HOLIDAY IMAGES FROM AFRICA

Why is it that many White people, when they go to Africa, one of the points on their checklist is to go to an orphanage or a Hospital or a village school and take pictures of themselves carrying little Black children and surrounded by little African children?

If I were to come to Europe and go to an orphanage or a hospital or a village school and take and post on social media pictures of myself carrying and surrounded by little White children to whom I have no close personal connection and whose parents or guardians don‘t even know me, I would be accused of many things.

Please, White people, stop instrumentalising Black African children for the purpose of your hypocritical self-staging as supposedly benevolent world saviours. Robbing them of their privacy and dignity, objectifying them, and using them as moral ornaments with which to decorate your souls on social media. They are human beings, they are minors, and they are somebody’s children and wards.

Even if you want to donate to an orphanage or help the under-privileged, you have no right to use it as an opportunity for a foto op and PR session. I’m sure some of you also donate anonymously to orphanages in Europe and America, but you don’t afterwards troop there to pose for pictures with the children to whose welfare you are contributing. You sense, and quite rightly so, that it would be undignifying towards those children. And undignifying towards you yourselves too. Well, the same applies to Black and African children too! And the same applies with regards to them.

Please stop using them as background deco and surround sound for the accolade-seeking self-images you wish to bring back with you from Africa as your holiday trophies.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

GOOGLE GLASSES

We all become google’s spy
Each of us a pupil of its all-seeing eye
Using us to watch us
In deepest privacy it will touch us
We no longer need to surf
To deliver data to big brother
Just look cool in their camera glasses
And you become their agent undercover
Sorry 007 it’s no longer for your eyes only
Everybody’s licensed to spy on society
On Google-majesty’s secret service.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

INTIMACY

How many people live in
Your household?
Just you and your partner and
Perhaps your children too?
Love children of all types.

Or do your friends too
Live with you there?
And have your parents and families too
Openly or secretly moved in and
Joined in your decision making?
And are strangers the ears of
Your intimacy?
And is the world with you in
Your privacy?

And yet you continue to wonder
What went wrong on the
Threshold to Paradise
And where did the intimate home go?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SURVIVAL

What don’t I know
About you is what
I silently ask myself
Each time you ask me
What I’m thinking
As I think about you

How many wars
Have you fought, won and lost?
How many lives have
You taken, how many given?
How much hunger did you endure
To nourish so much anger?

How many loves have pierced you?
How many wounds are
Dripping a trail back to
How many acts of survival?
All I see is the smile in your eyes
And the hope in your heart.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.