I Love You My Gentle One; – Analysis

In this post I am going to look at the analysis of ‘I love you, my gentle one’; an African poem by Ralph Bitamazire, which by the way happens to be one of best love poems.

 

“I love you, my gentle one; my love is the fresh milk in the rubindi which we drank on the wedding day”

In this poem, the persona likens his love to fresh milk in the Rubindi; a vessel, used in Africa to store milk. Comparing his love to fresh milk in the rubindi shows that the persona in the poem still adores his lover like he did the first time he saw her. Nothing to him has changed.

 

 “My love is the butter we were smeared with to seal fidelity into our hearts.”

The persona, lacking appropriate words compares what they have to butter they were smeared with to seal fidelity. By this the persona reminds his love of their wedding day, of the vows they took, to keep them together and not to allow other affairs to tamper with the love they have.

 

“You are the cattle-bird’s egg, for those who saw you are wealthy. You are the papyrus reed of the lake, which they pull out with both hands.”

Here the persona compares his lover to the cattle Bird’s eggs and the papyrus reeds, meaning, she is so rare and a beauty to behold. She is also strong like a pillar, and cannot be easily broken.

 

The persona then concludes his poem by professing his undying love to his lover.

 

Chokoraa! When Should We Lend A Helping Hand?

They call them Mapipa, Chokoraa, or street urchins; but to us, they are friends.

Street Children pose for a photo with friends

 

These children have been roaming the streets for ages. The whereabouts of their family is not known. And if they’re known, then the condition of their home is way too harsh to sustain them; could be poverty, a wicked stepmother or harsh stepfather. They spend their days looking for vibarua’s so that they can earn a shilling or two, usually used to buy food or the glue they keep sniffing to prevent themselves from falling asleep. They are interested only in two things, what they eat or drink.

Street Children receiving a soda and kaimati’s from friends

 

A few months ago, I had an encounter with one of them, a young boy of about the age of 10, he was so dirty and looked desperate, but that was not what bothered me; he jangled along with me and kept singing this song I didn’t seem to understand. I suddenly got mad, turned back and asked him what he wanted. For some reason he didn’t stop singing his tacky song. So I calmed down and listened to it carefully, “ninunulie mandasi, ninunulie mandasi…” Meaning, (Buy me andazi…). I quickly slipped my hand into my handbag and got out a ten shilling coin and gave it to him; which is why I didn’t object to the Feeding Street Children Initiative a colleague proposed to me.

 

These children could be dirty, unruly, wild, or even filthy, but just like us they have a background. As we all know, every situation has a story and every story has a beginning. They, just like all of us were born in hospitals, and probably raised by able families. Whichever the case, they ended up in the streets trying to make ends meet.

 

There is never a right time to make them realize that they need not to be in the street, There is never a right time to lend a helping hand. The time is now.