Letter To Our Ancestors


Palm Trees Along The RiverReply To Mother Africa; A Letter To Our Ancestors
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Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
Thank you dearly and greatly for writing again,
To ask after us, your beloved children.
Truly Mother, since you and the Ancestors left,
Things have changed beyond conception,
For the homes and gardens are all deserted,
Kinsmen and tribesmen, siblings and cousins,
All have traveled to foreign lands, over the seas,
There’s little hand to till the soil or farm the land,
And those behind can hardly live together in peace.

Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
I feel ashamed for all of us your own children,
But some kinsmen blame it all on old slavery,
Others hold it against the West and its civilization,
Yes, they say they will not return home again.
Yes, they claim that they fear for their lives,
Rebels, extremists, and terrorists everywhere,
Bandits and criminals prowling the highways,
Dictators and tyrants on the throne for life,
And your children stay away in foreign lands.

Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
Some parents, guardians, uncles and aunts,
Fail to raise or teach the youths with honor,
Some leaders seem to ignore good ways to lead,
Focused on tussles and schemes to forever rule
Begging for aid from strangers of foreign lands,
While they fill their coffers with the wealth of all
Selling brothers and sisters for silver and gold,
Seeking to please the agenda of foreign masters,
And turning deaf ears to the plight of the needy.

Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
I am sure many of us have never read or replied,
Any of the letters and signals you have sent to us
In the strife we face when we depart from virtue,
Yet, in your wisely judgment please be kind with us
For if there were means to record our cultures
Beyond folklores and our tales by moonlight
To teach our youth the noble ways of our fathers
They may not have learned the stranger’s ways,
Nor be taught to abandon the land and cultures.

Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
I know this letter may hurt your tender hearts,
Known to green vegetations and fruitful soil,
And cause you to weep for your many children.
I know this was not what you have hoped for,
‘Cause in your time, while you graced the earth,
Happiness reigned and the land was richly blessed.
You roamed the fruitful gardens in freedom and love,
You plucked ripe oranges and succulent apples,
Helping each other and sharing the harvest, all in joy.

Dear Mother Africa, and you Ancient Ones,
I know you wonder how many of your children,
Have gone astray from the great cultures you left behind,
And abandoned the principles that made us Africans,
Take heart Mother, for many of us still hold you dearly,
Steadfast in your ways and the remnants of your traditions,
The challenge is tough, but there’s quite a few on our side,
We shall teach the younger generation better about you.
Yet Mother when you write again, please send it abroad,
For I too have gone away to a strange land…

(…though I promise to someday return).

Oliver O. Mbamara ©2002 AFRICAN POEMS OF FREEDOM (updated 2015)

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Oliver Oscar Mbamara - Many faces, many calling, multiple careers

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2 Comments

  1. Proufound, insightful, perceptive, gripping, well crafted! Mucho kudos judge Oliver!

  2. “And abandoned the principles that made us Africans” creatively written- good piece, I enjoyed every stanza of this lovely poem.

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