Book Excerpt: Echoes at the Crack of Dawn by Tunde Dada



Oh, Africa of ages past!
The queen motherland of the ebony caste
Who all alone crusaded for moral values
And made her monuments as colossal statues
The richest in the royal glamour
That was my Africa of unparalleled valour
That housed the peaceful peasants
And the kindred of the noblest pedants
Oh Africa, the ebony skin of beauty
The fairest queen on royal duty

Your breath was the sweetest fragrance
And your shiny skin, the ebony radiance


The sweetest home of the wildest fauna

The richest land of the greenest flora
Endowed with the most alluring savannas                                                                                                                                                                                                The plantation of green and yellow bananas

The cattle longed to graze your tasty pasture
That was Africa of magnanimous stature
That drank only from the purest fountain
On Kilimanjaro, her tallest mountain
Alas, their boats sailed down to your coasts
Those men in their hats and their coats
They came, bearing a long chain of slavery
And with it broke your wings of bravery


There fell your arrows, bows, and shields
And your feet trembled upon your fields
Slowly, you fell at the middle of the battle                                                                                                                                                                                                           Watched the aliens beat your sons like the cattle


Burnt were your gods, they call them dead
The little lamb, we follow in their stead
Oh deep, we’ve gone deep in the alien rite
Our skin is black but our names turn white
Buuba had long gone but shirts have come
Iroo had lost but skimpy skirts have won
No longer do your sons eat from your pans
They consume the alien dishes from their cans


Your own goods, your sons neglect
But their goods, your sons respect
Changing and changing, your colours fade
And silence kills those songs you played


No more echoes of virtues but the noise of vices
Long have gone your antiques from their eyes

Gone are those days

That is what every mouth says


Do wake up this day, you have slumbered

Your old treasures have been plundered
Do rise, oh Africa, strive now for your glory
And my mouth shall tell another story


[End of Excerpt]