What Africa Needs

20 Sep

I will sit by the fire tonight,

Here under the stars,

Here surrounded by the desert sands.

And in my hand I will hold a pen,

And on my lap I will place my scroll,

And from my heart I will write.

I have no rubber close by,

See sometimes reality is too harsh to be wiped out,

Too grim to be painted otherwise

The moos, the neighs, the crows are my ambience,

The giggles, the stories, the murmurs my music

The cold desert breeze my aura as I write

Still I seek no comfort or warmth or shelter

No safety or fun in numbers

Because someone needs to write…for Africa

This is an ode for a beautiful Mother,

Strong enough to birth a gazillion cultures

Loving enough to contain them all in one continent

This is a sonnet for an Amazing Land

Capable enough to attract investors

Generous enough to share its wealth with them

This is an elegy for a Home that nurtures in pain

And seldom enjoys the fruits of her labor

Other continents are greener, after all

This is a poem for One that feeds on dust

Every time another African buys wheels

Big enough to drive them away from her

This is a verse for she that bears it all

Quietly and bravely, hopefully

Waiting for a different generation

A generation like ours

One that is capable

Still one that refuses to simply

Let go of pride and work…

What is poverty if we cannot fight it?

What is good health if we cannot provide it?

What is development if we cannot envision it?

Propagate it, live it, give it to a land so deserving?

Will we all grow up here,

Play in the mud and rocky trails

Swim in the rivers and catch fish

Until we are old enough

To erode the soils,

Mine the rocks,

Pollute the rivers

Kill the fish?

Will we never look back

And pay homage to a land that

Bore us,

Taught us,

Owned us?

Are we really so ungrateful

As to kill Africa?

She who we are

She who defines us

She who holds us dear

See worse than my writing in the cold

Is the thought of what we put her through

Always taking from her

Never quite giving back-

Not even in part;

Do we ever go back

To pay our tributes?

To give credit where it’s due?

To just say Thank You, Africa.

She is poor because we rob her

She is third-world because we drain her

She is malnourished because we are bloated

She is weak and sick because we won’t heal her.

What Africa needs

Is you and I;

The Africans

To own up to our misgivings

To own her as our own

To agree nothing will ever change

If we keep doing lame things

Over and over again

Beyond war and corruption

Beyond drought and floods

Beyond our selfish ambitions

Our misguided will to possess

We are the custodians of this land.

And beyond today,

Beyond our time on earth,

Africa will be.

So she needs for us to grow up

Straighten our legs

Iron out our muscle

Put our heads together,

Our differences aside

And give her a refurbishing

She so badly needs

An extreme make over so to speak.

It all start with you,

Yes you and i.

What Africa needs

Is you and I,

The Africans.


Posted by on September 20, 2010 in Poetry


20 responses to “What Africa Needs

  1. ruby

    September 21, 2010 at 10:17

    a reminder that i’m african for a reason, a purpose… :)).. thanks gurrrlll

  2. Njambi

    September 21, 2010 at 11:22

    there you go 🙂 Proudly African is what we should all be 😉 Africa needs you 🙂

  3. rehema

    September 23, 2010 at 05:36

    Hope many read this.

  4. Njambi

    September 23, 2010 at 06:04

    I hope so too. (“,)

  5. cornellngare

    September 25, 2010 at 23:47

    What Africa needs… is Africa’s knees.

    • Njambi

      September 27, 2010 at 12:38

      for real!

  6. weighty

    September 27, 2010 at 09:11

    gonna send this to my mom

  7. Njambi

    September 27, 2010 at 12:38

    by all means weighty.

  8. Sketch

    October 11, 2010 at 13:29

    Yes, I will sit here tonight
    Under the dark skies
    The gloom of a suffering continent
    Beneath the blanket of stars
    And chart her a new path
    I will strive to give her
    The nourishment she so deserves
    And make her star shine
    Far brighter than theirs…

    • Njambi

      November 18, 2010 at 17:23

      …if for no other reason,
      that bred me from the start.
      same page Aketch 🙂

  9. capetowntocairo

    October 15, 2010 at 23:32

    Hey Njambi,

    This is just so pithy, apt and the ending just knocked the sails out of me.Was referred to your site by a mutual friend (ET) and was wondering if I could read your poem(with due credit) on our African radio show. Please let me know via email:

  10. George

    November 18, 2010 at 17:10

    You have an amazing gift beautiful. Congratulations on the YLPA poetry award. God bless you 🙂

    • Njambi

      November 18, 2010 at 17:25

      Thank you George. We bless God for the opportunity.

  11. Bandi

    November 18, 2010 at 17:15

    Wow. you made me ask myself, why do i always dream of travelling and settling abroad? My answer was: for comfort. In essence, you made me realize how selfish i have been, to have been born into an independent country, to have nibbled on freedom that men and women got scarred and died for, to have gluttonously fed on the fruits of other peoples’ labor. I want to be this change for Africa, her light at the end of the tunnel.

  12. Njambi

    November 18, 2010 at 17:32

    Hey Bandi. I hurt just as much when this fact dawned on me and as i pondered on what to do, it hit me that change is progressive and successive. A day at a time. So beyond being lights at the ends of the tunnel, we need to be the lights IN its tunnel. Where the air is stuff, the heat is searing, the travellers are weary and the conditions are pathetic. More than being at the finish line, we need to be at the pitstops…because in every race, the runners need water and encouragement. 🙂

  13. Tina

    November 18, 2010 at 17:36

    Girlfriend! How old are you again? Africa is very lucky to have you. Officially following this blog henceforth. Proud of you.

  14. Cynthia

    November 20, 2010 at 07:44

    Walalalala!!!!cuz, si aki u are extremely talented!!!am soo proud of u, Africa needs leaders like you.woooow… am speechless n moved!!

  15. Martin

    November 23, 2010 at 09:50

    Wow, love your writing as whole, plus this poem in particular is somewhat impeccable (according to my knowledge of literature).

    Wanted 2 make a contribution, even if somewhat small, to your blog. You call it ‘Call Me Alien’. It would be nice to see the small green-alien head logo at the top as opposed 2 the WordPress (W) one at the top.

    What say you?

  16. Topher

    September 8, 2011 at 07:14



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