Mother Africa, tell me, why so much suffering? Dry your tears, for your children will assert themselves and affirm your diversity.


South Africans listen to President Cyril Ramaphosa during an election rally in Johannesburg, South Africa, 11 April 2019 (EPA-EFE/Kim Ludbrook)

By Souleymane Diallo

O Mother Africa,
My soul lives for you,
Your blood is flowing within me,
And your multicolored skin covers my body.

O Mother Africa,
Tell me, why so much suffering?
Why so much sadness on the faces of your children?
Is it due to a curse or an affliction?

These questions haunt the spirit of your children who seek refuge outside of you,
Yes, Mother Africa, outside of you!
But what is this misfortune that pushes your children outside of you?
O Mother Africa!

Shame on this tyrant who alienates the People.
Shame on this president who wades in rivers of blood,
Blood of your children.

Shame on this man who raises his hand on your daughters,
Your daughters as beautiful as goddesses,
Radiating as the Sun,
Sweet as the Rose.

O Mother Africa,
My beautiful Africa,
Sweet Africa.
Dry your tears,
Yes, dry your tears, Mother Africa,
Because the time has come for your children to assert themselves,
And to affirm you.

From Tunis to Cape Town,
From Tananarive to Praia,
Through Brazza,

Your children walk,
And even fly,
To require,
To recover,
And even to snatch,
What is right for them.

Ominira (Freedom in Yoruba),
And Salama (Integrity in Arabic),
Fahasahaza (Opportunity in Malagasy),
And Bantal (Development in Fulani Guinea),
But above all, Amani NA Haki (Peace and Justice in Swahili),

O Mother Africa,
Sumptuous Africa,
You can now rest in Peace,
Because your children shall maintain forever
This fire of diversity that you lit within our hearts.



  1. What is the author lamenting?
  2. Why does the poem end on an upbeat note?
  3. How many different languages are spoken in Africa? Are most Africans taught multiple languages in school? If so, which ones?

Souleymane Diallo is an African Leadership Academy student from Guinea. He is passionate about philosophy and changing how people perceive Africa. While mainstream media often portrays Africa as a place of misery, war and poverty, Souleymane likes to create essays, poetry and visual arts that celebrate the continent’s diversity, hospitality and bright future.

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