Stanley Meets Mutesa Poem by David Rubadiri

Stanley Meets Mutesa

Rating: 2.8


Such a time of it they had;
The heat of the day
The chill of the night
And the mosquitoes that followed.
Such was the time and
They bound for a kingdom.

The thin weary line of carries
With tattered dirty rags to cover their backs;
The battered bulky chests
That kept on falling off their shaven heads.
Their tempers high and hot
The sun fierce and scorching
With it rose their spirits
With its fall their hopes
As each day sweated their bodies dry and
Flies clung in clumps on their sweat scented backs.
Such was the march
And the hot season just breaking.

Each day a weary pony dropped
Left for the vultures on the plains;
Each afternoon a human skeleton collapsed,
But the march trudged on
Its Khaki leader in front
He the spirit that inspired
He the light of hope.

Then came the afternoon of a hungry march,
A hot and hungry march it was;
The Nile and the Nyanza
Lay like two twins
Azure across the green country side.
The march leapt on chaunting
Like young gazelles to a water hole.
Heart beat faster
Loads felt lighter
As the cool water lapt their sore feet.
No more the dread of hungry hyenas
But only tales of valour when
At Mutesa’s court fires are lit.
No more the burning heat of the day
But song, laughter and dance.

The village looks on behind banana groves,
Children peer behind reed fences.
Such was the welcome
No singing women to chaunt a welcome
Or drums to greet the white ambassador;
Only a few silent nods from aged faces
And one rumbling drum roll
To summon Mutesa’s court to parley
For the country was not sure.

The gate of needs is flung open,
There is silence
But only a moment’s silence-
A silence of assessment.
The tall black king steps forward,
He towers over the thin bearded white man,
Then grabbing his lean white hand
Manages to whisper
“Mtu Mweupe Karibu”
white man you are welcome.
The gate of polished reed closes behind them
And the West is let in.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Osazee Dankaro 26 September 2016

Fantastic poem. Deals with the doubts the black man had at the initial presence of the western world in Africa. Doubts which were wiped away by the African inbuilt trait of welcoming strangers. This welcoming spirit is what allowed the West in to Africa and gave them the grounds to under develop the continent.

11 5 Reply
J.T.Nagundi 18 September 2018

The British and Baganda are the same type of person. They welcome you with open arms and raise their daggers stealthily behind your back. The process continues like that until you bid each other farewell over a coffee bean or a tasteless cup of tea.

5 1 Reply
ciaera 09 January 2020

very good poem. " Mtu Mweupe Karibu" , my favourite line of the peom.

4 0 Reply
chloe..xoxo== 09 January 2020

a very good line. i think so too.

0 0 Reply
chloe..xoxo== 09 January 2020

good line tho.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 09 September 2021

Powerful lines and images depicting how the black men welcome the western world. A great poem.

1 0 Reply
Paulinus Zamani Kidanka 23 March 2020

My favourite poem

2 1 Reply
Lowa chenjingah 04 February 2020

Ilike poem

1 0 Reply
i..luv..poems- = 09 January 2020

i like the way it talks about the black and white men.

2 0 Reply
chloe..xoxo== 09 January 2020

a very good poem. i should recommend it to politicians

0 0 Reply
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David Rubadiri

David Rubadiri

Liuli / Malawi
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