Zimbabwe - Prince Mensah

Zimba Remabwe [1]
Between the Zambezi and Limpopo,
Land of Shona legend and lore.
Our hearts yearn for more
Stories from Monomotapa
About greatness and gold.

Zimba Remabwe,
They named you Southern Rhodesia
As if the earth belonged
Not to the ones they wronged
But struggle begun to flow like lava
From volcanoes of dissent.

Zimba Remabwe,
The first born soil of the earth.
From Harare to Bulawayo
Every man is a hero
In battles of identity customized
By politics and economics.

The land did not belong to Rhodes,
It did not belong to hordes
Of stale imperialism.
The land Zimbabwe belongs to us,
The ones who bear her struggles,
Who kiss her lips when we fall.

[1] Big house of stone.

"Zimbabwe" is part one of our five-part series of poems by Ghanaians on Zimbabwe.


Unknown said...

the poem shows you really did a lot of research and mind work.man you are an african and a citizen of the world.the world will be a better place with man of vision like you.this country zimbabwe is yours too.you are aware of our historical links.your answers to the five questions are a master piece really.they are incisive and reallly address the issues bedevilling not only zimbabwe but most african countries.you are most welcome to your zimbabwe.i say your zimbabwe because here we do not practise xenophobia.you are not a foreigner here.as you correctly say we value learning here.this is also the reason that despite the trials and tribulations we have not really butchered each other

Ivor W. Hartmann said...

The struggle continues, a bold moving poem Prince, looking forward to rest of the "Zimbabwe" series.

Juanita said...

Beautifully composed Mr. Prince. It revelates the struggle and history of Zimbabwe as a whole.

Darko Antwi said...


Years ago in Ghana, while going through the difficulties of getting my manuscript accepted by a publisher, many ideas came to mind. I thought if I should go self-publication. I even thought if I should shift into playwriting, or get some oil on canvas and hang them on the walls of a local art studio - to attract some Canadian tourists (like Rob & Mrs Taylor).

On and on, I kept thinking of a breakthrough: some vocation that would get me off the classroom, and make me better than the poor 'pupil' teacher that I was - thus only if my poems won't go into print - to launch my writing career. I remember thinking of trading ice-kenkey on a street corner, and the fantasy of getting married to an Arabian Princess. I considered every alternative except fiction (novel writing).

Running parallel to my Frankenstein of thoughts was the assessment of the career of writers such as Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austin and Mark Twain. I observed the difficulties they had to go through and the kind of writer each became. I found out that (1)some writers are prolific. And (2) some are vibrant, but with few books to their credit. (3)Others have both qualities.

A close study of Prince identifies him as a writer in the 3rd category. The Lord of poetry has endowed him with the ability to handle high imagination throughout the volume of his fertile titles. What makes him unique is a third uncommon quality: his mental agility to produce within the complexity of subjects versus the rapid metamorphosis of time (events). Hence, Zimbabwe.

*As are most of the titles I post on OGOV, this title is a parody of inscriptions found on monuments of memorials.

LS said...

A poem about naming, and the weight and consequences that come with the act.

Many Africans are well acquainted with The Scramble for Africa when the continent was carved up and appropriated, after the Bond of 1884. That process would have been incomplete without the names they gave to their specific portions. Our various countries, in which we find ourselves living cheek by jowl, with other ethnic groups, is largely a consequence of The Scramble.

Even though this poem deals with Cecil Rhodes and the 2 Rhodesias, it is emblematic of all the countries and territories that suffered this.

Some African States, like Ghana and Zimbabwe, made the conscious decision to rename their countries after Independence. Whether that has had the desired effect is difficult to say. Maybe the act of naming and renaming has more to do with hope and promise.

Thanks Prince, for this poem.