And those who left Africa, were the expelled?
Just recently I attended a party in the heart of Africa
A cellar with very little lighting
Somewhere in the city of Rotterdam.
Only black people, real black people
They were very beautiful, all of them
Men, women, children
They laughed, and they danced
And they connected to each other
For this was a time for celebration.
The very same people,
Just over ten years ago
Lived in violent adversity,
Killing killing, killing.
The people of this celebration
All were Tutsi’s, Hutu’s and their kind.
For us westerners,
I told a white man next to me,
It is impossible to gauge the various tribal relations
And past hostility among these people
But you can imagine what it meant to all of them
Here in Rotterdam, celebrating,
What it takes to do so between murderers and their victims –
As one other white man present depicted this occasion -
A feast like no other feast, A celebration of reconciliation.
Of all these beautiful people,
So highly civilized.
Civilization most certainly is carried by the ability
To apologize and to forgive.
And this is exactly what I could see painted
On all these wonderful black faces.
And when some bumped into me,
They offered their apology, as any gentleman would do.
I saw ‘welcome’ in their eyes
And I walked around, looking at the mothers,
And their childeren.
Ah, what beautiful children I have seen!
A friend of mine, who is an African of noble birth,
That night gave me his shawl, a symbol of his respect;
And all people respected me
And they greeted me with open mind.
Yet I thought I had to earn respect
On my own account first of all
And I tried to do so,
Simply by saying to all of them:“What beautiful children do you have!”
Perhaps otherwise they wouldn’t have known
What to think of this little white man.
I then spotted a young boy slapping
And kicking his mother
Immediately I walked upon him,
Kneeling right in front of him Saying:“Please, young boy, never beat your own mother!”
But was it correct for me say this to the boy?
In my own world I probably would have been right to do so
But then, which world in fact is causing the greatest unrest
Among the Mothers?
Which is the world which tortures its mothers?
Everywhere – outside Africa – mothers are in pain
In our world where we hunt for almost everything except
The protection of Motherhood.
But here, in this wonderful celebration,
I could only see happy mothers
Who are proud of their children
Perhaps the boy had to slap his mom
Who am I really to deny this to him?
I walked along, with my white shawl
Wrapped around my neck.
Later that evening I saw a young black man,
He seemed a student, with glasses on and looking serious
I asked him: “Are you a professor?”
He looked up, laughed, and said: “Yes i am!”“Good”,
I said, “I can see that you have talent,and that you have a good future”
He smiled at me, and he greeted me.
I followed the rhythm of the drums, and danced
On my own, and thought..
Really, drums must be the oldest instruments of humanity
For it is with dancing that music started
Not in the Church
Of which our Western music is a child.
I then returned to the young man and his glasses
Now there was young women next to him
She looked at me a little bemused
I said: “This is just between him and me”
And she nodded in acceptance
At which again I faced the young man“Would you promise me one thing?”
I asked. He laughed.“Would you promise me that you will develop all your talents And that you will use them to the benefit of Your own people?”
He considered this, with a friendly smile“Yes”,
he replied. “Sure, I will.”“Great!”,
I said. And then again I walked away.
This is how the celebration proceeeded,
Every time again, a laughing smile,
Joy all over!
And with the children I made my dance too
I believe they thought this was a little funny
The white man with his white shawl
But in their eyes I also saw a natural respect
They simply took me for what they saw
A strange man dancing. Ha!
There were others too who looked after the children
And one of them in particular struck me
As a special man
For he was making all kinds of jokes and funny movements
And I asked him
“Are you a teacher, or are you a lover?”
And he replied: “Yeah, a teacher!”
With a broad smile he embraced me
Yes, indeed a teacher!
This was not dissimilar from the conduct
Of my African noble friend
Who carried himself so naturally with the children
That instantly I saw in him what I had not yet seen
That he is a true Educator
He is not a teacher, he is an educator
There is a difference
Then this funny looking young man rushed past me
What an energy!
He was carrying a flag, the Burundi flag?
He sang and he danced on the rhythm of the music
“Give us the Power!” he shouted repeatedly
And all young man gathered under the flag
Holding a piece of it in their hands
And together they made a triumphant tour
Ending when a picture was taken
Of these young men and their trophy.
I walked upon the young man with the camera
And asked him to send the picture to me
At which point I wrote an SMS message
And he gave his cellphone number.
Who knows one day
I will have this wonderful picture
Of these young men of Africa
United under their national flag.
And having observed the entire event
In the way I did
Their joy and gaiety, and the intensely
Warm surge of love flowing among these people
Love conquers all distinction
But my most important reflection
Let’s assume – let’s just assume for the sake of it
Let’s assume that the African people once were the Chosen people
And those who left it, were the Expelled.
Let’s assume that this was the case
Seventy thousand years ago
Why then, and based on what right,
Do we let our planet suffer the way we do?
Will the Chosen Man of Africa
Ever retake the possession of the Earth?
And restore Creation to its proper sense?
I cannot let go of this question just like that
Just think of it!Just think that this may be the truth.