New African Writers
Bode Osanyin

Mother Africa

She crouches low into the earth
The red, hot sun branding her brain
And scorching her dreams
She covers her bent head with the shawl
But the dust of ages crawls into her mouth
As she hoes and rakes the defiant weeds into submission

Chatting and giggling in bell-like chimes
She seeks the strength to lift the mounds of her toil
The wheelbarrow fills up fast and heavy
It protests and squeaks all the way
But she must make her cent for the day
So she strains and pushes the metal horse full of hay

Two sacks for the donkey
One sack for Mother Africa
Strapped to her back like an overgrown offspring
She doubles over in agony
But she takes step after painful step
Keeping her eye on the prize

Walking the arduous walk
On a dusty and thirsty trail
With a full cask sitting atop her shorn head
Without missing a step
She puts the bright-eyed baby to her flat breast
And cuts a path with her sickle and sweat

She tightens her wrap and hastens her step
The proud lift of her head and graceful sweep of her hand
The vigor has come and not a moment too soon
She must make the cent
That will feed the children and send them to school
For she has vowed that their dreams they shall embrace

To her home at last she has come
The children gather round and fuss and fight
She has nurtured so many and yet has such little to show
But the job is not done for toil some more she must
Struggle and sing from day to day
For she is the mother of the errant child called Africa

© Copyright 2003, Abena Kwakye-Berko


Land of birth

Commonwealth full of mirth

Women of worth

Men with considerable girth


Cocoa rich

Gold in every niche

Bauxite and diamonds that cause an itch

Timber growing at fever pitch


Rich, brown earth so sweet

Filled to the brim with pulsating heat

Tropical rain coming down like a sheet

Fresh air to make the cycle complete


Savannah so green and wide

Beaches stroked by the restless tide

Forests in which secrets preside

Deserts that the sun has fried


Markets, colorful and bright

Streets, full of hope and delight

Hawkers who are occasionally contrite

Party animals reveling through the night


Villages of vivid red mud huts

Dotted with the fruit of the palm nut

Cities filled with mansions that strut

This is definitely the place to go for a crew cut


Swaying to the beat of sultry hi-life

With a woman who is definitely not the wife

Playing loud the drums and fife

For Ghana is forever done with fury and strife

 Copyright 8 2003 by Abena Kwakye-Berko

All rights reserved

The Ashantis


Strong-willed and proud are these people of mine

Stubborn and contentious from head to toe

On the west coast of Africa they can be found

Their history stretches to a time before time


Trouble and misery to the British they gave

When these uninvited guests tried to steal their home

For the Ashantis were the warriors who ruled the coast

And were not about to surrender their power and prestige readily


Battle after battle were fought between the two

Even the Ashanti women fought valiantly

But the weapons of the invader were too far advanced

So the proud Ashantis also came under British rule


The British won, but their victory was hollow

For the Ashantis continued to be a thorn in the flesh

Vociferous and belligerent these new subjects proved to be

The British finally realized that they would never bring the Ashantis to their knees


Although the colonial master was overthrown years and years ago

The Ashantis remain as controversial as yesterday

This is the kindred that all love to hate

And yet admire and respect for their persistence and ingenuity


Ashantis don=t care what others think

Their ambitions and dreams override everything

They definitely thrive on adversity

And can always be found in the thick of any controversy


Ashantis will fight with their last breath

>Never give up,= is their motto and creed

They will make a way where none should be

The name of their game is creativity


Copyright 8 2003 by Abena Kwakye-Berko

All rights reserved

US - Africa Literary Foundation

Chimdi Maduagwu, PhD
Executive Director
US-Africa Writers Foundation
Macaulay Oluseyi Akinbami
US-Africa Writers Foundation
Lagos, Nigeria

Website Copyright © 2002-7 US-Africa Writers Foundation.  Selected writings copyright by their authors