Staved -By- Abdullah Atteh Lateefat

by Eden Benibo

Listen,

Our people.

Our people,

Listen!

What we have to say to you!

That you may know;

You have long been deaf,

And you have been blinded-

By the mockery In the eyes 

Of those ‘Culture thieves’.

They who have called our skin;

Ugly and coloured.

We became yams,

Peeling off Our identity

With chemicals of deceitful change

 As they have made you pay them,

To look like them.

Listen,

Our people.

Our people,

Listen!

As we lament:

That you might realize;

You have inherited from our fathers,

Dead echoes of our glorious past.

For the land whose drums were loudly beaten,

In boast of its strength and honour

Are now mere whispers in the hearts of men.

Lost,

For you no longer dance

To the wise pattern of our African drum,

But stagger in haste to the confused tune of the piano.

Listen, 

Our people.

Our people, 

Listen!

That we may ask:

Is our beauty not one to boast of?

One who is brave and strong,

Never a coward to shake nor shiver.

Why then do you yearn theirs?

Their land and shade of beauty,

Weak and ready to swallow.

Greedily capturing her people in her belly.

Has the wind not respected us enough?

Even in his anger, he walks away

So we may feel not his wrath.

Yet,you yearn theirs;

The wind, that seize up his people

And destroys their sweat, their works…

Listen,

Our people.

Our people,

Listen!

What we have to show:

So you might see;

Are we yet not wise?

They have stolen our wisdom

And we watched them.

They have envied our culture,

Now they take it.

They have distorted our nativeness

Veering it to foreign.

And our skills? Claimed!

With our hands

They boast of mountains as buildings

And shiny pearls as streets 

And Never dying Lanterns,

That neither needs wick nor fuel.

But we sit and we envy,

For they have deceived us into believing-

That the wisdom is theirs.

So, again—–

We are staved in fetters.

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