by Alex Mwakilau

I’ll tell you a story,
A story that they failed to tell you,
About you, about her, about him, about a victim.

I’ll tell you a story,
About the one they call a terrorist,
Because he is Muslim, Arab, or Black,

For the ignorance and hatred of the people
Have blinded their judgement.

I’ll tell you a story,
Of the misjudged dreadlocked guys,
And smokers, accused of rape, theft, even murder,
When the real culprits are coated in suits, flashy cars, fancy careers, pretty faces –
Some are on a throne, painting their lies with promises.

My story will also cover
The ones oppressed in Palestine,
And the ones in Syria,
who are fighting a war in the name of democracy,
And the ones in South Africa, whose brothers have turned their enemy.

I should also tell you about the girl child,
A subject of rape and prostitution,
An object for abuse and use,
Her face deformed by acid in India,
Her life without value in South Africa,
Her cheap body in Colombia,
Early marriages single mothers divorced barren FGM,
Her low status in the male dominated society,

My heart bleeds for my brothers,
Their tears have filled an ocean,
Their tribal background and skin color have made them thugs, a danger to the superior races,
Their poverty has made them weak,
Their illiteracy has made them slaves. Again!

Have you heard of the desert flower?
A symbol of hope for the ones in my story.
For just like the desert flower,
My characters have blossomed under the sun.
They have flourished above the sand.

They are Mwalimu Nyerere, Barak Obama, Ellen Johnson, Tupac Shakur, Haile Selassie, Bob Marley, Bilal Philips, Oprah Winfrey – and there are more!
But before I start to tell my story,
I want you to know – appearances may be deceiving,
And a book should never be judged by its cover.

I’ll tell you a story…

Alex Mwakilau is a student in Electrical and Electronics at Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi. He was born and raised in Mombasa. He spent the 2015-2016 academic year as an exchange student at Greely High School in Cumberland, where his host family was Laura deDoes, Patrick Mendelsohn, and two host siblings, Dane and Bezabeh. Alex has a passion for writing.