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”
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.
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,
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.”
with questions of identity.
No romantic or germanic tongue
can touch or taste or tell
me the meaning of those
‘First heard’ words
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?
 Ke ngwana wake = “my child” in Setswana
 Ubuntu = “I am because we are” in Zulu (African philosophy)