Poems about Africa

Home by Warsan Shire

The lines “no one leaves home unless/ home is the mouth of a shark” that made us rethink the global refugee crisis, appear in Somali-British poet Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home.’ This poem vividly depicts the lived experiences of the refugees both inside and outside of their countries.

Home by Warsan Shire Visual Representation

Answer by Chinua Achebe

‘Answer’ by Chinua Achebe portrays a persona shedding off insecurities about his homeland. He stops comparing it to that of his colonizers, seeing it as the vibrant place it always was.

Answer by Chinua Achebe Visual Representation

Not My Business by Niyi Osundare

‘Not My Business’ by Niyi Osundare is a powerful, satirical poem that explores the consequences of staying silent in the face of oppression.

Not My Business by Niyi Osundare Visual Representation

Building the Nation by Henry Barlow

‘Building the Nation’ is one of the best-known poems of the Ugandan poet Henry Barlow. This humorous piece comments on how nation-builders contribute to their country.

Building the Nation by Henry Barlow Visual Representation

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara

‘Once Upon a Time,’ written by the Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara, is a satirical poem on the modern way of greeting someone. The lack of compassion, simplicity, and brotherhood is portrayed in this poem.

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara Visual Representation

We Are At War by Gcina Mhlope

‘We Are At War’ by Gcina Mhlope is a rallying cry for women to stand up to their oppressors across the African continent.

Biography of Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley was born in 1753 in West Africa. She is known today as the first published female African-American poet.

After Rain by Segun Adekoya

‘After Rain’ describes the impact of extreme heat on a townat the end of a rainstorm, and the different ways that people and animal react. 

The Road Goes Ever On by J.R.R. Tolkien

‘The Road Goes Ever On’ by J.R.R. Tolkien consists of only two verses, but the structure and approach within them are sufficient to highlight the epic journey before and after the song surfaces in the book.

Nothing’s Changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika

The poem, ‘Nothing’s Changed’ by Tatmkhulu Afrika, talks about the rampant apartheid system in District Six near Cape Town in South Africa, and explores racism.

Vultures by Chinua Achebe

‘Vultures’ is one of the famous poems of the Nigerian poet Chinua Achebe. It is a dark and somber piece that focuses on the Belsen concentration camp and a commandant who works there.

Vultures by Chinua Achebe Visual Representation

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