We are Rhythm, We are the Beat of the Drum: How the African learnt to dance

We are Africa,

We are the rhythm and we are the beat of the drums,

This is how the African learnt to dance…

rain-dance

We learnt to dance to the lilt of our hearts,

Feet stamping steadily to the constant concord of living,

Feet racing rapidly to the quick frenzied patter-patter of panic.

We learnt to dance to the rhythm of the raindrops on rooftops,

Arms swaying softly to the drizzling dew decorating the dawn,

Hands beating a stroppy tempo to the thunder and the storm,

This is how the African learnt to dance…

african-dance

We learnt to dance to beat of the war drums,

Defiant in the face of defeat, dancing to the tune of death,

Dancing when our numbers diminish, dancing when bodies disappear.

We learnt to dance to the rhythm of the funeral drums,

We learnt to dance with tears running down our skin, when no one would see us,

Body wracked with grief, heartbeat stuttering in pain,

This is how the African learnt to dance…

 

atta-mills-09-bbc-musicians.jpg

We learnt to dance, despite the pain, we learnt to dance in the sun and the rain,

We learnt to dance on high mountains, we learnt to dance in dusty and grassy plains,

We learnt to dance in the deep desolate night, we learnt to dance in the smoky firelight,

We learnt to dance in the shadow of the full moon,we learnt to dance when the world ran out of tune,

Our dance is joy in the face of sorrow, our dance is resilient hope for tomorrow,

We are victory in the face of grave loss, we are gold instead of rotting dross,

We learnt to let our souls lead our feet, because we are the rhythm and we are the beat,

This is how the African learnt how to dance!

war-dance

(psst! for added feeling, press play on the video below and read it again)

 

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