Fanon Kihu’s 16 paged poetry book can pass unnoticed and indeed it should, but only for one well-written poem Create A Job You Must and some shreds of brilliance in phrases in some other poems here and there.
The book Africa As One contains eight poems that speak about what is wrong with African but also exalts the beauty of an independent Africa.
The first poem A Book It Is feels more like spoken word than poetry due to its many use of rhymes.
The African as One poem is good, it weaves a web of words that showcases how the continent has been raped and looted.
Black is rich, black my color, Mr Kihu in seven stanzas puts forward the case for Africa inhabitants to be proud of their color. He also digs a fight telling white people how without Africa, they are nothing. Which is essentially true.
In My name is corruption, the poet makes the case for pausing to see how corruption has destroyed the continent.
Steal a thousand shillings, in exchange for your head
Or use your head, make the one thousand shillings
Your head you can’t replace, it is not like bread
A thousand you can replace, at any world’s place.
The sketch that accompanies the above poem is really deep. Calls for reflection, it depicts a kneeling man before the scales of justice. On one side, the Sh1000 note, on the other the man’s severed head.
Favorite poem, Create a job you must, delves into the topic where state officials and the deep state comprising of crooked businessmen capture the state creating no employment for the youths but always shout ‘youths must create jobs for themselves’.
On this one poem, Fanon Kihu got it. It set me thinking how, for example, the government of Kenya tells young people and indeed most Kenyans that they can find or start a business online, on the internet, but still the same government goes ahead and passes some draconian laws such as the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act of 2018, whose sections have come from some laws that were declared unconstitutional by the courts of law.
Some of the jobs that youths (Kenyans) have online entails criticizing the government, that’s it!, there’s no other way about it. Why enact such draconian laws?
Thank goodness, at this point in time, the laws have been suspended by the High Court, but as a writer of deep means, I know it will come back to bite in 2022 elections, in regards to fake news.
I postulate that how then must youths create employment, why would a person who sought to be employed through the ballot or one appointed from a classroom lecture youths to create jobs or become entrepreneurs?
Kihu offers the answer in the following stanza:
A few people took all for themselves, failed to reproduce
To reproduce for the rest, fast enough to be fast,
They then say youth lack competence, to cover their incompetence.
There are other two before the author calls for a United States of Africa, “…it has been born, the poachers cry, they will be hungry…”
Poachers represent western nations and China, I presume.