DEAR WINNIE (Oswald's Tribute to Winnie Mandela)

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In the midst
Of our night, here we have our ears
Served with your dirge;
O’ Winnie, you too have left but when the last cast of the darkness sets on the “Gateway to Africa”.
 
Alas, I say, when you go,
Tell the ‘foregones’—Azikiwe, Nkrumah, Madiba, Nyerere, Lumumba,
Kenyatta, Biko, Senghor… —
That in their absence, the wolves are back to devour our land
 
Send our tears & wails to them;
Tell them they
Left us but, in the care of demons who now barter our bloods
For their selfish gains!
 
Tell them
There is no peace for them to rest in now
For their backs
They left behind are openly secured against the predators
 
Tell them that
Yet we, the last tribe of the sprouting cut tree
Of ancient times,
Are up to fight the last phase of the war
 
Rest in Power Winnie!
Rest in Power Comrade!
 
Amaaandla!…Awethu!
 
About The Poet
Oswald Okaitei is a young Ghanaian poet, spoken word artiste and a playwright. He has a number of poetry collections to his credit and two plays. He is a World Poetry Director from Ghana. He is one of the new breaths to African written & oral literature. In this poem, the poet mourns Winnie Mandela’s exit from this stage of the living but mourns more for his motherland at the peril of neo-colonisation.

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