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Muhammad A. Al Mahdi

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Death of a Migrant or Africa Must Unite (South Africa 2008)
By Muhammad A. Al Mahdi
Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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A comment on the recent events in the Rainbow Nation.

P.S.: Don't mind my bad grammar. In a situation as the one described below, grammar rather tends to decline.

South Africa 2008, and my left eye dey crack paa!                             

'e dey smack 'em hard hard! 'e dey use stick, 'e dey use iron bar, what 'e dey find 'e dey use, calling me what we call obuase but 'e no be obuase paa, debi-o! 'e be some small small insect where 'e dey crawl for ground them dey call me by him name, some small-small bug-like thing where 'e be dark and despicable and ugly too.

"You go home for your thief country! Go back, and if you no go go, you go see the thing we go do for you!"

All right, all right. I go back. It is go I dey go, true . You see... Na country no be my country. I no fit stay for place like this, kra. Me, I go go. Don't worry! If only, only they could stop the beating.

The way the juice drop out of my eye paa! Na thing be gone, I tell you. Gone for good.  

My dear friends, please stop killing me, and I go back! If only, only I fit leave na rainbow country alive!


My eye go black, the other one too. I dey fall--- Fall over? Fall under? Who dey know? I don't know say what be this thing 'e dey happen for me.

Ah! Peace!


All of a sudden now, I small again, small like--- like insect--like---

I remember the time I be small boy and how teacher dey cane us if we don't bring  na homework he give us finish and neat, if we make like we don't know. O, na teacher 'e no take joke paa! Eh madamfo--- that time too! 'e no be easy. At all at all. But then, it was sweet sweet too! Childhood days, you see. They never come again.

But oh! Agye! I dey feel some pain again. What be that now? What I dey do?

Some sharp sharp voice dey crack open my ear. Some shouting dey. 'e sound like when we speak our language at school and the teacher dey smack him cane say: Speak English!

O yes, sweet childhood days: "I pledge on my honour to always be faithful..."--and you know what? Us children at school self, we do action sell some things make we get some small money send 'em down to support our brothers in South Africa in their struggle. For how them people suffer-o! The whole Africa dey send 'em money, 'e dey collect funds for every corner, children self, for our dear brothers in South Africa there where the white man dey kill 'em. And, oh! we feel every wound, every drop of blood like 'e be us self, like 'e be ours. For Africa be one, not two, and Africa must unite.

Then, how we feel joy when they liberate Osagyefo Mandela! Nelson Mhlala Mandela, "he who shall prepare us for the great things to come". O our South African brothers, free at last, we happy past you! And we watch "Serafina" and we talk late. How na film dey suit us paa! 'e dey touch our soul. 'e be our struggle too, now won. Free at last!

Now when I dey die here, I go die for free country.

My whole body pain, my brothers, why you no stop beating?

And then, with them iron bar 'e dey smack me hard again.

"Go back to your country!"

It be  y o u kill me before. I no fit go when I dead, you see?

"You take our work! You follow our women!" Me? 'e no be your women I follow. They fat past my liking, you see? Only rich man fit feed them.

When I done die, you think work dey come? Try and see! But no! Better no try 'em, I beg. For me, I no like trouble. I fit stay alive go back and away and then you see, when all of us dey far off, whether there be work for you, any more past now. Whether you can feed your wife better then make 'em stay with you. And whether 'e go stay or look some other. For 'e no look men. 'e look money. 'e be everyone must eat. Him too and you too.

And you dey kill u s---what for? It is a tragical failure of brainship.

Hear what them chief people say na them elders: 'e be the white man make 'em so. 'e be racial degradation plus poverty.

But me, I be poor man too, and I no go round killing people in my country where 'e dey so many foreigners, South Africans too. And where the white man dey rule before. Na white man no be me paa! 'e no be like 'e dey for my head inside make I do things, make I no know the thing I dey know.

Wa ti?

Now make I tell you plain: some people say foreigner 'e no dey like 'em for them country-- but then, who be the one 'e say Africa be one? One. So foreigner no dey.

Rainbow be white na black na brown na green--- but different shades of black be rainbow too, not so?

We get people where 'e know that if stranger go come, maybe he eat your food, true , but he dey bring him own food too, and it be you dey eat 'em, and today 'e be me and tomorrow 'e be you.

My brother, if you dey kill me, you don't know tomorrow.

'e no dey a one be better past the other.

People are ungrateful. Once more 'e dey show.

Make I tell you now: 'e no be any white man make you do the thing you dey do. 'e be you, you God go ask 'em: What thing and what thing  you be doing and why. You go answer yours. I go answer mine. The other go answer their own.

'e be fear, fear, my brother, fear to trust your own guidance and your own brain where you no dey respect 'em; 'e be that, my brother, where 'e make you no see the thing everyone can see, the true problem where 'e bring your true problems. No be us, no your fellow Africans, your comrades-in-poverty where 'e also be your comrades-in-arms, not only those days but now self, today today, where 'e dey bring the trouble, but 'e be something something beyond your control and beyond ours too, something you for watch out sharp sharp.  

And why you no see 'em? Why na thing be beyond our control self? Because we blame each other. And we kill each other. Maybe you think some poor old beat savages like us, with them ragged souls---how them go know? A-ah! 'e be too well we know. Too well. That is the problem. And those where them really be the one behind 'em, 'e dey laugh-o! 

Just the way them dey laugh us stupid obuase, for to massa him eyes black be black, and no any difference dey!

All right, my brother, make I be done with! My eyesight no go come back and all my bone 'e dey crack paa, under your stick.

"Go home!"

(Home is over Jordan.)

(South) Africa must unite.   



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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/9/2008
This is full of pain and a cry for healing and justice; I appreciate your message. Thank you for sharing. Love, peace, and best wishes to you,


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