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Who Owes Who?

Who Owes Who

by Ewok / 15.11.2013

Ewok — a.k.a. Iain Gregory Robinson, Creamy Ewok Baggends, Hused Whut? and more — is a star in the South African Hip Hop scene. He has been seen and heard at numerous, sold-out shows in his hometown, Durban, and in Cape Town and Johannesburg. He has appeared in numbers of countries overseas. He has been widely praised by the public and the press for his spellbinding verbal control, gripping imagery, forceful vision, sharp insights, and critical voice.

Ewok is a performance poet of a rare kind—his words really deserve close attention. Those who see and hear him perform are eager to capture his verbal dexterity on the page. This poem, Who Owes Who, is a fiery and confrontational piece which critiques the 1st world-3rd world hierarchies and imbalances, capitalism and globalisation, as well as the industry of aid.

Who owes who?

Human race got my country in 3rd place
Taking 1st place? Europe, tying with The United States
While we stumble behind in a state of semi-paralysis
Its easy to be 1st when you don’t feel thirst

These leaders been winning from the beginning
Coz they slotted us in this position
With the insistence on the existence of an economic Olympics
Justifying their dominance by reminding us that
“We are all running the same race”
(But if our legs have been stolen
how we supposed to keep pace?)

3rd world debt never gonna be met
Political blood spill will keep my page wet
to keep the stage set
for a concert with a new concept
COZ I got a 3rd world song in me
sung to the blues rhythm of a 3rd world economy
singing about the way I feel the 1st world is wronging me
But I got something strong in me:
I got a 3rd world bomb in me
A bomb that’s gonna blow to the sound of the blues
I sing a song to start a fire
touch the flame to the fuse

They’re taking all they can Out Of Africa
They make an empty hand Out Of Africa
They built the first world Out Of Africa
But they cant take the people Out Of Africa

Still broken down by the Crown
Still burning in the fire of the Empire
Still locked into this new world freedom based
religion called capitalism
(making a mockery of democracy
A scandal of socialism)
European imperialism / African tribalism
European kings / African politicians

400 years of colonialism
based on a phony religion called
Civilization
led to the creation of current puppets
in the prominent position of
Politician

The seeds of our current corruption were sown
in the name of a cultural incarceration called
Civilization
calling spiritual incision and race division
Education and Religion

(no more financial aid for the price we’ve paid)

They gave us our independence
independence that makes us more dependant
as the pen dances across the dotted line saying
“I’ve paid financial aid so the mines are still mine”

They broke our chains
to help us make chains
and pendants
and medallions
from countries without schools
COZ all the kids are in battalions
comes platinum and diamonds
for rappers and actors to wear
while they tell the world that they care
about the people over there

No more financial aid for the price we’ve paid

who owes who?

Telling me we owe you?
They need to pay tribute
They need to redistribute
Redistribute the loot from the colonial days
the days of rape and raids
(they pulled out quick when they found out about AIDS)
Now they hiding behind aide payments
aide payments that should be repayments

We should be aided without paying
Without paying back
to a land with hands that claim Africa just coz they’re black
but never carried a sick child on they’re back
to a local clinic
(with more holes in the roof then medicine in it)

We should be aided without paying
Without paying back
to a land where
communication is free
education is free
medicine is free
1st world freedom built on a 3rd world economy
After 400 years we’re still fighting slavery?

No More Financial Aid For The Price We’ve Paid

If the whole world knows who truly owes
and that a false price will never be met
Then why the fuck is Africa still paying 3rd world debt?

3rd world debt never gonna be met
Political blood spill will keep my page wet
to keep the stage set
for a concert with a new concept
COZ I got a 3rd world song in me
sung to the blues rhythm of a 3rd world economy
singing about the way I feel the 1st world is wronging me
But I got something strong in me:
I got a 3rd world bomb in me
A bomb that’s gonna blow to the sound of the blues
I sing a song to start a fire
touch the flame to the fuse

*For more on Ewok and other Pan-African poets please visit Badilisha Poetry website, produced by the Africa Centre.

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