WHEN UNCLE KNEW I WAS NOT ALONE

Ibrahim S Bangura
Posted February 18, 2021 from Sierra Leone

Hi family! I hope everyone is doing great and we are all keeping safe. I am very pleased to share with you one of my recent poem on corporal punishment. This is a true life-story poem. Ending Corporal Punishment in Sierra Leone is a fight I must win with the help of the world and you that is reading this poem. Let the poem speak and my request will follow later on.

 

I never knew my passed mother was listening to my cries

Praying with me in the darkest night to be free

Though I heard her name whispering in the sky when I called

I never knew she travelled through hunger and pain with me

 

Until my body became a drum to be beaten

By uncle, neighbours and family members

With sticks, belts, slippers, canes, hands and feet

And my crying voice filled the sky with murmurations

 

It became a sad language that flew far away

To be interpreted only by ghosts

Or future-tellers associated with beautiful devils

Whose role is to free caged souls from evil spirits

 

I never knew mother was a living ghost

Until uncle took me to Freetown on a holiday

One morning he called my sister and grandmother

And revealed his dream from mother in Themne

 

‘E worrip memuna: orh bansr me mor neit eng pa ng sorilol

Org kong meh sepeth orh wan kong ang

Orh mem me mehreh-mehreh keh me tae gbog kor soh

Orh meh koh sorh, orh dae beng koh’

 

‘I dreamed of Memuna: she was angry as bush fire about Sorie Lol

She asked, why am I beating her child?

She warned me twice not to beat him again

If I do, she will come and take him away’

 

Before that I had called my mother’s name a hundred times in tears

Sitting somewhere lonely in my heart incanting like a sorcerer

Daily, my blood whispered pain over victory

Now, I am free from corporal punishment

 

If it were not for the help of a ghost

This poem would not have been told 

With or without a ghost parent

Children should not be drum kits

 

Not every ghost can read and understand sadness

Not every ghost can communicate to the living through dreams

If we want a prosperous and active future for all

We must protect and save every child

 

 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Men & Boys.

Comments 10

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Regina Afanwi Young
Feb 18
Feb 18

Hello Ibrahim, I join. You in the fight against corporal punishment. Unforthcoming it is do common in our African context. I agree with you that children should not be like drum kits.
Thank you for raising your voice against corporal punishment.
Keep up the fight

Ibrahim S Bangura
Feb 18
Feb 18

Thank you Regina!

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 20
Feb 20

Hello Ibrahim,
You have been through so much, and your writing is powerful. I am so sorry for all you have been through. You take us with you to the spirit world of support we can feel. It is deeply touching to read that you were able to experience this help. May the strength that you have had to survive, be with you as you continue on your path. I hope you will keep writing here, and wish you success with your work, and with your pen continuing to create poetry.

Ibrahim S Bangura
Feb 20
Feb 20

Good morning Ma, thank you so much for your beautiful and encouraging words. I must confess that you are an inspiration, you are the reason why people like us keep pushing hard and harder. Thank you for your wonderful comments!

jomarieb.earth
Feb 21
Feb 21

Dear Ibrahim,
The spirit of your mother lives in you. And you carry the torch proudly. You are fierce in your declaration of war against corporal punishment. I grew up in my country, America during the times of corporal punishment. I was lucky to not have received, but unlucky to have witnessed lots. There is no justification for beating a child. The punishers are in many cases creating the next generation of punishers.
You are blessed to be so profoundly connected to your mother's spirit. Your poem reveals the love and gratitude you have for her spirit. She is a powerful force. I hope you feed that spirit all the food it needs to reside forever in your heart. And should you get tired or weary from your battle...light a candle, speak to your Mom, and say thank you. I wish you sweet dreams.
Hugs...JoMarie

Ibrahim S Bangura
Feb 21
Feb 21

Oh my goodness! My dear Jomarieb, I want to say a very LOUD THANK YOU for your wonderful and encouraging words. You don't know what you have done to me right now, you have installed a wide body of light inside me that whispers hope in my soul. Those words of yours are more than a billion dollars , they can only come from a heart filled with love, empathy, caring and hope, those words of yours are incredibly amazing and inspiring. I shall surely do what you have recommended me to do,. Yes, my mum loves me so much and she is with me because I could sense her anytime I am in a stressful mood, she is always there to comfort me. THANK YOU for adding up to my joy.

Marie Abanga
Feb 22
Feb 22

Dear Ibrahim,

What a soul shaking poem oh my. I really despise corporal punishment and don't use that in my home. Indeed, I led a fight to have that eradicated in my son's school and this year at the PTA meeting the proprietor said it loud; that the government had banned it in schools and so any teacher who did that henceforth was going to be dismissed without a hearing - one of them had a year earlier turned my son into a drum kit. I am so happy you Angel Mother got to that uncle of yours in a dream and he took that seriously.

Ibrahim S Bangura
Feb 22
Feb 22

Hello my Sister Marie, I hope you are doing well. Thank you for stepping up for your child's future and the rest of the kids in that school. Yes my Mum saved me from CP so my mission now is to save other kids in my country regardless of the challenges on my way because it is really not easy for me. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

Nini Mappo
Feb 23
Feb 23

Dear Ibrahim,
The vision of you, and many children especially boys in Africa being beaten up at the adult's whim is heartbreaking. As we African's like to say, the umbilical cord is unsevered even in death, and your mama was watching over you. I feel her helplessness but also her power to protect her child, and your story is really remarkable. You are echoing her voice as you campaign against corporal punishment's, which has no place in the nurturing environment that children need to thrive.
Be strong and courageous, in your mission to rescue other battered children whose mothers are alive, but they are silenced by ignorance and won't fight for them.

Hugs of comfort too. It is tough to lose a parent, and even tougher to lose a mother at a young age. God be with you my brother.
In solidarity

Ibrahim S Bangura
Feb 23
Feb 23

Good afternoon from my side Nini, yes my sister in solidarity. Thank you very much for your wonderful comment. There is power in this house, all of you are giving me life, joy, a new world to live in again. Thank you my sister.