I Am by Sally Amaka Okafor

Sally Okafor

I Am

I am the Atlantic and Indian ocean

Sally Okafor

Their waters are fused in mine

I am the yellow Indian gold

And the bronze of the masks of Benin

I am sweet fried plantain

And roti, hot off the tava

I am the pale skin of the invaded Punjab

And the colourful black of the displaced and exploited Nigeria

I am hot and dry hamatan

And the stormy wet heat of monsoon

I am the sticky syrup of gelibi

And the strong watery sweetness of sugar cane.

So when you look at me,

You may think you know what you see

But I'm telling you

Inside my flesh and bones

Are things I don't even know

Wars that have been waged

Love that has been made

Children that were taken

And truces that were broken.

You see, Africa and India

Created something together

A little nugget of, something

That is changing all the time.

I am Africa – the mother land

I am India, my mother's land

God's creation.


Reading by Sally Amaka Okafor at PIH Conference 2006