Letter to Nelson Mandela

a poem by Nkwelle Assurance Nkwelle, Cameroon

I write not to complain but to let you know
The memories of our black Africa and the toils
And pangs of eyes of roguery.
The eyes of men blink and blur the eyes of their men.

When we laugh, our eyes are thunder lightening
Wayed to tears,
And today the way you led is casually shunned,
Are we not in Africa?

Your note we saw,
The roof that you built, a caring father only does so for his son.
O, yes! You did.
The house today has delapidated. This end itself talkless.

We have pollsters, but they have poky mouths,
Even they cannot sing loud
Tigerish teeth are underneath pricking their occasions,
Shall I say I cry while informing you?

Or shall I simply tell you that our land is stratified?
That only plutocrats live in our house free,
Our men gather to wheel it round,
But only fertile preys for pogroms?

You led the way to the cross
But none else has been so selfish since then;
Only sphinx drives do we take,
Was that the price you paid?

Sir, I know this may be marvellous,
But now I have to you posed it.
Splenetic transmorgrifications of your craft, we witness today.
They say peace, they practise war.

Sir, haply the greatest point of my distress is in this
Turn of things. Our brick-layers have sharp trowels.
The Trojan horse did its best at that time;
We have only turds of chameleons planted under our feet,

And conversant, we are with them,
To sway is no man's dream.
Stigmas of bleak lines even our progressive forces profess,
Still with letters, they have gustos of the tortoise.

O, Sir, shall men ever part ways with this?
I feel some curse, I deem it necessary
That like you, these men of zombiec zests shall buy
The yippee echo of your days.

Today, that there is only one principle men should dwell by!
That you and Washington and Lincoln fought to enliven,
We have new versions of it all, strange!
And we still call it democracy.

And Sir, especially in our house
We have the game tabled to us and styled 'new deal',
A new deal that 'began' some three decades and ages more.

Sir, my mother had a child, she never changed from the ground,
At thirty-seven, she still creeps and unashamed,
She sucks my mother's breasts unseemingly fed,
To complain, she bullies me to leave her child;

Tells me that all children are of God.
And one day, 'this one will walk,' saith she.
And indeed,
She will one day walk!

I do not know whether by now I bother you,
I pray you Sir, read further. I shall limit my vapid mind,
For, pointing out this, to borrow from the poets,
Is tantamount to heading towards my 'grassy-barrow', but see!

Our new deal has two new deal democracies:
These, I will pray the great democracies to buy,
If they do side with us,
Yet I have not told you what they are.

O, a great mother democracy, you gave birth
To two unidentical children, none to your lineage resembles,
Themselves unidentical,
But so identically blended; they have '-cracy'.

I shall call them Gerontocracy and Kleptocracy.
Not sixty-five, you cannot be called to the crew
And if you don't erect a double hundred million mansion
In a year of service, I bet you Sir,

You cannot be called an 'African democrat,' so they call it.
Though these, the covets of this land pervert
The principles set forth by them; Hitler's progeny!

So Sir, I may beg you that I wish to rest my hand,
But before I go,
Tarry not to help me, me?
Us to fulfil this

If it meets you (though I, by no means pray it doesn't
But I am merely being cognisant
Of our common identity - plutocrats or proletariats, we must bear it),
Do this last thing.

Call them all,
If you still have the wage to do so,
Remind them that there are people
Looking weary of their claws,
That equally they are human beings, though prisoners.

That men should strive to be hailed,
Like you, I say,
And not to rail as Taylor, Amin
And their species.

So Sir, Thank you for attending me
If I hear you, what joy shall I glorify!
Men are only pious and humble at needs,
At achievement, they become peacocks,
This, even women know.

Your admirer

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