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CONVERSATION WITH A LEGEND… By Moshibudi Thatego Madia

23 Jul

Monrovia, LIBERIA: (FILES) A child soldier wearing a teddy bear backpack points his gun at a photographer in a street of Monrovia 27 June 2003 where Liberian President Charles Taylor's forces took control of the city. At the iniatitve of French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, France will host 05 and 06 February 2007 in Paris an international conference on children involved in armed forces and armed groups called "Let US Free the Children of War". Co-presided by Philippe Douste-Blazy and Ann M. Veneman, executive director of UNICEF, and in the presence of Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary-general?s special representative for children in armed conflict, the conference will bring together representatives of nearly 60 countries, including many ministers, the European Union, many international organizations, including the United Nations, and representatives of civil society, in particular former child soldiers and NGO leaders active on the ground.  AFP PHOTO FILES GEORGES GOBET (Photo credit should read GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

He told tales…
Sad tales of the black child.
He spoke of how he was shackled,
Chained and sold.
He related to me
Stories of slavery,
How the black child went from
Being king,
To a servant,
Even though he once ruled
And lavished in his pride,
For royalty sake of his kingdom, Africa.

He took me on a journey,
Far over centuries,
Well out of time,
Outside the bounds of our realm.
I saw things I’d never seen,
I heard things I’d never heard,
I felt things I’d never felt.
I saw death
I heard  cries
And I was petrified.

I saw more and more and more death.
The black child disgraced,
Stripped,
Shot,
Hanged,
Whipped
Yet, even more and more and more black children were born.
Each stronger than the ones before
They were brave.
And they fought back.
Against the system,
Against the whip slinger,
Against the nigger caller,
Against the kaffer commander,
Because he was told that he was a king.
He was told this because the ones before never forgot.

The legend said that our escapades weren’t for sheer entertainment,
He said that he needed to remind me, a black child
Of my ancestors’ story.
To show me that
For as long as the black child lives
A struggle will always lurk.
But, for as  long as the struggle lurks
My ancestry has fortified me
And boldness resides in me.
Adequate enough to fight
And find with all my might.

Then he asked
“What are you fighting for child?’
Before I could answer,
My vision cleared
And my eyes opened to the view of the ceiling,
With my mouth open
And tears streaming down my cheeks.
It was all a dream….

By Moshibudi Thatego Madia

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