50 years of Independence for most of us.

I found an amazing video about the Scramble for Africa.  As we continue to find solutions for Africa’s social, political and economic problems we must not forget to look at the external forces that plagued the continent. Recently a wonderful exhibition was held in Berlin. I think the concept of Yinka Shonibare’s piece is very powerful.

Scramble for Africa

Our History to precolonial Africa

And the waves arrived.

Swimming in like hump-backed divers

With their finds from far-away seas.

Their lustre gave the illusion pearls

As shorewards they shoved up mighty canoes

And looked like the carcass of drifting whales.

And our sight misled us

When the sun’s glint on the spear’s blade

Passed for lightning

And the gun-fire of conquest

The thunderbolt that razed the forest.

So did our days change their garb

From hides of leopard skin

To prints of false lions

That fall in tatters

Like the wings of whipped butterflies.

By: Mbella Sonne Dipoko

The Call of the River Nun

I hear your call!
I hear it far away;
I hear it break the circle of these crouching hills.

I want to view your face again and feel your cold embrace; or at your brim to set myself and inhale your breath;
or like the trees,
to watch my mirrored self unfold and span my days with song from the lips of dawn.

I hear your lapping call!
I hear it coming through;
invoking the ghost of a child
listening, where river birds hail your silver-surfaced flow.

My river’s calling too!
Its ceaseless flow impels
my found’ring canoe down
its inevitable course.
And each dying year
brings near the sea-bird call,
the final call that
stills the crested waves
and breaks in two the curtain
of silence of my upturned canoe.

O incomprehensible God!
Shall my pilot be
my inborn stars to that
final call to Thee.
O my river’s complex course?

By Gabriel Okara

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