Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!


They say the mind is a powerful thing to waste
The breeder of your knowledge
The father of your understanding
The root of your being
Like the root of an oak tree
Always searching, reaching out for more

More knowledge, more wisdom, more confusion
And with the confused mind comes confused ideas
Of an identity we think we still have
An identity that was long ago stolen
An identity we strive for everyday, searching, reaching, yearning
Yearning to belong, to be included, to be labelled

Young, Black and African we proudly proclaim
Our labels, so dear we hold them
African, with an American shirt
African, with an English name
African, with straightened hair
African, so proud to be...African

They say the mind is a terrible thing to waste
The breeder of racism
The father of your prejudice
The root of your seclusion
Your seclusion from the main stream
A stream that flows into a river

A river teeming with ideas you oppose
Ideas you don't believe in, ideas you despise
But which keep flowing into the ocean
An ocean of mainstream ideas
An ocean you want to swim out of
But are constantly being pulled back into

An ocean of stereotypes and labels
Always sucking at you, pulling, grabbing
Wanting you to come into their depths
Into their darkness of society
And then you break free
And walk on dry land

Free to be yourself, free to be honest, free to be Lesego
With no one labelling you, no one placing claims on you
No one claiming to understand you
Free to be you
You with your poems, you with your different ways, you with your open mind
Just to find loneliness on dry land

Stranded on a deserted island, just you and your mind
No one understanding your point of view, no one seeing things your way
Everyone squinting to look in your direction, blinded
Blinded by your ideas, blinded by your ways, blinded by society
You try to survive, building fires to draw others in
But no one wants to come out of the water

No one understanding why, no one understanding you
You remain stranded, alone on your own island
Everyday yearning for someone to understand you
Someone with whom to share ideas
Someone to not judge you
Someone to just be there.

Written by Lesego Nare Semenya


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge