Sunday, March 25, 2007

Teen Voices from Africa

I am carved from the branch of the Baobab
And refreshed from the waters of the Nile
And it is below the equator where my ancestors
Chose to settle, where they chose to be African
God meant for me to be an African
Why else would my heart sound like an African drum
And my skin be kissed with the colour of her soil
Or my feet move like a stampede of wildebeest
And my voice sing like the majestic Serengeti Rains?
- Keenan Harduth, 17

I am an African because I owe my being to the blacks and the whites. I owe my being to the Zulus, Xhosas, Vendas, Tsongasan and the Pedis. I am an African because I was born in Africa. I am proud to be a child of the Dhlamini family. I am proud to be black and I am proud to be a girl.

I sing our song, I read our books and I speak our languages. I was born to be African. I was born in Johannesburg - kwa nyama ayipheli ku phela a mazinyo e ndoda (at the place where meat does not finish, but only men's teeth). Africa is a beauty of nature and a beauty of the land.
- Precious Dhlamini, 13

(Dateline: Johannesburg. Excerpted from the programme booklet for the World Summit on Media for Children)

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