Prayer

Village 1

Prayer of the African Elder

The wife of the African Elder cooked the maizemeal ugali

For her beloved husband and their two beloved sons

The daughter of the African Elder cooked the vegetable stew

For her beloved father and her two beloved brothers

Said the smiling and wise venerable elder to his two sons:

“Your mother and sister are cooking the ugali and stew

“And for dessert we are having some delicious mangos!”

His two sons smiled. They had traveled far for this visit.

One son, worked as a server for the Old England Clique Club

One son, worked as a server for the New England Clique Club

Enquired their father of one son:

“What will they have for dessert at the New England Clique?”

Replied the son to his father:

“Apples, from the apple orchard, which they will bake into a pie.”

Replied the father:

“I wonder if they recall that orchards and plantations in their country

“Were first planted by African Slaves? Probably not.”

“No father, I think they are more interested in Norman Rockwell and in

Martha Stewart which fill them with the promise of a perfect happiness.”

Enquired their father of his other son:

“What will they have for dessert at the Old England Clique?”

Replied the son to his father:

“Dundee Cake!”

Replied the father:

“I wonder if they recall that Grand English Country Estates such as

“Downton Abbey, were built upon African labor, from profits of the

“Gold mines, and the Diamond mines, of Cecil John Rhodes, or that

“The Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford was endowed with African labor?

“Probably not.”

 

Now the wife and the daughter of the African Elder joined them and

Brought with them the ugali and the vegetable stew and the mangos.

 

Before the whole family ate together they sat silently waiting for the

Elder to begin his prayer. The gentle African Elder began his prayer:

 

Old England Ice Cube Clique and New England Ice Cube Clique

 

I pray, that one day, perhaps in my granddaughter’s generation

That these ice cube cliques of The Old England Clique Club and

The New England Clique Club begin to finally thaw and to melt

 

Ice Cube Melting Sunshine Smile of African Elder’s granddaughter

 

I know that the warmth and love of my granddaughter’s smile

Can melt into a flood tide their ice cube cliques of exclusivity

That will then include us Africans within this loving new tide

 

A tide that is an All-in-All and Universal tide of an infinite Love

Rather than a tide that is a cold, crusty, calcified, icy Apart Tide

My granddaughter’s beautiful warm sunshine smile will melt

These ice cubes of aloof exclusivity and when the sunshine of

Her smile finally meets with watery tides of their melted ice

 

Then their melted ice and her sunshine shall create together

The Rainbow People of God

 

— Karim

 

Dedicated to my friend Desmond Tutu

Author of ‘The Rainbow People of God’