Children of the Valleys

Written by: Gerald Kithinji

And as the hills yonder 
Turned red from sunset rays
As darkness engulfed the valley
And the sweet sounds of birds
Rent the cool evening air

Our cows and sheep and goats 
Hurried down the footpath
As though they were late
To a gathering of clans
Or to one of their own

And we the happy herds' boys
Turned our ravenous thoughts
To bananas yams and milk
And all available munch-able stuff
To calm our restless tummies

And as the evening metamorphosed into night
And the stars of the sky reclaimed their might
We the famished children of the valleys
Approached the fireside with widening eyes
As the roughshod soldiers laid claim to all
And shot in the air to frighten us all.

And so we watched with pangs of hunger 
Training our wrath and rancor and dismay
To other sons and daughters of Africa
Who for reasons best known to them
Or known only to their heartless handlers
Proclaimed themselves ‘defenders of our freedom.’


Voila! Children of the valleys of Africa
And of the cities and slums of Africa
You who gather in the evening breeze
After torrid days in the fields and streets
Only to return to a darkening sky
Sans food sans wear sans light. Voila!