A Cry for Mma Africa

Voiced by Samuel Rubadiri
 I cry out to the mother of mankind,
 maker of thousands lands and
 languages. I cry out
 for air as Doctor slaps my bottom
 whilst holding me upside down.
 I cry out as the blood bulges in my noggin,
 and my eyes capture first sight
 of mama, of Mma Africa.
  
 I see the construct
 of blackness, of struggle,
 of anthropological value.
 I see mama’s voluptuous body,
 with breath-taking breasts
 whose nipples drip with oil and ivory.
 I see mama’s resourceful thighs
 open the mountain with a valley
 of uncharted territory, and
 I see Doctor’s selfish smile.
  
 Doctor freely places me in the cradle of mankind,
 as he prepares to excavate the afterbirth.
  
 The warmth of mama’s bare chest,
 her rhythmic heartbeat,
 her vibrato voice saying,
 “Ke ngwana wake[1]”
 -pacify me.
 She smiles at her child until Nurse
 takes and displaces me. Doctor
 must concentrate, for he drills with bony fingers
 into mama, Mma Africa’s vulva.
  
 We cry.
  
 But our voices vanish in two different languages
  
 All I catch a glimpse of
 is Mma Africa’s bleeding
 of natural resources. This nostalgia
 of diaspora is or was a memory
 since I can no longer recall
 she who birthed me
 or understand when kinsmen tell me,
  
 “Ubuntu[2]!”
  
 I can only make sense of the
 twenty-eight stars in heaven,
 wheeling across the surface of the earth
 as a halo a saint.
 I can only see her colony of children
 crawl out the continent
 as ants out a hill to the brilliance of
 four omni -potent -present stars
 that plunder homelands
 leaving the wastelands for Doctor.
  
 I cry out to Nurse, for her
 whose blood gnaws me
 with eclipsed sight and tender soul,
 but she summons Mother
 to anglicise me.
  
 Years later, those tears
 turn to whining, and as I
 wine, I find ambrosia
 as a son of the everlasting stars.
  
 But a salient thought,
 so old it’s novel, so familiar it’s strange,
 strikes through the subconscious.
  
 “Ke ngwana wake.”
  
 wakes me
 with questions of identity.
 No romantic or germanic tongue
 can touch or taste or tell
 me the meaning of those
 ‘First heard’ words
 ...From...
 Mama, Mma Africa.
  
 It’s the cry of sun on snow
 cracking white mask
 on silhouette skin.
  
 But how do I return to you, mama, after so long?
 How do I answer your cry? 
 
 [1] Ke ngwana wake = “my child” in Setswana 
 [2] Ubuntu = “I am because we are” in Zulu (African philosophy) 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: