Writing Africa back to freedom…

African Renaissance statue: Senegal

He lies face up on a tattered blanket against a cold cement wall that reeks of a tortured past. His leathery forehead glistens with drops of sweat. A dry trail of tears, carves its way through his cheeks.

His bony hands are clasped together like one lying in a coffin. An air of dignity shrouds his lopsided frame.

He inhales deep, as though drawing from a place afar, perhaps the only place where his weary existence finds rest. He dreams of a future devoid of slavery, poverty and dis-ease.

Curious looks of passersby pierce through his being. They walk by silently and quickly, averting their children’s eyes from the living corpse, rotting in public. They analyze and throw pittance of charity.

I kneel by, close enough to observe his neat manicured hands. Close enough to study the titles of the pillow of books his head is resting on:

“The idea of Africa – Valentine Mudimbe”
“I write what I like – Steve Biko”
“Freedom in our Lifetime – Anton Lembede”
“The State of the Nation – Kwesi Kwaa Prah”
“Let my People Go – Albert Luthuli”
“An Afrocentric Manifesto – Molefi Asante”
“A long walk to Freedom- Nelson Mandela”

“I am an African – Thabo Mbeki”

With his eyes glued shut, he calmly asks me “what do you want”?


“I am not dead yet, don’t write Africa off”, he mutters.

I smile and walk away. Africa is alive !

God bless Afrika!

Pearl Pebetse


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