuring up [DECEPTION], and when they resisted or wanted to run away, they were flogged and killed [FEAR]. Are they still being deceived and afraid of the competition?
I have made so many friends, business relationships and road ways in North America. But one thing I have never done, is to forget you, Oh Africa, my ancestral home. I understand you, Africa. I know you, Oh Africa. Many have made profit out of the fake reports about you. But, I have never stopped to defend you: In my lectures, interactions, businesses and prayers. That is why all the people in North America who come around me have started to sing your praises once again. I am an African, and I am proud of it. I love Canada, too, because Canada has always put Africa as one of its priorities. Than you, Canada!
To have strong economies and be the happiest people on earth, Africa must do five (5) simple things:
1. Give every child free, adequate, basic education – early, quality education leads to creativity and productivity;
2. Invest, promote and encourage science and technology – right now, the difference between Africa and America/Europe is science. Take away science, America/Europe is worse than Africa. If Africa can have the same dedication to science as it has had to religion, it would be rich and powerful;
3. Invest, promote and prioritize Research & Development (R&D) – this is simplified as “problem-solving.” R&D helps to solve problems before they become problems, provide answers to life-death questions, and turn ideas into fortunes;
4. Liberalize freedom – encourage entrepreneurial spirit, give people freedom to choose and experiment, have more people work for themselves than for Government, and encourage people to read widely (on numerous topics and issues);
5. Invest in Africa – this I term, “Synergized nationalism,” – Europe, America, Asia and the Pacifica did it; Africans should help each other to grow and succeed; Africans should invest in fellow Africans and feel proud when many of them succeed; Africans should unite under “Build Africa, Buy Africa, and Support Africa!” the Jews did it – they educated themselves, employed themselves, created their own paradise and developed a “Kosher Culture,” (basically, if it is Jewish, it is clean, proper and worth spending money for!). If Africa is proud of itself, others will!
[Also published by Zambian Eye Newspaper]
On April 14th, 2020, US President Donald Tramp suspended funding to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) for reasons that make no sense in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Tramp is “… accusing W.H.O of mismanaging the spread of the novel coronavirus, and of not acting quickly enough to investigate the virus when it first emerged in China in December 2019” (CNN, Tuesday, April 16th, 2020).
The reason given for the suspension is laughable at best and damaging to Africa at worst. If, indeed, W.H.O had conspired with China to silence the origins of the pandemic, or if, indeed, W.H.O mismanaged the spread, why suspend funding when the pandemic is reaching its highest devastating peak? If the US president’s motive is the good management of the organization, why risk the lives of the majority innocent African poor who depend on W.H.O’s funds for research and containment?
I do not believe that Tramp is so concerned about W.H.O that he was moved with compassion to suspend funding. I believe that Tramp suspended funding for four major reasons.
First, it is because of the mounting criticism he faced at home (USA) for alleged failure to respond to the pandemic in time. Initially, he had accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But when criticism increased, he found a scapegoat in W.H.O.
Second, it does not make sense to halt funding right in the middle of the pandemic. The UN Secretary General António Guterres “warned that the timing for the decision was wrong,” (Fox News). Wrong it was, indeed. In the midst of rolling deaths, the funding is stopped. This means just one thing: More deaths.
Third, this action is injurious to race relations and the effort against racism. To those who follow world events, no-one can be duped that Tramp is such an angel that he wants the best for Africa. The target of this suspension is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, W.H.O’s Director-General, who also happens to be a Black African. Tramp is punishing the entire continent of Africa just because W.H.O’s boss is an African. Just so Tedros Adhanom regretted and said, “…the coronavirus is not the only health crisis that the group works to combat,” (Axios, April 15th, 2020). Suspending funding to W.H.O is also causing the worsening of conditions for other diseases that WHO combats in Africa, such as malaria.
And fourth, the US President is forgetting actions such as these led to the failure of the League of Nations (LON) in the early parts of the twentieth century. It does not surprise those who remember the demise of LON and the emergence of the United Nations (UN) that the move “…drew immediate [worldwide] condemnation,” (Al Jazeera, Tuesday, April 14th, 2020).
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is not buying in Tramp’s maneuverings. According to the Canadian Global News of April 15th, 2020, the Canadian PM is smart, and said, “…U.S. President Donald Trump hasn’t tried to get Canada to follow suit in cutting off funding to the World Health Organization as the coronavirus spreads.” I hope that African leaders should stand up and force the Tramp administration to reverse its off-colored decision. This is patently wrong and dangerous.
1. Regard this coronavirus pandemic as a declaration of war (war period);
2. Build healthcare infrastructure with the resources earmarked for non-essential projects - provide buildings, beds, PPEs, breathing machines, testing availability, and etc. If possible, ask developed countries for help, even as those developed countries also battle the pandemic;
3. Build water-source infrastructure; people cannot be told to wash hands if there is no water to use, especially those in villages and shanty-compounds. Mandate people to wash hands with soap;
4. Make it law to wash hands with soap for the citizens;
5. Make it law for more than 5 people not to be together at the same time, except for family members or at a funeral (social/physical distancing);
6. Educate the public through TV, radio, Internet, public announcements, and etc., about the nature of Covid-19, dangers of being in groups, benefit of self-isolation (and quarantine for those with the virus) and the value of prevention of Covid-19 (prevention is the cheapest method of defeating Covid-19);
7. Provide financial (bailout) support to the citizens, especially because people cannot go out to work or do their businesses due to requirement not to leave their homes. Find a functional criteria where people can receive these monies quickly and without leaving their homes, and etc.
“Africanism – the process by which Africans can have greater autonomy over how they are represented and how they can construct their own social and cultural models in ways not so mediated by a Western episteme and historicity – albeit in an increasingly transnational context.”
Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p.7
From the observations made above, it is both prudent and civil to consider Africa as a major player in international development. Whether it is poverty or issues of bad governance, whatever happens in Africa may in one way or the other affect the entire world. The issues of Africa continue to preoccupy even unwilling regimes. During the presidential primaries in 2008 in the USA, both then senators Obama and Clinton staked their victories on the views they countenanced on foreign relations. As expected, Africa, especially the response to Sudan and Rwanda genocides, resurfaced. While to the presidential candidates it was only a matter of expending political capital, to many Africans living in America and many international agencies with an interest in Africa, it was a matter of life and death.
1. Protect African raw materials and intellect: Historically, Africa has given its most precious resources almost for null - sometimes insultingly in exchange for mirrors, spoons or cloth. Now, that should come to an end. Africa should publish its findings, take interest in its people's inventions, promote African-birthed technologies and publish many books, right in Africa for African readership with an African perspective squared!
2. Develop courageous leadership: Across Africa, strong, courageous leaders who will not be given in to anything that promises quick fixes or who will not be bought by powerful influences or who will not "sell" Africa cheaply to foreign entities, should emerge.
3. Take interest and love everything African: The greatest propaganda that has brought African pride down said that "Black was ugly." No, to the contrary. Black is powerful, beautiful and resourceful. Africans should believe in Africa and in themselves.
4. Think global, invest local: African countries should not fear to play a key role in global economic manumissions. But African states should invest in Africa first - in infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, communication, information, agriculture, services, the military, intelligence, and etc. It has been said that no country is an island, but, historically, Africa has been foolish many times - it does not only invite others but it dishes to them all secrets and power. That should stop!
5. Keep African authentic: Duplicity has its own value, but Africa must embrace who and what it is and love what it can do and offer to the world. Africa should not strive to be America or Americans, Europe or Europeans, Asia or Asians, and etc. Africa should be just Africa.
Editorial Review | Sophina Chisembele' s Book
I dream of Africa, the smells of early rains
I long for the beaches heaving with swamps and fens;
I yearn for the dark long free worms, food for fishes
And I hunger for breams and all native dishes.
I miss the songs when new virgins’ rites are over
With every step a rare chance to live in clover;
I wish to stand all day watching their curvatures,
When they emerge with tight chonches and fine cultures!
I long for your tender bosom, Oh Africa,
I remember busking inside your bright Spica
As I milked in the zephyr of your youthful dawn,
And your Nshima maize mixture I had always gnawn.
Oh the rhythms of Rumba, pleasure of your drum,
In this young and old, day and night, shindig and swam
To the sounds of mirth my ancestors bragged about
Oh how soundly the children slept after the bout!
I often dream of the wastes lying on Cairo Road
Of graffiti and filth garbage across the board,
Of smut of compacted town-centre boulevards
Of the uncouth conduct in courtrooms and churchyards.
I didn’t enter the portal of the living dead
Nor tasted sweet love in a darkly flowing bed,
Yet, I dream of the best potential of all kids
Of women who dance with opened legs in all nudes.
I have been to the river banks of flowing blood,
To tears spilling over with a weeping flood;
In Africa they teach, “Life once given, it’s gone!”
Oh land, without you it feels like I was not born.
These nights are memorable when I dream of you
These lights are horrible when I forget what you do;
These rights are fallible when I flout the offspring;
These fights are agreeable when I speak your feeling!
The streets of raw Africa are littered with dirt,
The central banks are going to war with yawning debt;
The roads are thwarted with problems of a pothole;
The fields have graves but the sound of music makes whole.
I stand at the edge of the rising waterfall
And watch able adventurers drive, dive and free-fall
On the waves of high splashing flurry and glory
Where they burry their heart and mind with no worry.
When I saw the smiling girls at their first instance,
When the bare-breasted women took their early chance,
Their thighs strong and their arms hardened through toil,
Their diamond hands and golden tongues drip silver oil.
The politics of the land are lovely as flute
The speeches of Parliament sound like awful fruit;
The decisions of courts are lithe like a Danseuse
And the banks lend only to those they can abuse.
The beauty of Africa is a fantasy,
Women keep their pubic gardens smartly fussy;
Men find it in parody of foreign accents
And presidents pride in signing stately assents.
The dreams of my homeland are many and intense,
The visions fill my beliefs with divine incense;
The fine blessings and the curse on the savannas
Are shaped like the anxious tendons near the anus.
I dream of your never changing magnificence,
In avant-gardism and now I see your presence.
Your vowel-ended surnames I love to pronounce
And your pure kind-heartedness I like to announce.
Tear of God
They lash junkets of donor support
On the pained daughters of the soil
All in the hope to redeem a race
Of a people mired in blood
The grim image of black Africa
Illuminated by an over-shined sun
Lamps its toxins of artificial gems
On a land deep in solstice shadows
This aid that always comes late
Given by greased governments
Is only a drop in a gigantean ocean?
As kids and women in tears bask
A tear of God lazily dropped
And who for Africa shall mourn
Who, for broken and forsaken land
Who, for stricken and afflicted band?
There is nothing that may happen
That people will hasty to say
That it was done without purpose
Since nothing happens for nothing
For everything, awful or lawful
Has an underlying meaning
This may not be now apparent
But will reveal itself in time
The law of life is take and give
So that in every circumstances
There is one gift that will offend
And its value grows in silence
So in whatever you are involved
Where your time and energy are
There is also your future and reward
And greatness in time it will award
Oh, the City; tentacles it spreads like a pregnant octopus;
Women in legs long and spacious coil;
As down the city-centres busy and ness mesh;
Here I walk, Toronto;
Splendous your restaurants;
Missed calls, you mock!"
Perfection, to you is a garment
That fits my soul;
You’re an epitome of beauty infantile
And grace admixed in perfect measure;
Oh, this windily figure who moves hearts
With every step she moves heavens
And in every absence, oh my soul you crash;
Each day I live in the shadow of
Your fond remembrances;
Your heart, that fleshly gem in crimson,
Crafted from marble sinews,
Tender like angels’ wings,
And lovely as a queen’s chamber;
In your bosom mind and matter consent,
My untrained voice sings a song,
And my hands scribble lover’s lines;
You stand as a mighty tower
And those legs taste like honey to behold,
To brag about your love is in order,
To say, “I feel you good” is bolder;
Oh, Heartcry, its poetry, lovely and true
Oh, Heartcry, like a woman, I love.
Change with Change
They claim they will bring change
When all they do is preach the old message
And their people don’t find this strange;
You don’t grow through the old passage.
The people stare in mesmerizement and wonder
They have the same lines all their life
And they are confused and can’t ponder;
They feel like they’ve been cut with a knife.
I am not a Christian fundamentalist; I am a Christian,
There is a difference;
I believe in grace as Paul preached it to the Ephesians,
And I love the inference;
But there are those who use the Bible woefully amiss,
Such I avoid;
They pick this and for what does not, they dismiss,
That leaves a void;
God truly loves the world and does not exclude,
The good or the bad;
Yet, modern fundamentalists know whom to include,
And that is sad;
I don’t use my faith as a weapon of condemnation,
I use it to help;
Everyone who is human fits into my combination,
And they don’t yelp;
There is commonality in every extremity,
Christianity or Marxism;
Every act of love and care for the needy builds amity,
It mortifies separatism;
Embrace and accept all as composite brotherhood,
Which is veracious;
One world guided by one love and not hatred would
Be very precious.
Africa, I Love
Oh Africa, my Africa, don’t you amaze me
In all wise, you’re poor and sometimes even evil
Other times, you disappoint, especially when children you neglect
Your roads are full of potholes, some of your housing dilapidated
You keep enjoying other nations things
And you don’t pay attention to your own potential
You spend more time copying other people
Than you do trying to improve yourself
BUT I still love you
I am dead in your rhythms, especially your Rhumba
Your girls are lovely – as tender as the feathers of a peacock
Your music – oh my God – I can indulge in day and night
And your beauty – is true beauty – the nature, the people
Oh Africa, although you’re neglected, my thoughts are all you
Africa, my Africa, no matter what, our love is forever
Africa, till I die, we are two roads that met
And have promised never to part
Oh Africa, my Africa, God shine upon you!
In these gardens of the North, a splendid summer sun shines
And all the dirt of snowy erosion brought to a clashing cleansing
As the nimbus now grey canopy the silky skies with pines
Here, the Scarlet macaw flies higher to gyrating frequency sensing
The streets now look free of pelting murky of flossing wintries;
The greens all littered with aroma from coffee plantations
And the sounds of hip-hop filter through the singing countries,
And hope and laughter undergo semi-surgical implantations.
I hear the news of the failing super icon, Mandela Madiba
In my heart of minds, I offer him a fervent prayer
From abroad, I see the rising and falling rainbow over the Kariba
And from the heavens, his stars align for a sigh of fresh air.
I miss home, the innocent terrains of sculpting red sand
Where in broad day-light, kids frolic from street to street
And the waves of heated violet rays foment the entire land
But with stamina and simplicity, the eve-drums, cheerfully beat
The route to time-warmed freedom is still long
And is a thousand Mandela’s resilience strong
The aura of the splendid Cape Mountains
Just lay few metres away from Qunu’s fountains
For here, the great’s remains have been buried
And here, his scepter of freedom’s mantle is carried
In these terrains of bigoted Apartheid, he walked
And here, the towering figure of history has talked
To a people, but all the people of his homelands
For to one brother as to one sister all make bands
And here forever the light of the night has risen
In his long walk to freedom, injustice has fallen
Mourn all nations, if not this peace we butcher
For yourselves, not the dead, and your new future!
Learn thee to appreciate money
And change thee thy money attitudes
For thy confusions regardeth money
Breedeth twisted facts of wealth
Know thee that money is existence
Understandeth freedom’s next of kin
For as thousands lacketh its power
In poverty countless doth succumb
Educate thyself in providence’s drill
Coach thyself in shortages’ tricks
For in hard times knowledge winneth
And in thy ignorance death loometh
People ought to hold money in bounty
Every purse boometh with laughter
And in thy plethora hold thee thy pass
To wander the earth till Doomsday
They may come from anywhere
The four messenger from hell
In their path and from nowhere
They arrive without a bell
AIDS makes her nest in Africa
H1N1 lays her young in America
SARS leases her spores in Asia
CANCER rests her head in Austrasia
Dig up mass graves in a desert
Deny Hitler a noon dessert
For all race as all colour he refuses
Jews and blacks he kills with gas fuses
No-one is innocent in Europe
None, when discriminations gallop
America pleads “not guilty” to blood
And Africa is submerged by a flood
No Author of Tragedy
I am not an author of tragedy
I write what happens in reality
But I will not at all be rigid
When so much lead to cruelty
I am not a critic of mass industry
Nor do I see souls labour like machinery
And I will not keep my mouth dry
Nor only make advocacies summary
I am for humanitarianism
But in the poor name of the victims
Money is collected for many an ism
While kids pair in miserable teams
I am not an opponent of aid
I only tell of hypocrisy as a fact
In the name of butter and bread,
Poverty and profit make a pact
Didn’t Feel Like Writing
I didn’t feel like writing poetry
For my darling Muse be asleep
To awake a drowsing mind
Takes more skill than rhyming
And the hand that draws and paints
Is more sane than an idle clock
I didn’t want to draft a narrative
For the senses be off and dull
To design an end-rhyme epigram
Takes more skill than prosing
And the length of the work itself
Doesn’t account for real genius
Thou in thy dream saw Shakespeare
In the dead of night saw thou a spear
For the wife of that venerable Macbeth
This lady of vice and untimely birth
Thee in thy dream also saw Portia
In kind and mind as Obama’s Sasha
Yet in thy wake watches Sinatra
The nard which played Cleopatra
Whence that night Julius Caesar
In battles trekked he with no visa
To surpass the spoils of Richmond
And to the Senate be gave diamond
Thou wrote on thy knee: Elizabethan
Which thou recanted to biblical Nathan
Who in predictions of David or Pharaoh
Who the priming looks of Romeo
Would dare not crown Richard the Third
For who wore bloody gowns unaided.
City of Livingstone
City of Livingstone, Zambia
Many memories embedded here
In sands so loose and terrains so quiet
By Maramba, sounds of shining colours
The progeny of mixed races;
By Helen Britel, music glows to disco.
Here the route treks to Victoria Falls
The locals called Smokes with Thunder:
The waters boil at ephemeral speed
The winters warmed by rising fumes;
The monkeys sing to tangled thickets
Draining their natural call
On heads of state’s bored-head!
City of Livingstone, Zambia
Canopy of Chief Mukuni
Who alone knows the riddle
Of Nyami-nyami, a lady-snake
Who guards the river and waves!
Here civilizations meet nudely
On rapids, kayaks sea-saw freely
Women under trees sit nakedly
While men watch so drily
The sun shines briskly at Sun Inn
Here prostitutes meet their match
With sticks that sing, shoes that talk
Business takes on a twist
And a window to the future
Opens widely over Hillcrest skies
Semi broken; semi whole
So we dingo to kapentas partly rotten
To beans with skimmed insects
And meats that are scarce like frost
City of Livingstone, Zambia
No place much better
No season much sweeter!
Dying While Black
They die brutal deaths, these kids
Just for being Black kids.
They are gathered in these prisons
Like chicken packed in small prisons.
They are readied for a mass slaughter,
A deep, dirty, Black slaughter.
Their only crime, because of colour
Just because they wear Black colour.
They lie in wait, these Blue policemen
And it pleases every policeman.
These prisons are full of human sorrow
Creating creatures that bring sorrow.
When Black goes in saintly and dark
It comes out Whitened, motives dark.
When justice opens its eyes,
Law becomes a whip against Brown eyes.
Why Not Me?
As I walk alone, along this busy street
Even in this silence on top of summer’s heat
Thoughts torture my poor soul from within,
Frightful punches in my heart begin,
And I sob: “Why not me?”
I see those who live in elevated mansions,
Who drive elegantly and wear lurid blouses,
Who tint their cars and possess lots of money,
Who are followed by everyone like after honey.
And within me I glob: “Why without me?”
I watch men as they play on technology’s best,
Women as they strut streets in angelic majesty,
I hear the winds blow at great force to the west,
And all it leaves behind is me browny and dusty.
In anger I ask: “Why not them?”
I am jealousy of those who seem happy with life,
They are accompanied by pomp so splendid
In their path they leave feasts of pride and strife
And have others wipe where they have fended.
With a banger I ask: “Why only them?”
Dreams of Poverty
I wake, tears rolling, in deep sweats,
Dreaming of days gone with big debts,
In pain of worry and harsh nights
When sleep climbs over higher heights.
Dreams of poverty stir my soul,
I fear the day lack will befall
When gloom as a frightful shadow
Becomes a close and common foe.
I run from my footsteps all day,
All my plans have wondered at bay,
Poverty’s shame does threaten me
And from my own heartbeats I flee.
The thoughts of days of want do haunt
The feelings of great need also taunt,
I see the pangs of struggle’s past
I run and away very fast!
A slave, a man, for that is what they have called him
From ancient civilization, the drums have beat
And from the depth of the abyss, their gong have gone
Here, she was born a daughter from a man and wife
And there, they knew her as a fountain of calm waters
But for how long, the chants arise and the waves fall
And again, how long should we dance, to nothing
As their progeny, we carry their humiliation, their pain
For in shame they bore mixed heritages, and for nothing
Oh laugh aloud, our own peril we chartered across oceans
How shall I sing, when all nations frown upon the race
And as days old truths have been massacred in masses
So that when they needed booty, these ancestors died
So that when times of danger where done, they perished
But for them, these old lines will perpetually speak up
In the name of God, haven’t men transgressed divine order
In the name of sacred scriptures, like stray dogs, they toiled
Even so they flogged them with whips and strings
They considered them property, while quoting the Bible
For to them, they were nothing but piece of property
Oh cry sacrilegious, mourn, shame and hide your face
For now pets receive more honour than they did
They were not humans, only expendable indecencies
No vet would dare pock their noses, no justice found
As for their women, their bodies abused for wantonness
Should we dance, laugh or pretend all this did not be
Should we close our eyes to history as if we didn’t see
Nay, for now and then, Black is not a thing but dark
And on the pillars of begotten statesmen is a mark
Only endurance, only poesy, only us can change us!
Not Just a Number
In this land of many chances
I still feel like just a number
Nay, am not just a number, a colour
Nay, have a clan, a tribe, a culture
Nay, says I am not just a number
The medium is the peace
They pander like others are events
And they announce to exclude us
Nay, am not just existing
Nay, I have a talent, a habit
Nay, I have character and manners
The West is colour-blind, let them say
The East has people who are persons
And the South is not an island
Let the people of colour emerge
And let them be a people, no a number
Aren’t just a number
Am a human being
Oh, My God
Oh, my God, wow!
What wows is an owl
An owl lives in the trees
The trees grow in a forest
The forest in which birds hide
Hiding from slings and stones
Stones of lime and marbles
Marbles which built the city
The city is Ottawa
Ottawa is in Ontario
Ontario is a province
A province is in Canada
Canada is a country
Country is a kind of music
Music may be hip-hop
Hip-hop is an art
Art is made by brush and paint
Paint is of many colours
Colours may be in orange
Orange is a citrus fruit
Fruit may be sour or sweet
Sweet is like sugar
Sugar is from sugarcane
Sugarcane is grown in Brazil
Brazil won the 2002 World Cup
World Cup was in South Africa
South Africa is in Africa
Africa is a continent
A continent has nations
Nations may be Zambia
Zambia has 13 million people
People have different names
Names like John or Mwewa
Mwewa is in Bemba
Bemba is a tribe
A tribe consists of nationals
Nationals have races
Races may be white or black
Black absorbs light
Light comes from the sun
The sun is in the sky
The sky is in heaven
Heaven is, oh my God,
God’s holy throne!
This bird looks like
My own mother
Even the eyes look like
My own mother
The mouth looks like
My own mother
Even the ears look like
My own mother
Do you look like
Your mother or father?
For your mother is beautiful
Though you may look like
Your own father,
Resemble your mother
For she is beautiful
This stick is mine
I saw it at Katenta
This stick resembles my own
I got it at Katenta
This stick of mine has spots
This stick of mine has dots
This stick of mine is speckled
This stick of mine is
Black and white
This stick is dappled
Like a leopard
This stick is stippled
Like a tiger
This stick is freckled
Like a giraffe
This stick is speckled
Like a zebra
Music in Zambia
Nerves are cold, sullen and unexecuted
Energy is sour, squalid and inundated
Memory plays against views
All that is seen are souls without spirit
Miss the rhythm that skins ooze
Hear the sounds of tar-marked drums
Speak with a waist and a hand
And brace awake to pure ecstasy
Music in Zambia is our brew
The sun showers with delight
Shades dance and smug
White flowers gather to cheer
Places are bumpy and brown
Mountains laugh with their chests
Valleys whisper within spaces
And in Zambia music speaks
Louder than echoes
People, people begin to make room
To let the white-shadowed groom
Pass through to his fated doom
To gain shape after one zoom
They are not ashamed to brag
About the newly-scented rag
On which the Queen of hip-hop lags
Followed by boys carrying bags
It is a land where fools carry wallets
And the wisely-born hold mallets
To shape effigies and chisel wood
In order to gain a penny for food
The snake winds lazily in rush hour
As tolled-cars small and large cower
In the heat of slowly-burning oil
Where hearts curse costs of free soil.
This love, that my wings be cast on the sea
This love, the brightest in your eyes I see,
In your hand melts love’s melodies at best,
Every morn, I awoke to your palms’ first,
You carried a heart of a true mother
And cared for me more than several other,
Yet, you were a silent lover of skins;
When you came under unlike many kins,
I knew you’d carry me through the gravel
To Mibenge where we meant to travel.
Insulted in America
They gather around media phones and shades
And insult me because I am not six feet tall.
They gossip of high art, music or movie trades
While me and others petite are left to fall.
They recite them in plots of love novels
And describe their figures of great beauty
But in all my experience and travels
I have found no one as Clarice as fluty.
My daughters say that I am handsome
And my wife knows I have great looks,
But in America they think I am not ransom
And they can’t narrate me in books.
In America they think all others are not good
They will say no-one from China and Japan is
They gang around basketball for their food
And wouldn’t admit others can be fizz.
4 WEAK POINTS OF POWER
Power, by its design, has four major weaknesses. Any leader, whether in politics, religion, social or any other persuasion of life, will have to guard against these four pitfalls:
1. NOT LISTENING: This is the first weakness of Power. It is also the first sign that a leader has started to be corrupted by Power. They are not there yet, but they have entered the path to self-destruction, autocratic tendencies, and self-belief. When a leader stops to listen to advisers, spouse, colleagues and the people, they have begun on a road to corruption.
2. FLATTERY: This is the second stage to corruption. It is the sign that you are moving from responsible Power into absolute or autocratic Power. It begins by looking for, and sometimes, soliciting flattery. Such leaders will like to hear only what they want. The trouble begins when they can’t or don’t hear what they want to hear. Everyone else not sharing their opinions or point of view is an enemy, and must be isolated or ostracized.
3. PRIDE: Pride and flattery are related, only that Pride is deeper and more ruthless. Pride is the third stage to Power corruption. When power becomes Pride, it closes all opportunities to other points of view and only considers its own as legitimate. At this stage, it eliminates opposition, refuses to listen to reason and becomes conceited. When Power is Pride, people are nothing but things to be used to reach the leader’s ends. Power, at this stage, believes it is always right. Usually, at this stage, Power has corrupted a leader to the point of killing anyone who stands in their way.
4. CORRUPTION: The final stage of Power corruption. The regime, order, rule, church, and so on, at this stage, is ruined; it’s rotten to the core, usually irreversibly. Power, at this stage uses everything, including law, to reprise opponents (usually, at this stage, opposition is none-existent). Law becomes tyranny. Democratic or religious institutions become weapons of mass corruption. Common-sense becomes avaricious. Power doesn’t just kill, it kills at will, and sometimes, just on sheer speculation. The only way to reverse an absolute corrupt Power is to use mutiny, revolution or democratic mass protest that paralyses absolute Power.
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