If I could be anywhere, where would I be?

I’d be in Africa.  For at least two decades now, I’ve wanted to explore this vast and, in many parts, still untamed continent. Not just for a brief visit, but perhaps for a year or two. I’d want to spend time observing and writing about the awe-inspiring work that the dedicated men and women from Doctors Without Borders do, or the selfless missionaries who spend their days helping those who can’t help themselves.

I imagine the wide open spaces, vistas where magnificent wild animals roam free, and the ever-present yin and yang  — horror and beauty, violence and serenity, the looming undertow of all that is uncivilized – masked by an outward appearance of all things “civilized.” 

Africa, a land of contrasts, is where I would be — if I could.

And, one day, I will.

There are so many passionate poems about  Africa and here’s one that I thought I’d share with you (by Zulu poet, LLM Mbatha) :

I Have A Dream Of An Africa

I have a dream of an Africa
A united Africa! 
Self sustaining and self-reliant
Able to produce 
Anything out of nothing
And trade within her-self
And with the world at large
A proud Africa 
Of a civilizing people
Like our Egyptian, and
Olmec ancestors…
I dream of an Africa that 
Patrice Lumumba died for
Kwame Nkrumah stood up for 
Nelson Mandela paid dearly for
An Africa of Haile Selasie I
An Africa of GIANTS
Where men are great, proud and dignified
An Africa of Cleopatra, Maqeda, Nzingha and Nyamazana
An Africa without genocide, starvation, or disease
An Africa, without dictators! 
A free Africa
Taking on the driver’s seat 
Teaching without enslaving
To show the world it’s possible! 
No refugees because
All the Children belong! 
An Africa, a Mother Land
Where an elephant 
Feeds from the Elephant Tree
And the gorilla roams free
And the lion goes to hunt
If he wants
Because God loved him to! 
An Africa that
Bhambatha (ka Mancinza) 
Sobukwe (Robert) 
Fanon (Frantz) 
Biko (Steve) 
X (Malcolm) 
Garvey (Marcus) 
And Douglas (Frederick) 
Would look at and smile about
I have a dream of an Africa
But from this one, I shall not wake
Because I dream standing up
My eyes looking out
My arms open wide
To the ones, mad enough, to dream the same 

~ by LLM Mbatha


Image via thesummerlad.com.

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