Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lamentations of An African Child - Oliver Mbamara

This is a great poem from a great master
Oliver Mbamara, I have much respect for him

And I was born then to live again,
And there I was with Chaka Zulu,
We fought them off, but not for long,
Our arrows could fly, but not too far,
Our knives could cut, but not too deep,
Our shields were feeble to metal shells,
They pulled the trigger of their guns,
As deadly shots rang and fell our men,
I was one of many that fell in the jungle,
And never again to rise, except in spirit.

And I was born again to live again,
But there I was in some slavery land.
Was it Angola, in the Congo, or Kinshasa?
Was it Opobo, in Port Novo, or Monrovia?
Was it Dahomey, Yamoussoukro or Sao Tome?
Was it Maputo, in Moroni, or Mogadishu?
Was it Khartoum, in Djibouti, or Kampala?
I may not be sure but I was there.
They led us off, away to strange lands,
And never to motherland again return.

And I was born again to live again,
But there I was in the ‘land of blacks’
I had thought Chaka’s time was past,
And agonies of slavery gone with it,
But I was wrong for the warlords came.
My sister was raped by Northerners,
My brother was killed before my eyes,
My mother was shot for crying out,
My father was hung for hiding me,
And never again did I see my folks.

And I was born again, but live in sorrow,
They spared my life but made it empty,
I was worth a few cash to their coffers.
And yes their tenets they forced on me,
Compelling upon me to hate and kill,
And this day, I have few friends but many foes.
Do I have a life? For I see none to live.
Do I have a future? For I see only gloom.
How long shall I weep? For none would hear me.
And will there again be joy in life?

And I was born again to live again,
But here I am in this time and age,
Fighting the evil that plagued the past.
Nkrumah, Zik, and Zulu fought the aliens,
But now in our land, we fight our kind,
I once heard of the OAUs and the UNOs,
But they stand silent against our woes.
And a child like me may want to ask,
Why I was born in the land of the blacks,
But God could not have made a mistake.

This is an excerpt from an upcoming book by Oliver Mbamara titled “Africa, Africans, And The Diaspora; A Revelation”

©2003 Oliver Mbamara
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