Door mij geschreven in 2004


The reality of dreams,

My name is Nkumba, children call me ' The Turtle' because of my wrinkled neck. I'm born in the year 1000 and my memory is like the one of an elephant. When I was a baby, Afrika was like a paradise. I lived in a small compound and my mother sang songs for me to fall asleep every evening. In the night I heard so many lizards and the rytme of secret drums and in the morning I woke up with the sound of pounding fufu.


When I grew up I learned about the traditions of our tribe. Our songs and rhythms and dances, the differences between boys and girls. I learned to respect nature and people older then myself. I was introduced to holy ceremonies and learned to follow my intuition. I belonged somewhere and we were proud of who we were.


In those days languages that sounded like melodies were spoken. Lingala, Swahili, Yoruba, Malinke. Our neighbours lived on the other side of the river or behind a chain of mountains. They spoke another language and had other traditions. The power was in the hands of Kings, Queen mothers and Chiefs. There were kingdoms, food for everybody, gold, diamond and ivory.

There was wisdom in our religions, some special people could see tomorrow, sickness was treated with herbs, music and prayers. We knew how to take care of ourselves and we lived in freedom.


The time I was a warrior, strange people with long noses, straight hair and blue eyes arrived ashore with very big boats. I'd never seen white men before. With waking up our greet for strange western materials, they created differences between us and our neighbours. In this way they were able to make slavery a reality. They called me 'James' and my beautiful wife Kashila (what means morning rose) they called her 'Janet'. They touched her beautiful breast during the time they were selling her. I never saw her again.


Everything changed; new languages had to be spoken like Dutch, English and French. New frontiers were created. New religion was introduced and they said ours was very dangerous. They enriched themselves with our treasures. Many of our brothers and sisters were taken into the big castles on the beach to be transported. We were so lost, so confused, so afraid.

A few hundred years later Afrika was still not herself. Traumatised, identity crises were ruling the continent. Kings and Queen mothers were an attraction for tourists. Some people went to Europe to escape from the poverty and the hopelessness.

But.....last night me Nkumba, I had a dream.


A little girl with a golden smile said: enough! It’s time to chance. Let us stop to be others so called third world and let us create our own first world. At the same time at the cold side of the world a little boy with a silver smile said: enough! It’s time to chance. Let us stop to call other worlds third and second world and let us respect more than only money. Things started to chance after these words. Schools started to teach again in traditional languages. Nothing was exported anymore with prices decided by the buyers but with prices decided by the sellers. Old religions that had survived the time were very much alive again. Knowledge of leaves returned. Kings, Chiefs and Queen mothers sat back on their thrones. White people came to learn and to teach. And Africans went overseas to teach and to learn. All the African art what had stayed elsewhere returned home.


The whole world saw the difference and was deeply embarrassed. Now we feel a big respect for this continent and her people so we say with admiration:


Jambo Afrika