Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Thought for Africa


they’re on my body,

not my mind-

I’m free, where it matters.


It’s the new year, 2008.

Beautiful outside. Dry weather, a bright sun promising heat in the day. Heat there is now, a nice, dry feel to the skin. The kind which would have me throw off my shirt and labour under the sun, skin glistening with glorious sweat running down my back, muscles rippling and dancing under my dark skin, swinging an axe, or hoe, pulling at stubble in a field, in the hope of rain far off in the future.

Africa. Beautiful Africa.

The new year has dawned as the old did. New and old are mixed, despair and hope.

Another African leader has betrayed his people. This time in Kenya.

Swindling a poll? Maybe he did not. But there is so much circumstantial evidence that he is guilty till proven otherwise. Like our president, he came in on a wave of promise, five years ago. Popular support, acclaim, for a new Kenya, a jewel in Africa’s crown.

Like our president, again, he has turned a horrible new leaf.

Chains? Yes, they are there. But we are free. As free as we will allow ourselves to be.

Sometime ago, I would wail and cry at what has happened in Kenya. The betrayal of trust. The mindless deaths. Unreasoned, unreasonable actions.

Yet I have to admit that I hold too closely to the values which are foreign to my culture. They are good values. But not enough of us hold them to make them African. They evolved in the thinking of years. In Africa, in Kenya, some steps forwards were taken, now we slide back.

Yet these chains are on our bodies. We are still free.

And it is that freedom that I am carrying on in the new year.

I do freely admit that I am stubborn enough to hold onto my convictions. I am an African. A Ugandan, living and working in Uganda. I will, and do, borrow and steal and take from all over the world. I will not be constrained by the trappings of culture. And I will not accept, as seems reasonable, that conventional, western thoughts are the norm. I will think, and reason, and argue, and say, that which my mind deems to be right.

That is freedom. That is freedom of the mind.

There are chains of poverty, of ill will, of greed, of corruption and despair all around me. Death seems a constant companion. Life’s cycles seem corrupted by pain and despair.

Yet I know, believe, that I am free. Because I am free.

Beautiful Africa. My beautiful world.

I know you are hurting, your children hurt, your earth raped, your forests naked and stolen and hurt. But thank you for the gift of life, and freedom of the mind that I celebrate of now, in this new year.

And thank you for a very beautiful morning, dawn, and weather promising a beautiful day today.



Anonymous said...

Africa- that place of great strength, beauty and grace, but cursed by their own pride, rebellion and hatred.

God can do nothing until Africa realize that without the creator, they're nothing and they are no more greater than the dust in which they were created.

gayuganda said...

Hi Captain,


Not very sure that I agree with you. I would think that Africa knows more god than America. At least that is what some people try to convince us of the merits of not following the 'ungodly' west! Their words, not mine.


you are welcome.

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