A mother’s promise to her unborn Afrikan son.

When you get here,

The world will be ready for you

To receive you as another

Black child,

Another Afrikan child.

But I promise you,

You wont be.

When you get here

Even before you figure out

How to open your eyes,

You’ll already be labeled

As the hungry sick Afrikan child!

The world will pull you down,

Drag you across the floor

Until you feel like you should

Part ways with your roots,

Only for your life to matter.

But my dear Afrikan son,

When the world tries to feed you venom,

Tell you of your inferiority,

That you are poor,

That you need saving,

That you have nothing,

I promise you,

You will be ready!

From the day you are born

Your bedtime stories will be of Afrikan men

–who are responsible for the world we know.

I will tell you stories of the passionate great King Shaka Zulu of South Afrika,

So you know of the strength that you were born with.

I will show you the life South Afrikan, Desmond Tutu lived while

he fought against the injustice and deaths of his people.

I will tell you of Congolese, Patrice Lumumba so you know the cost of freedom.

I will sing to you Nigerian, Fela Kuti’s music so you know the richness of your cultural instruments.

Oh my Afrikan son!

I’ll paint you pictures of Tanzanian President, Julius Nyerere so you can see what it means to be a servant leader.

I’ll read you poems of Burkinabè, Thomas Sankara so you know that you too can be feminist.

I’ll read you books by Nigerian, Chinua Achebe so you can know the importance of education and your role in writing your people’s history.

I’ll take you to Ruben Island to learn of South Afrika’s, Nelson Mandela so you can learn how strong the heart that pumps blood through your veins is.

I’ll dress you like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana so you know that you are destined for greatness and that the future of Afrika lies in your hands.

I’ll take you to Rwanda’s heroes’ memorial so you can learn the history of Gisa Rwigema and know how much your ancestors gave up for you to be born on peaceful land.

Every time you fall, when I clean your wounds, I’ll tell you about the wounds of South Afrikan, Steve Biko so you know how deep the pain was for those that fought for you to be born free.

And every morning, I’ll tell of you of Rwanda’s Paul Kagame so you can know how much more you have to do to make change but assure you that you can do it.

And every day, your father will pick you up and love you so you can know that Afrika has men- fathers, sons and brothers who pass on the legacy of love and believe in its power.

Oh my Afrikan son!

Do not be upset when the world erases your history,

Or gives you half cooked history,

You will tell the tales of your lands,

You will write it,

You will speak of it

And you will live it.

My Afrikan son!

You will know that you have a beautiful history,

Of strong and passionate men and women

I will teach you to be proud of your Afrika.

I will remind you every day that your life is history.

My Afrikan son,

You will be hope,

You will be joy,

You will be pride,

And you will be strength

Of those that had given up.

But I am sorry my Afrikan son that,

You will carry the blood of the millions killed,

You will carry the shame of the thirsty dictators,

You will carry the tears of the dying children

You will carry the pain of the HIV patients.

But I will teach you

To carry it with hope

To know that the strongest tree

Not only lives during the rainy season

But in the desert too.

You will learn of a pride and joy

That comes not from mere riches

But from the satisfaction of knowing the strength of your people.

My Afrikan son,

I will teach you,

To fight with knowledge,

Knowledge of your history

Because a man who knows not his history,

Is everything but who he truly is.

And then I will watch you,

Be everything you can be

And were meant to be.

My Afrikan son,

I am learning my history

For you

To be free.

My Afrikan son, I will teach you,  To fight with knowledge, Knowledge of you history Because a man who knows not his history, Is everything but what he truly is.
My Afrikan son,
I will teach you,
To fight with knowledge,
Knowledge of your history
Because a man who knows not his history,
Is everything but what he truly is

4 Replies to “A mother’s promise to her unborn Afrikan son.”

  1. I think you tore my heartstrings with this one. So wonderfully crafted and emotionally provoking!
    Do you mind if I use your poem in some seminars I wish to create in Nigeria? I will make sure to give you and your blog full credit. Having schooled in my country, I notice the lack of representation of our own cultures and complete lack of teaching of our rich cultural history, and rather glorify everything Western. All they ever teach is the history of colonialism, and even tend to justify its effects on our people instead of antagonising it! I plan on having these seminars with as much schools in Nigeria as possible (at least 1 from each state), so that we can redefine and reclaim our history and identity without Western interference. We have to start somewhere. I would be glad if your could.


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