Walking Conflict By Okyeame Kwame


I have studied Akan but I speak English

I like the African wear but it’s only for Fridays

I am a proud African but it is difficult not to be European

I like to eat Apapransa but this generation has long forgotten how it is made

I will be happy to ride a horse but it cannot travel from here to Texas

I wish an African watch could tell the time but the technology isn’t mine

I must use technology to sell ideas but I rather rely on technologies for ideas

But wait! I can’t beat up myself totally! Because when I’m covered in my Holland wax print of Adinkra symbols, I am an African fully

I was raised by a village but expected to excel in a city

My dream is to build a mansion and fill it with air conditioners in place of my rounded hut with sub-Saharan aeration

I stand tall with my chest out and walk in my Gucci shoes; Ahenemma will always lose

I like voluptuous African women with bulging lips and sculpting hips but with corporate tips

If I will ever drink it will never be Akpeteshie. Boy! Do I have taste for Hennessy?

I dream of a new Africa with skyscrapers, neon lights, big roads, and thick traffic filled with suited, stereotypical ‘booklong’ intellectuals. Ah! Am I not describing Manhattan?

I wish to compete in this global village; identified, differentiated, relevant and consistent

Man! I’m a walking conflict between tradition and modernity; between my Africanism and Europeanism

Hmmmmmm! Any help in sight?

I trust that the begotten son of God who helps, protects, forgives and loves me can!

But even He is an Israelite

Maybe Obama was right; ‘the future of Africa is the hands of Afri-CANs’

That’s why my music is a fusion of indigenous philosophies transposed on western instruments?

I am still a walking conflict.


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