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Konye Ori

As the Pine Cypress tree would say

I want to be like the Cassia tree-
The Cassia tree by the river side
I want to be like the Cassia tree
firmly rooted in the soil inside
so when the winds play its tune of tempest
I will sway left and right as it would have me sway
Sway and not break or lose a footing
as the pine cypress tree would say

I want to be like the Cassia tree-
The Cassia tree by the riverside
I want to be like the Cassia tree
firmly rooted in the soil inside
so when the clouds gather and dress the sky in
dark clothing, for the ritual of the rain
I will stand its pour to the rage of the thunder
Stand and not break or lose a footing
as the pine cypress tree would say

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Crying 'Africa

Once the color of the night,
graced in starry skies

The full moon left little to wonder
of the morning sunrise
Then we were singing “Africa.”

But lightning flashes struck our clouds
and raging thunders burst open
the sky and let the rains pour.

Now, we are flooded in austerity; we flow
scrambling for support,
tramping over one another for a gasp.

The current of diseases and hunger
washes us away. We slop in the
tides of corruption and as we are washed,
we flounder and we cry “Africa.”

[...] Read more

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Dance of a god

Life is beating the Ayara-Ekomo drum-
And I am dancing like the priestess of the river
possessed by the mermaid spirit of Anansa-

Even the Sun rises to applaud my passion

Fate has cooked for me- the black soup-
I lick it with the zest of a starved child

I run from the statues of my negriscent
that sing to me the songs of the spirits
and expect me to dance the dance of the dead

I run as far as I can under those hunting eyes of the night
through the thicket of the gathering spirits of the forest.

I can fall to the ground like a Yoruba man
to salute the full moon that illuminates my escape path

The daunting drum-beats of life blends with

[...] Read more

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Secret of the Sun

Raised by the bare bones of nature’s grace,
my home held hands with the feral forest,
where nature hid her gold.

I have heard palm trees whisper their stories
I have listened to the silent full moon quietly teach
lessons of those who had lived.
I know of the green secrets of the earth
Soft voices of searching roots that sprout forth, cluster
around my hut to tell.

I am from the bowels of Africa,
I understand the tongue of the wild.
I have swayed to the blue songs of humming birds that fill the
tree branches with their nests.
I have had breakfast plucked ripe off the tree
and lunch caught right from the river.
I have aimed a stick in the forest and secured supper.

I am from the bowels of Africa,

[...] Read more

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The Konye Obaji Ori (United Africa) Manifesto

Since the dawn of neocolonialism my nights have been filled with the ballads of Nzingha- the Amazon queen of Matamba, the sonnets of Nehanda- the Mbuya of Zimbabwe and the odes of Yaa Asantewa- the queen mother of Ejisu of Ashanti. I seem to have become the spirit of their poetries and the notes of their songs, for even when I sleep, I am awake to the pulchritude of the African night that they have graced. In my dreams I hold the staff of Osei Tutu and look like Chaka the Zulu in the robes of Desmond Tutu. My mornings are brightened by the philosophies of Affonso the first, the King of ancient Kongo, King Askia Toure of ancient Songhay, and Mansa Kankan Mussa of ancient Mali. My threnodies, chants and expressive verses of compositions have been from cognitions deep as the abyss where my love for Africa is rooted.
Out of the root cap of this adulation I have found a political voice and a passion to lead my generation- a passion born from the ill-fated chronicles of the African people. My shoulders have been strengthened and my mind broadened by the mentors, families and friends that I have been blessed with on my quest for a better Africa. With them I have been able to breathe in the lamasery of the ancestors of ancient Kement, Abyssinia, Kush, Bechuana, Basuto and Ashanti. With them, I breathe Africa.
I am driven on by the aphorisms of Mosheshoe, Mutato and Kwame Nkrumah: to unite Africa, to seek after a better life for her people and set her on the path to retain her lost glory. And yes they are many like me who have tried and failed, they are many like me who have yelled in the morning and have been silenced by nightfall. They are many like me who have been changed by the system as it is silhouetted, and they are many like me who have given up and decided to let things be the way they are. Yes they are many like me who have decided to let lions be lions and zebras be zebras. But the wounds, the scars and the pain of Africa, her tears, her blood and her songs fuel my voyage. I cannot find a reason to give up on my quest. They say I seek after an Africa that may never be found, but I seek it nonetheless. And though the finish line may seem beyond sight, I will run the run towards a better Africa. With the spirit of a Zulu, the grit of an Olulumo and the resolve of a Maasai, I run the race towards the unity faith, peace and progress that has eluded the land and the people of Africa since the birth of slavery, colonialism and imperialism.
I am not just an African with a voice for socio-economic and political freedom but an African with a humanitarian credo to uphold; I am a good-will ambassador for a one world community where a sense of oneness, credence, peace and collective advancement is inherent. I am Konye Obaji Ori and I seek a better world.

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