Sounds of Distant Drums

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Ode to Mandela

Was it prison that made Nelson Mandela, ‘Madiba’,
This militant, revered by Blacks, from Cape to Kariba.
If reminiscing upon his past is not a heinous crime,
Reveal to me this man, down those corridors of time;

Show me the man with bloodlust hate in his heart,
Constantly prepared to rip his ancestral home apart.
Did he shout “Death to the Whites, prepare now for war”,
Can we liken him to Chaka, with a bloodlust for gore.

Walking meekly from prison, bearing sacrificial fleece,
Offering all South Africans stability and peace;
Leaving bitterness and hatred behind in that prison.
At daybreak upon South Africa, a new son had arisen

A new son of Africa bearing no prejudice nor hate,
Through his endearing smile his role was consummate
Watching crowds in wonder, expecting civil commotion,
Mandela soothed the wounds with unique Madiba potion.

He presented such an aura, making reality seem surreal
The star playground attraction, the brilliant Ferris wheel
Dancing his enigmatic jig with Kings and with Queens;
Equally at home with Presidents, Bishops and Deans

A twinkle in his eye; winning nations to his cause,
A raconteur, an orator acclaiming world applause.
His lesson left to us in time, is not to “talk the talk”
His walk to freedom showing us how to ‘walk the walk’

Soweto now South Africa …Soweto now?

Written by Alf Hutchison South African Poet
Author of “Sounds of Distant Drums”


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