Today I feel a little nostalgic, mainly because I remembered a poem I used to recite in elementary school: Dry Your Tears Africa, by Bernard Dadie. My teacher, Mr. Doamekpor, made our entire class memorise this poem and recite it from time to time. And now, many years later, as I go over these familiar words, I realize that they hold much deeper meaning than 11 year old me could comprehend. I would like to share this poem with you today, and I hope it gives you a sense of clarity, kinship and patriotism for our beloved Africa. Enjoy.
Dry your tears Africa Your children come back to you Out of the storm and squalls of fruitless journeys Through the crest of the waves and the bubbling of the breeze, Over the gold of the East and the purple of the setting sun, The peaks of the proud mountains and the grasslands drenched with light. They return to you out of the storms and squalls of fruitless journeys. Dry your tears Africa! We have drunk From all the springs of ill fortune and of glory And our senses are now opened To the splendor of your beauty To the smell of your forests To the charm of your waters To the clearness of your skies To the cares of your sun And to the charm of your foliage pearled by the dew Dry your tears Africa! Your children come back to you their hands full of playthings And their hearts full of love They return to clothe you In their dreams and their hopes
Maybe I’m being biased because this poem holds some sentimental value, but this is one of the best poems I’ve ever been treated to. It captures a lot of complex emotions and feelings of affinity for one’s home, no matter how far away one may travel. I’m just grateful to have been taught this lesson when I was very young. Thank you, Mr. Doamekpor, the best teacher I ever had.
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