01 Jun 1963, Nairobi, Kenya --- 6/1/1963-Nairobi, Kenya- Waving his "wisk" the newly-elected Premier of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, (R, foreground), greeted throngs of cheering citizens as he rode through the streets of Nairobi. Accompanying Kenyatta are Tom Mboya, (L), Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; A. Oginga Odinga, Minister for Home Affairs; and James S. Gichuru, Minister for Finance. The motorcade was part of the National Holiday celebrations which marked the start of internal self-government for the African nation. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The masses were dazzled
The illumination too much to bear
And the scarlet haze on the sun was gone
In washed a clear tide as the bloodied one ebbed away
A lazy wind trudged by, heavily laden with child
A child named Future.
The land trembled from down under
As our ancestors reveled in our libations
Our fathers removed and up threw their hats
Not in deference to a rude passing white boy
But buoyed by the hope within their broken hearts
Up flew our mothers’ kanga in ululation
Not in a haste to get a way from the horny Johnnies
But driven by the tingling joy within their hurting hearts
Down came tumbling the jack that hijacked our land
As our colours flapped in the wind like uncaged birds
When dusk came, we slept drunk from the cup of hope…

But alas! When the rosy fingers of dawn came,
Our shackles were back and above us stood not the empire
We shut our eyes hoping the surreal dream would fly away like an evil wind
Still our the shackles tightened and our horrors multiplied
But not to risk the curse of the shed blood
We dared not wish for the Johnnies return
And for five decades we have lived in this dream
Hoping that one day our minds will have mercy and unbind us
For we are now dazed not because of the hope but hunger pangs
And a heavy barren wind wobbles by shrieking
A mother who lost unborn already named Future
The earth still trembles from down under
For our ancestors yearn for our libations
Our fathers now throw their hats not in joy but desperation
Our mothers throw their kangas in pain for a murdered child…
This sick rattle of these new but old shackles
Reminds me of an empty word; independence.

(for all those who lost their lives and were denied their independence)

© chrispus kimaru