They mock my footsteps
sweating as if they are boiled with vengeance
a whip in hand, they clobber my people
the last remnants of skin
hangs desperately from the edges of their whip
they pick out the freshest of the produce
spatting at how useless my people are.
Look at how you slave for them
look at your cracked backs.
My parents named me Aleela
I was born into pain
and I’ve lamented on my plight
only that I find no comfort
my family is long gone
picked by death as if they were dust
Now I’ve learnt to be alone
but look at my people
chained in circumstance
chained in capitalism
they’ve taken all that is ours.
the head of the gods
you belch on your throne
satisfied with providence
but here in the land of our ancestors
Look at my people
hope is chocked
while dawn is a still birth
we breathe a second longer to survive.
“Aleela, our hope
Aleela, the sun stocks its brilliance in your eyes
let me have some of the fruits
but they’ll scold me Barasa
only this Aleela, they’ve chained me
I am hungry
my sister is hungry too
look at how naked they’ve left her
look at the shame they’ve brought upon her”
“Ouch Aleela don’t leave, he’ll kill me”
“Aleela move the fuck on
why did you listen to that poor bastard
“Damn you, Damn you.”
We lack the will to fight
we lack the will to question,
Our bellies wrestle our minds
Barasa, I hope you are okay
I am just but a humble servant
lost in tribulation as a mashed potato asked to dance.
I’ll come to see you
I’ll bring you food to return your strength
I’ll risk for my people.
I bring you fountains of hope
maces of authority
food for your mind
Come out my kindred
come out with your chins up
disgrace how they fool us
let your minds lead you.
You are the lioness
the blanket of my cold body
you are the fruit I cant find in the shamba
you stand out among our people
Aleela, you are the prodigal child
the true child of the soil
come and stay with us
I long for the mettle of your smile
How your dimples sing like toddlers
how your skin started a battle inside me
I crave your touch
that no whipping or starvation will quench
come be with me my African goddess
I have to go Barasa
they will kill me for doing this
but as hell awaits us, so may I be damned
kiss me as if it is our last
discover me, touch me
fill me with your breath and sweat.
They incite my paranoia
always with me like the sun and the shadows
they never stop snooping on me
they dictate how I breathe.
Ugh, leave me alone
you tear my dignity
rubbishing my humanity as if I am a mole.
who want to realize their whims on me.
Barasa don’t kill him
he is one of them
his death isn’t worth the dirt in your hands
let him go.
Aleela, no one will hurt you when I am unchained
my mind is free
and like Nyakalanga, I flow everywhere – freely.
Fuck this chainer.
he’ll come back blazing with his ilk
he’s the system, he runs it
we are just foolish peasants
arguing with pot bellied vultures
that divide and feed on us
are we waiting to remain as skeletons
where is our pride
they’ll come for you Barasa
and spit more pain upon our dredged selves
arise from your deep sleep
they’ll kill Barasa for defending me
turning his sacrifice into punishment
is it probable that we should waste away
as if we are fools for their plundering
arise kindred, but we must try to talk
Master, release Barasa and I’ll cater to you
please listen to me.
If my pleas aren’t enough
I’ll lie down for you
I, Aleela will fucking lie down for you
my breathe hurts witnessing your savagery
I’ll do as you ask only this once
look here master, I am willing to do it now
look above my thighs
release him now!
Barasa my love
before they kill both of us
before they make us complete slaves
we must use our little freedom
to forge something
we must speak out
and if this is the democracy we acquired
so be it unto us
but we’ll fight against them
This is our land
this land my people shall know belongs to them
let’s agitate for what belongs to us
and hold them accountable
let’s rise above sycophancy and petty bull
package our resolve kindred
they may have won some battles but the war is ours.
© Eddy Ongili 2015
Photo credit: Chevellin Illustration. Magnificent art work done by Joesph Kendy.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, the names appearing here are purely imaginative of the writer and shouldn’t and mustn’t be construed to any other effect.”