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They told us stories Of men Tenacious, Shrewd Courageous, Flawed They said: look at Sankara Boyish, Fine And yet Defender, Deliverer They asked us to: learn from Lumumba First, vilified Then, dignified Fearsome challenger of Imperialists They wanted us to: remember Biko Write what we like Rise up to spite We were cautioned Shushed, then exhorted To never forget: Hani Cabral Olympio On street corners, verandahs Our feet bare, flat, sweaty; cloaked in dust Eyes turning upwards, then downwards, then sideways Thin fingers scratching roundish heads They beseeched us to: Remember the Architects Whose revolutionary blood Flows in the Limpopo The Zambezi The Congo On brown nights Miles south of the Sahara They taught us and retold us: You are Architects You will, someday Raze dungeons Build citadels We listened, we nodded We promised we would remember What Africa is What it always must be To Us, To Those Who Love Us A land of Fallen and Rising Heroes IMBOLO MBUE / CAMEROON: LAND OF FALLEN AND RISING HEROES A POEM BELONGING 215


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