Watch – To-do list for Africa

2011-08-18 10:47

Lebogang Masango, a student and writer, says it’s time for Africans to revel in the continent’s beauty instead of accepting the negative views about it.

Watch her recite and talk about her poem, To-do List for Africa:

When you no longer hate who you are
And the circumstances that brought you here
Undress yourself
Reclaim your weathered body without fear
Stand naked at your Nile
And hold your reflection dear

Behold a brilliance

You, cracked riverbed
Almighty harmattan
Spectacle of sand dunes,

Are the wonder of the earth

Cleanse yourself

Bathe in still waters
And while contemplating your future
Flick the chip off your shoulder
Treat yourself to a make-over

Dress in all your splendour
Just like the days of old
Adorn yourself in the armour
Of oil, diamonds and gold

Destroy the robe of martyr
Once and for all

Deprive the stain of colonialism
Any relevance or meaning
Pack your throat full of a narrative
That truly believes in healing

Let it be your song

Sung through centuries
And echoed by possibility
Echoed by possibility
Echoed by possibility

See, the sun will forever speak highly of me
Take the sandstorm of my skin as testament
To the survival of Timbuktu Manuscripts
And the creations of Egyptian architects
Our blood carries the staying power of ancients

How solar rays cast exact shadows
Was our version of quarter-to-nine
So fuck “African timing”
We exist in a time before time
The sun is our culture

Take this to-do list as a lesson
And, once again, let love be our nature

I am begging with all of my browness
Unlearn the word “pirate”
When speaking of poor Somali people
Actively controlling the destiny of their seas
Against the ever-pillaging, long-arm of European greed
They are protectors

Unlearn the wrath of fire
The way hatred burns down shacks in Khayelitsha
Beats down bodies in Diepsloot and rapes in Alexandra
Leaves the devastation of desperation in its wake
Poor against poor and nothing is being done by the state
Never forget: Harambe

Unlearn your blemishes
Unlearn Idi Amin

Unlearn civil war
Blood diamonds
Child soldiers
And casualties

Unlearn your ugly

My love for you is a broken mirror
Sits heavy in the cavity of my chest
Among dusty boxes full of Fela Kuti songs
And a history bloodied by regret
When I think of you
My heart knows no rest
It skips off track
But once a mirror is shattered there’s no way to put back
The pieces
And pieces of turmoil, disasters and diseases
A whole continent of people
Who have been overlooked by the mercy of Jesus
I’m going to need us to love ourselves
A whole lot louder
Even if the ‘first’ world can’t see us

Hold this love up high
Let the splinters of imperfection
Tell the story of you and I
And even if it cuts to tell the truth
I promise to stop throwing your name around
Like an old excuse

So, remember
When you no longer hate who you are
And the circumstances that brought you here

Undress yourself
Reclaim your weathered body without fear
Stand naked at your Nile
And hold your reflection dear

Bloodied but never broken
Are still

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Folau a doubt for Wales clash
England merchandise 'reduced to clear'
White all ears over England job
16 stats and facts: Springboks v USA
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.