Our Fathers - Poem by Hannington Mumo
I’ve always thought
How our ancestors for freedom fought;
How they selflessly offered their blood;
How they struggled relentlessly hard,
Sacrificing both flesh and bone
So that a new Kenya could be born!
About the same I’ve thought for long,
And methinks I sometimes can hear their valiant song:
“Arise, arise, you infant state,
And shine before it be too late
To build your indomitable fame and name,
For God didn’t create you mute or lame! ”
What then shall we pay
Our fathers who suffered in their day
So that we may indeed be free;
You, all others and me?
I’m lost in thought about this,
Because all our ancestors have gone to death’s bliss,
And their mouths are mute and their appetites (are) dead,
And their ears cannot hear any gratitude said.
I therefore cannot think of a fitting reward
For our brave fathers in the other world!
This is the unique thought I’ve always had:
That though our fathers are long dead,
Somehow their eyes are ever watching us,
And their tongues do speak a blessing or a curse
Depending on how we use their gift of freedom,
And how we treat Kenya—our glorious home!
How clear now is the answer!
Yes, our ancestors are dead and far,
But since their eyes are ever keen
Watching how we treat our country, neighbors and kin,
We may thank them by upholding both freedom and peace
And by watering the little trees of justice.
Oh yes! May peace and justice reign;
May a harmonious co-existence for mutual gain
Be found within our little borders.
Let us all take off our shoulders
The bulky burden of firearms,
So that we may solve our disputes in peaceful terms!
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