Poem for the 50th anniversary of Organisation of African Unity

One of the most powerful young poetic voices coming from Zimbabwe is Lancelot Muteyo who has often shared his work focused on peace and environmental issues.

This piece was written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Organisation of African Unity now called Africa Union on the 25th of May 2013.

Black death

I grieve in sadness
The loss of black identity and pride
Drained by the forces of imperialism, capitalism
Nepotism and corruption.

I weep  in anguish
The fatality of black arts and crafts
Pregnant with imagination
Now drained by technology.

I bewail in despair
The demise of black culture
Disseminated through the wisdom resident in old age
Only swallowed by the  global village.

I lament in mourning
The casualty of Black Kings;
King Mzilikazi, King Lobengula, King Chibatamatosi
Kings who were driven away by the colonial driver.

I mourn with ferocity
The death of black power,
Communal power and belonging
Traded for the  Eurocentric nuclear family.

We shall tussle
Until we  greet the rising sun that day.
When black will mean bold
Beautiful and bravery.

Lance, Christine and Adriano

Lance, Christine and Adriano

Lance writes:  This photo was taken during the first Zimbabwean Carnival, well it was not exactly a carnival but just a street festival to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination against the background of bad publicity given to our beloved nation as a violent country. Our son is called Adriano Kundai Muteyo. Kundai is a Shona name (My language) which means victory. It is in honour of all the challenges and hurdles we faced and conquered  in our journey of life.

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4 Responses to Poem for the 50th anniversary of Organisation of African Unity

  1. Rosalie Sugrue says:

    Your picture is living testimony to the black and the beautiful. Be assured the prayers of multitudes are with you in your brave, bold struggles – as we say in Aotearoa, Kia kaha. It means ‘stand tall’ in Maori but also conveys ‘we support you.’

  2. I am just back from some days in NYC, and Lance and his family are not only beautiful, they look like they could be in NY! The hope I took from being there is that, in the midst of the technology and its power, the young from many cultures carry on their customs, play with their children, and are strong. Lance will carry forward the ways of his people, through his poems and his life, and his culture will survive.

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