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African Poetry: WE NEED NEW NAMES

We need new names

Because our old ones have expired

They have become

Outdated and irrelevant

They call us beast of no nation

A bad name is like a stigma

I am discriminated against

And finding a job becomes harder


Ohh but my child

A good name is better than riches

If he can learn Schwarzenegger

They can learn your name

There is power in a name

We named you after

Your forefathers who were

Kings, warriors, and chiefs

They ruled their kingdoms

With Pride, Dignity and Honour


Lack of knowledge is darker than night

Don’t sell sail on someone else star

For life is like a shadow and a mist

It passes by quickly and is no more

Where you will sit when you are old

Shows where you stood in youth

And ruin of a nation begins

In the home of its people


We don’t need new names

Our old ones are just fine

Because in them you will find

Our rich, diverse and complex


If you throw away your name

You throw away your culture


This poem was extracted from the anthology The Afropolitan State of Mind authored by Kuda D. Gutu

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