Help Me Tell Africa
Fear is only a garden of dried leaves; the battalions
of soldier-ant-stings feelings. The state of not even a fiber
of courage to speak up in the market square of whispers;
the tears and foul smell from self-inflicted injuries. The canons
shot to back-fire: the suicide of skin bleaching.
Any other reason our leaves are dry? Please answer,
oh Africa! Any other reason our veins are bleeding
at the face of white challenges? Compose your answer.
A full calabash of shame: the over-flowing agbada
of racial phobia. How long must we surrender?
Emancipate yourself from intellectual witchbondage; the speechless
agonizing, wailings and lamentations of mediocrity.
Liberate yourself by yourself from the doldrums of pity
oh black race! Stone to collapsing, the heartless
Juju masquerade of the darkness of the past
which cast shadows of long-overcome weaknesses,
on the sun-lit paths of today; the yesteryears illnesses
dragging with cursed ropes, along with themselves the brightness
of the future into the insatiable graves of the past.
Today, liberate yourself from this hopelessness!
By yourself! Liberate yourself by yourself.
Fertilize the barren lands, pour water
on the dry root stems. And watch the later;
taste and see that success heals the senses,
people who fail trust their ability to fail again,
people who succeed trust their ability to succeed again.
Observe and learn the wind-borne native-chalk-powder lessons;
that history is a record of the past which has passed,
and misery is a negative anchor on the past.
Answer me, child of the soil! Shouldn’t you liberate yourself?
Or let the labor of the tractors remain in vain.
Or let the gardener’s wishes end as clouds without rain.
Or let the heads of kids keep hanging in disdain.
Or let the tongues of babblers keep rattling in vain.
Or let the grains of the planting season fail.
Or let the economic dependence keep you in chains.
Or let the intellectual witches and wizards prevail.
Or let the leaders not act but complain.
Or let the citizens not react but sustain.
Or let us continue to explain our pains without gains.
Tell Africa! Please somebody, help me tell Africa,
that racism is today not pride of color and place,
but fear of being surpassed and displaced!
Tell the whole world! Help tell her somebody, in camera,
that today, racism is not pride of color and place
but the leftover seed of slave trade; a disgrace
from which she refuses to recover; a hole
in the head, an arrow in the heart, a
sore in the leg, that refuses to be made whole.
Even when their tongues will choose to lie, their eyes will see it, oh Africa!
NB: Agbada: Nigerian attire worn by men of affluence. Like a long gown for big occasions.