Mama Africa: A Prose Poem


The last thing I remember was being grief-stricken that I had to leave. After nine days in the bush, the lowveld in South Africa, vast wildlife reserves, on my first safari seeing lion, cheetah, zebra, elephant, rhino, leopards, gazelles, impala, warthogs, snakes, wildebeest, dik-diks and more, once I’d had that taste of Mama Africa, it shattered my heart to leave her.

She was a game-changer.

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Her vibrant unscarred blue and green mountains, her fat rivers breaking their banks, her animals, the verve of her people, the smell of pungent rich red earth, the cooing of doves in the day, grunts and groans of lions at night across the river - even the torrential rain that flooded our open-air vehicle soaking us solid on our way from the airport – after 20 hours of travel to get to South Africa wouldn’t you love it if you had to then sit in a huge downpour in the back of a jeep on the half-hour drive to your guesthouse?

It was an initiation.

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I’d give anything to watch those olive baboons scampering alongside the road, wet babies swinging from mothers’ bellies. We’d arrived in Africa toward the end of a serious flooding event. Next door in Mozambique people lost everything. Images on CNN of villagers rescued from trees by helicopters filled the news for weeks. 

She is the ultimate Dark Goddess. Mother of us all. Birth. Life. Destruction. Death. Repeat.

With that welcoming downpour she didn’t waste anytime in showing us that we were no longer in control. Leave thy ego behind. On this pilgrimage, Mama Africa demanded,




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