Are we free?


beautiful calm chain chain link
Photo by Mikes Photos on

I don’t see chains on my wrists and you can still drop her home after sunset, no curfew

No sign of uniformed men wielding guns on our asses either, only a petty thief after his peasant neighbor’s goat

But we’re not so different from the African-Americans in the US, always having to drive around with your phone camera on

Not because you like the view, because you’re not sure what’s lurking at the next police stop

How are we different from that Syrian poor mother with a hungry child but no store to buy food, can’t cross the border either

Hostility awaits on the other side of the border, a fellow mortal decides whether you live or die

Call ourselves free, why are we surviving on hand-outs and raising kids on hope

How are we free when we’re drowning in numbers, there’s greener pastures on the other side of the world

So scared of building from the ground, want a ready house.


She made us proud in the ring, patriotic to the end with the country’s flag on the big screen

But now walking half-naked in the streets, talking to herself like a lunatic

The sacrifice slowly eating her up from the inside, and still looking up to well-wishers to see another day

Got Conjestina’s plight on social media, now the big man wants to help but only on camera

The politicians still riding on tribal card, rule over them by making them fight one another

It’s your fellow neighbor in the slum who comes to your rescue when your kids starving, funny you wanted to burn his house because he voted against you

Can’t even afford school fees and his kids studying oversees, still wondering why you were dancing provocatively in the streets when he got re-elected

The streets overcrowded and I still have to watch out for the Chinese, they come with privilege entitlement and no room for escalation

2015 my sister died of cholera, on the other side of the coast there was Ebola

The world with us in prayer but maybe we were just guinea pigs, pharmaceutical is lucrative

And they always get away with it, there’s nothing like tribulation

It’s just a man eat man society, God for us but each man for himself.


On the TV another baby stolen from the clinic, disgustedly flip to the next channel and it’s another politician on 2022

Switched off the damn TV and scurried out of the house, half my class is unemployed and the scumbag has the audacity to speak on ’22 and it’s only ‘18

And I can’t even talk of the Asian Community without being branded racist, granted full citizenship but still going to bed with their shoes on and luggage parked by the door

I know what that uncouth barbarian, Idi Amin did to your folks in Uganda was evil, treating the rest of us with similar disdain is unfair

We are stuck here with you whether you like it or not, don’t look at my skin and if you employ me I only ask of fair treatment.


Thought slavery only lived in my history books, was wrong

No physical chains, the ones in my head strong

You know with education, thought will come elevation

Unashamedly sobbing and whimpering in church, the pastor read from the Book of Revelation


Are we really free, can’t help asking

She can’t marry me because I’m not a Muslim, her dad hates Christians

And I almost thought religion was the cure, maybe we should just go back to the beginning

Back in Eden, start afresh cause we’re all slaves.

11 thoughts on “Are we free?

  1. This piece is full of the stuff the world is made of for each and every one of us, Madekesi. It is a rally cry for us to stop and look one another in the eye, and say, “Hello, Brother. Hello, Sister. Let’s treat each other like human beings should, each and every one.” I love this piece! You have a masterpiece here, Brother! Thank you for sharing it with the world. Without voices like yours speaking it and spreading it, the world may never hear it or see it. Keep writing and keep up the good fight! Your words make people think. Thinking is what the world needs instead of blind mind programming and profit!

    Liked by 1 person

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