I pray your forgiveness : O’ Africa, I have been a bad seed

July 28, 2015 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION




Nana Arhin Tsiwah

This story began when I started seeking the truth of darkness and blackness. It came to light when I became worried of my life; a worry of how negligible I had become. After nights and nights of mournings, weeps and cries, I began to seek forgiveness. Forgiveness not of those ‘Christian sins’, but of the wrongs I had allowed my soul, spirit and mind to accept without reasonableness; Forgiveness of how I have not risen to life, from the dead-bed of wishing to abort my culture, traditions and to see the world beyond bringing my African roots to extinction. This story was from the heart, the melanin… I hope Africa forgives me.

Well it’s like being a criminal today and being a hero tomorrow— simply, you saved a life while gang-robbing innocent souls. Between evil and good lies a Lame Island, an Island of sarcasm, tribute and tributary. This is a scanned canker, an obliqued affirmative lie. Truth be told, but truth is of one colour— black perhaps, a perusal of western civilization establishing an unquestionable morale of evil and dogmatic sympathy.


— My heart aches
of sorrows that head me.
–Will posterity judge me
if these generations find
this story under my coffin?…


As a son, a boy from the skies of African drums, I have for most of my life lived in slavery, slow unnoticed myopism of banditry and solitary self-denial. Until 1447, I recalled how my ancestry was real. Yes real of its appropriateness. We were humans; reasonable un-copied Africans. We were ourselves not guided by principles of a written unjustifiable freedom and independence. Even in 1828, before the bond of 1844, along the coastal stretch to the forest belt; along the vestal canopy ring; men like my kind lived as communal coverings. I have for uncountable reasons and observations from conscious scrutiny, realised how pathetic we (I) have become in despising my African Heritage. It was not for any other reason that any man born of an African womb retrogade his own birth canal. The exception is that such theatric calibration was (is) borne out of a weeping-sweepy self.

Whereas I have pitted myself for being too cowardly towards my family, friends, sympathizers, enemies (wrong indelibility) et al on why I would prefer to stand out from their line of western rhetoric, I have thus failed as a person, a reasonable spiritual soul, to collectively and holistically allow the ‘African-God-like’ in me to outshine weeds of colonial weaponry. I am not to be trusted? What trust is there in an abused who connives with the abuser to abuse himself? What is the worth of a true royal, a direct stool inheritor, when he runs home for cover for fear of dying at the battlefield?


—That which dies and
remains in the soil
that which was killed
after warmongers faced,
—What shall be of me
when my kind extinct beyond?


I can vividly recollect these faded memories. Memories of my Grandfather, the Chief of Kurankye-Akyemfo, who was gunned in the leg by one slave master for fighting against dominance. He bled profusely but didn’t die. I recalled how his father, Nana Aselfi of Yamfredu had coined his own amulet of Ntrabado. Centuries before this story, lived this land. Our land of reincarnated souls. I was taught at a tender age the songs of farming, hunting and fishing. That it was in these songs and buried memories that our roots multipled. That it was in these stories of the morning purifications by the River-Goddesses that life replenished in thousands.

My late Grandmother, Ama Akua Yamba, the one who was criticised and shamed for being a witch by a malnourished servant of an european-colonial most high; how she lived in good health and state of mind before passing without return at 103 years. Even at age 100, she would call me, Nana Tsiwah, in the evenings in her abandoned hut telling me stories that read wisdom and passed knowledge. She was indeed a blessing if there is anything of that travelled horizon. That blessing of not this era. One thing made me cry more; I was deceived by men, friends of a white-paper that I had been witched. On the day of her death, she told me of how this fate would dawn upon my head. That someday, if nothing at all, I shall recall her tongue why we as a people have become diluted stagnant water, and how we shall gradually extinct into ashes akin of white mind and red-skins.

‘A man of a hard scrotum’, our elders who sat on kola eyes would say, ‘is thrice the heart of hunter’…

These stories of the many humans of my kind who were sold and stolen into slavery without any justification keep me deflated like brown banana peels. I am in no ways myself— A holder of my own pieces in a tray. To be good I only see it in things of white linens; to evil, things of darkness (black). I was told and taught by the many teachers that every thing white is of divine nature (that European god) and that hell (satan) is of black. That is how our cultural and traditional values have been adulterated with these refined thread-fallacies.

When an old person dies of grey, white is worn, but when it is for a young person, black is the gift. We are evil? I am sure by default of creation I am equally evil- for I am defined by my skin. An African has no God? Yes, he is not religious. For in other Gods he has found his heart and soul. The African like myself has no mind? Yes, even if he had one its no longer his. He lives in deep quaked valleys of ingrained hallucinations. That is why he is incapable of defending his own soul and defining the things of his own creation. He is paralyzed. He for all surety has no civilization. That is why even in his masters’ classrooms they are taught Greek and Roman roots— philosophies and literature. He is a fool? Yes, a real folly wondering leaf, that is why he can’t tell his abusers and deceivers of colonial heritages that enough is enough!


“.. I have failed to do
the things of nature
from bed to bread,
.. I curse my skin
and rub my face into mud
calling my foe a savior
and my brother an enemy”


This is my story. A story of seeking for forgiveness. From my Ancestors’ and Ancestresses’ Spirits. That I am a failure. I hate herbal medicines. That even the traditional priests have availed themselves to mockery. They are liars in skirt and mini-jeans. I have failed my land, this land of a true Black-God. A God who would teach through dark folds and unravel mysticism of non-colonialism and cultural hang-ons…


(If this Africa be told of me
If these lines be washed away
In rains and clapping thunder
I shall submit to my Africa.
Although I am a stranger
Not homeland but of mind,
When night falls out of roofs
And days drink of harvested rains
Submit my intestines to Africa
Till I am immortalised in black…)


If I don’t speak and write of Africa, who will?
Who shall write of my Africa
Who shall sing of my Africa
Who? If not me, then who?
I simply shall write of this lost Africa.








Nana Arhin Tsiwah is an undergraduate student from Cape Coast, Ghana; a disciple of Pan-African consciousness, a cultural ideologist, an awensemist (poet) of different shade but tells of a hunter’s trails for Akanism. He is an orator and a village servant in a poetry movement dubbed; ‘The Village Thinkers‘.


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