Africa Liberation Day Poem: He had a Dream, an African Dream

A painting of Kwame Nkrumah ( Image sourced from

He Had A Dream, An African Dream

It all started as a vision of one man,
A dream of one son,
A son of Ghana, a Nkrumah who sang a song
whose words were written with the blood of our brothers sailed off
to plantations as slaves to white masters.
A song whose rhythm and tune was hummed
by the cries of our people
Feet shuffling, hands trembling, mouths begging

We don’t know them!
We don’t know the freedom fighters

The rhythm of whips cracking on their backs
The sound of gunshots reigning in the dull yet sunny days,
Dark, yet moonlit nights.
The sounds had become a dirge to their ears
Maafa, Maafa

his was a song whose commas and full stops,
verses and chorus was the stamping of weary dusty feet
forcibly led into crammed concentration and detention camps
to die of hunger, thirst,
Informers, turncoats or home guards

His dream’s song like a bush fire, spread across the land,
Across the great Nile, Lake Tanganyika, the Zambezi and Chania
Kingston, Harlem, the Caribbean.
The strained tunes of this sweet song became a spell
Its spirit haunting Edward Wilmot
W.E.Dubois, Muamar Ghadafi

His majesty Emperor Haille sellasie,
Marcus Garvey,Julius Nyerere
Malcolm X, Fela Kuti,
The fathers of Pan-Africanism.

This was a song of pain
The Pain of being an African
A black man, a native

The pain of being un civilized
uneducated, uncultured

The pain of being colonized by a fellow human being
whose religion, traditions and language
was no more superior than our own.
Maafa, maafa

They sang a song of strength
A song of unity
A song of one enemy
A song of liberation
Africa’s Liberation

Like a chain, their weakness,
Would be their greatest strength
Being black, being African

This song gave them a reason to unite, to fight
To think as one country, one man, one mind

This song was the cry of
A unified Africa
United States of Africa
Umoja Africa

I too sing that song today

Njeri. Wangari
Feb 08,2008

All right Reserved©

This and other poems can be found in Njeri’s book Mines and Mind Fields; My spoken words available in all leading bookshops in Nairobi and on Amazon

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