#ThrowbackThursdays: Sisimuka (Rise Up)

IGWE

*snaps* *snaps* *snaps* *snaps*

So Mugabe, do you just wear normal clothes in public to fit in?
But when you go back home dance around a fire naked encased in original sin?
SIGH
Our consciousness needs to…
(RISE UP!)

Mugaby, since you’re from Africa, have you ever pet a lion?
I’m so glad that you escaped Uganda, I heard people are dying
Child soldiers on the rampage, bullets and bombs flying
Wait a second… Your people use bullets and bombs?
I thought they used sticks and spears, marching onwards on the road to zion
Were you a child soldier? Have you ever killed someone while crying?
STOP with the ignorant questions please, our knowledge needs to…
(RISE UP!)

Mugatu…Mugali…It’s Mugabi! Pronounce my damn name right or at least try
Stop saying whatever every time you stumble across something that you can’t pronounce
Like you can’t do, what I have to do
Since my culture does not rule, over you
Cultural hegemony is not cool
So why won’t you?
(RISE UP!)

Rise up all of you!
This is not a critique on those outside the continent
For within the continent there are those who are incontinent
Those who consciously choose to forget our own past
What will come of the day when I can ask
What our traditional religions are without being put on blast?
Labelled satanic, a devil worshipper
For curiosity into the Gods of my ancestors
My forefathers look down shaking their heads
Thinking to themselves
How can they demonize their own culture
To accept that of foreign vultures as their own
It is not right
Cutting yourself off from your unborn
Internally torn from your own culture
Why can’t we??
(RISE UP!)

And by we I mean humanity
The seduction of inadequacy
Ignorance blinds we
With no Stevie Wonder enlightenment
And yet…
Hope glistens with sparkling clarity
For a continent formerly known as dark, we do have a lot of light
A lot of bright
Minds, eyes, thighs (smile) and smiles
We never stopped smiling
A 6 day visit to a rural African village completely changes a woman’s Facebook profile picture
Still smiling… (smile)
For we have soooo much history
No scratch that. His and her story
Technology, philosophy, ideology
So we continue to
(RISE UP!!)

From the Ancient city of Timbuktu to Kigali’s pristine streets
We are the cradle of humanity
And we’re only moving forward
Our potential is our actuality
As the Great Mugabi, once said
“Be who you want to be, not who you are”
(RISE UP!!!)

For this weeks edition of #ThrowbackThursday I present to you a poem that I wrote to perform at The University of Kansas African Student Association Sisimuka 2014 (an annual celebration of culture across the African diaspora)
P.S Sisimuka is Swahili for ‘Rise Up’

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