TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN WRITERS FOR THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST OPPRESSION
CELEBRATE AFRICAN BARDS
A mirror in ink
Placed before my future
To save me from the sink
Of this chameleon picture
Anthills of the Savannah:
With pen, they told me the past;
Without their trail I wonder
How to narrow a confusion this vast
Through their crystal pages,
My antiquity—inept— illumines;
For their battles, no wages
But mansions in exiles and prisons
But unrest, pains, misery and yokes:
For speaking with a different tongue,
The rulers – yellow and black blokes—
Incarcerated and suffered them long
The struggle seems never to set.
It surely has an end; they believe.
Freedom is a song in threat;
After clobbering, in peace they’ll live
Though they hail from the dregs,
On their pen was Africa’s jungle justice born.
Now they are grey, they are like eggs
To be kept; songs to sing to my son.
I celebrate our African bards
Whose inks defeated bullying barrels;
And with all noble regards,
I salute their courage that unlock freedom cells.