Ogyek Heritage

By Juliet Jacqline
Mau Forest

My father named me Ogyek,
I was born here in the Mau,
Grew up and learned the art of hunting,
My uncles call me a brave warrior,
Is this what you call bravery?
Our houses are burnt in our watch?
I helplessly stare in stupor.

They are protecting the source,
Source of water and life for many,
Tell me, what wrong do I,
My sisters and mother commit
When faithfully we gather
Roots, fruits and shoots?
I helplessly stare in stupor.
Mau is my land, my heritage,
My proud father,
Who was taught by his father,
Taught me to be a responsible father,
To teach generations to come,
Of our ways, conservation before
Self-preservation. I helplessly stare in stupor.

Oh! this land of honey, meat and insects,
Fresh water, roots and shoots,
Never dig, cut trees, said my father,
Respect this land, it’ll respect you,
Aliens invaded the land of our heritage,
Cut trees with abandon, and did the never,
That’s why today, I helplessly stare in stupor.

The great warrior, lost all fight,
A brave coward stands helpless,
Men, women and children once happy,
Laughter replaced by teary faces,
Homes once warm with fireside stories,
Now hot with flames as chief’s men stand,
How do I fight them? I helplessly stare in stupor.

Can fish live out of water?
Can Ogyek survive without Mau?
This once brave warrior, fearless in all ways,
Now stands defeated by alien greed
The kind that looks at trees as millions,
And land as an asset to be devoured,
Aliens’ curse! So we helplessly stare in stupor.

I am Ogyek, the rightful descendant,
Mau my heritage, of milk, honey,
Streams snaking fresh water,
Trees and shrubs! My home all my life,
Chief men, please! Don’t do this!
Greedy Aliens deserve this brutality;
Harmless Ogyek helplessly stares in stupor.

(This poem was originally posted in my previous blog)

Image Credit

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