[Poem] Scatterlings (By Francis Kintu)

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have you seen them?
Black figures clearing snow from a road in Paris,
Soot laden black figures loading coal in a blast furnace in Italy,
Hard earned Euros from back breaking work.

Street traders peddle fried fish while,
Ghanaians cobblers wait on streets for customers in Johannesburg;
African sex workers cheekily parade their wares
In some dimly light street of Moscow….!

African professors wag fingers in heated polemics,
In some American Ivy League university,
Engaged in intellectual jousts of philosophy, politics and African culture,
That would fill many a page of a peer- reviewed journal

Nattily dressed Africans sip on bubbly champagne in Basel,
Discuss equities and bonds with boffins of financial institutions,
In eloquent French that would make any native Parisian
Blush with envy..!

Down the lane lies many an unmarked grave
Where countless Africans are interred in cemeteries abroad
Unremembered, forgotten……
How much is Africa hemorrhaging,
Of her precious manpower,
Scarce human resources,
Born and proudly raised in some African village
But lost to economic tides,
Caught up in the powerful snare of globalization.

What could have been if,
Such enormous talent was to remain
In Africa’s institutions?

Some brilliant economist, delivering an annual budget speech
In the gilded chambers of an African legislature;
An erudite professor in Makerere, or Ibadan University,
Rediscovering Timbuktu’s long-lost academic fame
That spawned knowledge in the ancient world of the 15th century.

A Nyerere extolling political unity in lands deeply divided by tribalism,
Or, some Seddar Senghor spouting flowery poetic epithets,
A Wangari Maathai adding glory to the pride of African women,
A Soyinka re-inventing some literary genre,
Or, a Ngugi wa Thiongo rediscovering a long lost oral tradition.

The brilliance of African brains has been laid waste
At the foothills of economic poverty;
Driven abroad are the scatterlings of Africa’s economic woes
Doomed to walk the ever -darkening night of economic exile.


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