Friday, June 27, 2014

Our Home: Africa

Youth Kizito Center (Tandale, Dar es Salaam)

To the people of AFRICA, guardians of the homestead

that initially gave birth to the human race.

Long before the foot rested firmly on the soil,
Long before we modelled the first footprints of a child
Long before we roamed the savannahs of the wild,
In Africa, my home, God was smiling!
Long before we stalked the animal to prey,
Long before we forged the flintstone from the clay
Long before we distinguished the night time from the day
In Africa, my home, God was moving!

Long before the music of the rattle and the drum,
Long before the silence when the voice could only hum
Long before the spoken word became our daily crumb,
In Africa, my home, God was weaving!

Long before we flicked two flint stones into flame,
Long before we gathered round the fireside in our playing.
Long before the power that entitled us to name,
In Africa, my home, God was carving.

Long before we ritualized our living and our dying.
Long before we solemnized our laughter and our sighing.
Long before we danced in our worshipping of high,
In Africa, our home, God was dancing.

Long before the ancients forged the ancestral line,
Long before our peoples used the night-sky as a sign,
Long before our hunters and gardeners would design,
In Africa, my home, God was sculpting.

Long before the planet was divided into parts,
Long before religion bred fear into our hearts,
Long before the disempowering forces came to caste,
In Africa, my home, all knew freedom.

Long before the conquerors ravaged our resource,
Long before the missionaries brought their wisdom to impose,
Long before the West even knew the planet's source,

In Africa, our home, God had risen.

Long before the writing appeared upon a page,
Long before the White God adopted holy rage,
Long before the Cross would crucify a sage,
In Africa, my home, God wrote poetry.