About Advertise
Art, Culture
African Thoughts

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.

5   6
  1. zo says:

    I’m a black African and it seems to me that, all black poets ever have to write about is Africa and their personal interpretation of it. This is the thing to expect, as if Africa is a homogeneous alien tribe with one continental philosophy, religion and culture. Yet Pan-European poetry is usually shunned and invariably linked to Neo-Nazi movements and anti-immigration sentiments.
    This double standard does bother me, but not more so than the presumptive sermons about ‘the common darkness of our skins.’

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  2. Satan says:

    Zo, according to my interepretation this piece presented Africa in the past and the present. If you understand the context of the poem you might appreciate it more. It’s Zimbabwean, between the lines there are a few shots fired at the Robert Mugabe regime, he is actually called Lucifer! Remember Zimbabwe is a police state with tough censorship laws, this was a crafty shot at government. That ‘common darkness of our skin’ line is a build up to the questioning of the missionary’s intentions, there is nothing racist about this piece, it simply likens the current Zimbabwean regime to the colonial one.

    Nyoni’s work is multi-layered and often beguiles a simple mind. Read more of him and you will discover your presumptions are false, in fact, read this poem over and over again until it makes sense, you might catch a glimpse of genius. His first book which made him an award-winning writer at 23 is called ‘Once A Lover Always A Fool’, it appears black poets have more to write about than ‘African and their interpretation of it’.

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  3. Anton says:

    hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up something new
    from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points
    using this site, since I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load
    properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and
    can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content.
    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

    Here is my blog sexy women

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  4. Katrin says:

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m
    hoping to give something back and help others like you
    helped me.

    Here is my homepage :: girls tweens teens

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  5. Sherita says:

    L’ensemble ԁes рοst ѕont visiblement

    my website :: scène xxx emballante gratos avec cette chaude du vagin immature

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  6. PAN says:

    I can’t believe I am saying this but Satan is right. I believe one of our roles as artists of today is to shape or vivify the post colonial African identity, moreso in Zimbabwe but that’s a story for another day. Dear admin, my name is PHILANI, I not E at the end, thank you!

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0