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African Thoughts

by Philane Amadeus Nyoni / 05.04.2013

Zimbabwean poet, Philani Amadeus Nyoni brings a fresh voice to the typical black rage anti-colonial sentiments. This poem is a courageous, unflinching expression of his opinions.

African Thoughts

Africa is that vast stretch of land within my soul
Undefiled by the stride of the colonial lion
Hunting down the gazelle of my being.
It’s the common darkness of our skin,
Night; speckled with dots of light
Different languages, cultures, identities
All beaming around the common moon of
Ubuntu, Chivanhu, Humanity.

It’s this ‘darkness’ which they tried to defile
With their light, borne by Moffat and Livingstone,
Sent to rape our identities in missionary position
Then fail to explain what colour the Father is
If the ‘son is white’, thus Africa
Is that part of me that doesn’t belong to
Jesus of Nazareth, whose holey hands
Have sent more tumbling to the pits of hell
Than they have saved!

Often I say these things and my own people
Get cross and want to crucify me,
They call me sacrilegious ’cause I have the balls
To read the Bible upside-down
And say what it’s saying when it’s saying
What they are not saying it’s saying;
Who’s insane?! Why not call me mean, because I mean
What I say and I say what I mean and what I mean is
Jesus is not the menace, no,
It’s those that used his stripes to bind our eyes,
Aye! Like those powdering the bones
Of Nehanda and Kaguvi to poison our minds:
I’m talking about you Gabriel, Lucifer!
And all you other angels turned demons,
All you fools of empty promises,
Yes you ho smile for the camera and frown
As you toast civil servants baking in the sun
For daily bread.

You see the African I am is not a Google definition,
But how do I wean my siblings off the nipples
On the internet and make them face books
And realise that they are more than just a Facebook profile?
That Africa is not straight caps, baggy jeans and cheap
Fifty cent rhymes, no! It’s the song of Bambatha,
And that beating beast beneath my breast
That bellowed ‘AMANDLA!’
While Desmond was shooting his mouth like a 2-2.
When dubul’ ibhunu was the right thing to say,
Apologies white folks for any ricochet.


*For more on Philane Amadeus Nyoni and other Pan-African poets please visit Badilisha Poetry X-change, produced by the Africa Centre.

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