Cry Africa Girl


On the importance of modern-day African girlhood, by Handsen Chikowore

Dankali girl in festival dress

Up in the azure sky
Shoots the sun’s rays
Rises to meet another day
Another promise
To me its not yet any hope
As each day brings more problems
Which trouble a thirteen year old girl

Setting alight fire early morning
Sweeping the sheets of dust and dirt early morning
A beast of burden for firewood so I am bound
All those long distances I have to walk
A throbbing ever throbbing pain to my foot
With the baby clinging on my yonder back

The thorn infested forests
The meandering long walks to boreholes and wells
The back breaking dreary buckets full of water
Its so tiresome my body sweats
Its so punishing my body cannot endure

All African girls
Cry for your rights
The rape, torture and victimisation
Our life an eerie furnace of denied paradise
A sad song of denied education
I am so weary, Oh weary, So weary
A breath for fresh air cometh not
Don’t fall African girls
Up and fight
Yearn for another life
Another era.

Copyright © 2000 Handsen Chikowore. All rights reserved.

You can also read more of Handsen’s insightful works, Three Poems of Exile from Zimbabwe.

Handsen Chikowore is a resident of suburban Harare, Zimbabwe, and a member of the Methodist Church.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The preceding post originally appeared in the online multicultural journal New Tribal Dawn, which published essays, fiction and poetry from 1999 to 2007. Although the journal is no longer active, we are preserving its fine literary archive here for posterity.)


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