Dear Bissau, what happened to you, my beloved?
Where's the vigorous motherland of Creole and hippos dancing to Gumbe, I’ve heard tirelessly about?
You’re so much more than your Western label of a ‘narco-state’
So please tell me that your militant soul and your will to shine weren't buried with Cabral and Silla
They’ve departed long ago, followed by the breath we never caught
And still their children, just like me, await the truthful change
As the Portuguese raped and assaulted you, the Cold War and communism ran you dry too
No shame, no remorse - only cashew nuts and baobab to feed your blooming.
The appreciation and gratitude for lifting your brothers, you have yet to witness
While your nationalism lovers join the bandwagon of eternal infamy and impunity,
I wonder how have they all forgotten you were once ruled by glorious kings like Sundiata?
Dear Bissau, you need candid healing from all these sadistic relationships
And that is what's happening.
Jamila considers this poem a love epic of the legendary Guinea Bissau. A place where wealth, the sun and happiness bathe you everyday, but is yet to find peace of mind, following the horrors of colonialism.
Jamila Pereira is a Bissau-Guinean poet, published writer, freelance journalist and screenplay writer. She is also a BA (Hons) International Relations graduate. Throughout her degree, she discovered how much she loved writing and how much politics meant to her, two passions which propelled her into a writing career. Among her achievements, she has had a lot of her writing published in Black Ballad, one of the UK’s leading black-owned publications, and was also shortlisted for the Top 20 Merky Books Writer’s Camp 2019. Her Instagram handle is @millie_gp.