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Mama Africa: A Poem by Selome Araya


She’s our mama
Rich and spiritual
In all the right places
She nourishes us
Gives us our identity
Our foundation
But she was hurt
By many dark moments
By many cold people
And she’s still healing
I can hear her

As she asks us to be kind to her

Don’t be mad babies
I am still love
I am still strong
I am still a reflection of you
They tried to rip us apart
Divide us into fragments
Tell us that we weren’t beautiful
And silence our essence

But you know mama
She wouldn’t let that happen
She gives soil to the children
Fertilizing their minds
With traditions that shake up any invasion
And crumble it into the nothingness from which it came

I give to you these powers
These powers of resistance
These powers to define yourselves as beautiful
These powers to stand up
To rise
To unite
To take back your land
To hold each other’s hands
You are all my children
And that makes you each other’s siblings

That makes you shine brighter than any mineral they steal from my womb
From any project they design in our name
Any tactics they have to wipe us out
Any weapons they import to keep us fighting

Just like me
You are strength
You are integrity
You are divinity
You are sacred
You are beautiful
You are humanity
Are where it all began

And you
Can bring it all back

The peace
The justice
The structures we had
The systems we built
The way of life that we created
The spiritual integrity that defines us

It is time
To lift me up
I am still your mama
And I know you
I know you are bigger than
I know you are more than
I know you are more than
Hating your own

You are free now
Free to hug yourselves again
To be proud
To look in the mirror
And see beauty
Don’t let them define it for you

It is the thing that will bring us down

Your mama is here

I believe in you
My children
My children

My children spread out
All over the world

I believe in you, too

Please love each other
Please hold each other
Please unite with each other

If not for me
For the ancestors

Mama Africa

(c) Selome Araya

Selome Araya
Selome Araya
Selome Araya is a community activist that has coordinated and helped to organize numerous projects and programs with various organizations in the U.S. and in Africa. She recently completed a Masters of Public Health in Forced Migration and Health from Columbia University in New York.     Ms. Araya currently works as a consultant and reporter with Fahamu-Networks for Social Justice in Africa. She is a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, working to ensure the human rights of Black people in America. She is also a published freelance writer and is the producer of “The Courtyard” with Debo Kotun on KPFK Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles. Her writings and thoughts can be found at Selome Araya.


  1. Thank you Salome. What a concise timely message to the continent.

    JR Alila (Author)
    “Thirteen Curses of Mother Africa” (Poetry, Lulu Books)

  2. This is a very good poem. It is the kind that we need as Africa…

    It is not a poem, but a narration flowing down a stream of time into an unending river of tears that leave behind a shadow that stands today as hope that we will be free – as Africans. Thank you very much Selome

  3. I am so proud of my niece,she has became an amazing women inside out. Thankyou for the beautiful message it is an ispiration to all of us.
    Lots of Love, Yene Kongo

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