Words and Music

Words of the poem, set to music by Hans Zimmer from The Power of One

I Am An African

by Wayne Visser

I am an African
Not because I was born there
But because my heart beats with Africa’s
I am an African
Not because my skin is black
But because my mind is engaged by Africa
I am an African
Not because I live on its soil
But because my soul is at home in Africa
When Africa weeps for her children
My cheeks are stained with tears
When Africa honours her elders
My head is bowed in respect
When Africa mourns for her victims
My hands are joined in prayer
When Africa celebrates her triumphs
My feet are alive with dancing
I am an African
For her blue skies take my breath away
And my hope for the future is bright
I am an African
For her people greet me as family
And teach me the meaning of community
I am an African
For her wildness quenches my spirit
And brings me closer to the source of life
When the music of Africa beats in the wind
My blood pulses to its rhythm
And I become the essence of sound
When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun
My senses drink in its rainbow
And I become the palette of nature
When the stories of Africa echo round the fire
My feet walk in its pathways
And I become the footprints of history
I am an African
Because she is the cradle of our birth
And nurtures an ancient wisdom
I am an African
Because she lives in the world’s shadow
And bursts with a radiant luminosity
I am an African
Because she is the land of tomorrow
And I recognise her gifts as sacred

Wayne Visser © 2005


Author Reading

The poem read by the author

Literacy Project

Kids from Upendo Middle Primary School in Usa River Tanzania read the poem. Upendo Middle Primary recently received 60 Kindle E-readers as Worldreader’s first e-reader project in Tanzania. A partnership between AfricAid and Thanks Be to God Foundation helped make this project a success.


 Pdf I Am An African (poem)

 Download I Am An African (book)

Related pages

 Read I Am An African (book)

 Page I Am An African blog, with translations of the poem into more than 20 languages

 Page I Am An African book, a collection of Africa poems by Wayne Visser

 Page I Am An African Facebook page, if you “like” it, you will get any updates posted

 Page I Poets of Africa blog, where Wayne Visser and guest poets share their work

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