Can we change 2015 to 61, to 64
Once more become independent, united,
A country we once were,
The people that once cared
About the green, yellow, black and blue on our flag
Not the green in the hands of few that were meant to serve.
Can we change the sound we make with our voice-I mean our vote,
Can we change uchaguzi back to free and fair elections,
Not a popularity contest,
of who barks the loudest,
Or whose face is prettier on a million shilling note when inflation sets.
Can we look for vision instead of empathy?
Those who claim to be the most depressed by our state of affairs,
Like how big a problem youth unemployment is, but have no plan to change a thing.
And forget those who talk about small loans to entrepreneurs
Like the only strategy to end poverty,
Or those with “tutafuta kodi kwa wawekezaji wa nje ili kuwavuta”
like “I’ll sleep with him and then he’ll marry me someday”-
because that’s what tax free foreign investments sound like to me.
Who buys the cow when the milk is free?
It used to be tough to get into this country,
Foreigners had to prove that they were worthy of our trust,
But now it is us locals who have to prove our worth.
Yet they dare call me lazy because I haven’t made it-yet-
Because my little farm isn’t Monsanto,
And my street kiosk is still kwa Mangi and not Nakumatt.
But while you were changing the name of your big chain hotel for more tax breaks,
My street corner business was being broken into by the police,
And now I am panya road,
A rat crawling under the table
While the one on the seat is too busy selling us out to drop me any crumbs.
Can we start a campaign, bring back our country,
Hash tag the queen, wachina, the states.
Or shall we say, bring back our land, madini and gas,
Hash tag some minister and his besties.
Or bring back our ivory you damn poachers,
Bring back to life our dead elephants,
And while we are at it- just bring back our damn brains
Because where were we when they were stealing?
Can we change the dreams of our little kids?
Kill ufisadi as a legit career choice,
My ten year old niece aspires to be one,
Ever since EPA, and now escrow, (oops my bad, we are not supposed to talk about that one).
2015, can we change this country for the better,
Think beyond chama and a five year term,
Think of generations that come after we go.
2015 can we vote for better leaders,
then talk about paying our taxes,
And how all of us need to play our part.
2015, can we change?
- A Poem by NeyK, a Tanzanian Poet