A Zimbabwean expat wrote the following poem which, although it relates more directly to Zimbabwe, contains some sentiments which are sure to resonate with those South Africans scattered abroad… who still long for ‘home’.
The poem – ‘Homesick’, by Liz Crilly Bedford – was first published on Facebook page Ubiquitas. According to Ubiquitas owner Dean Sweeney, Liz is an amateur poet who is “truly gifted in capturing our nostalgia”. Read below and you’ll see what he means…
So as I shut my eyes to sleep, they fill with tears,
for my homeland I weep
For it’s not just dust or dirt or stone, it’s the land I belong to;
it was my home!
And as long as I breathe upon this plane,
I will always feel this searing pain
Of a life that I had, and cherished and loved,
it was snatched from me this home that I loved
For wherever I lay my head in this world,
and whatever problems to me are hurled
It will never matter as much as home,
because away from my land I feel so alone
Not that I don’t have family or kin, but it’s the place I miss;
I have it within
My soul and being, my presence, it’s me!
and I will want to return for all eternity
And one day I will, and this I assure,
as there is only so much that I can endure
To be a foreigner in my parent’s homeland,
I do not belong here…you understand?
For I am African, through and through,
and I am here through heritage, what do I do?
I try to fit in with all of my might,
to be honest my friends it’s a constant fight!
I wish I could return to the land that I love,
I pray to the big man who lives above
But I know that I am blessed from where I have come,
the pride and the breeding cannot be undone
For I am an African, my birthright, my heritage,
I had no part in the hate and carnage
I have my identity, and forever will be proud,
I will shout it from the rooftops, say it aloud!!
I did not ask for war, or hate and bloodshed,
I would stick to my guns until my deathbed
We are all Africans no matter our race,
for I think we all dearly love this place
So while I am far and pine for home,
I hope that my homeland comes into its own
God Bless Africa, it’s a special place,
am so thankful that it was my birthplace!
by Liz Crilly Bedford
Ubiquitas – which spreads “worthwhile information on life hacks, health & spiritual science” including Dean’s love of Africa – has already published three of Liz’s other poems.
Liz says she has been “blown away by all the comments”, and after several requests to publish a book says she may just consider it since it would help in her ongoing fundraising “for the old folks in Bulawayo where I come from”.
She’s not the first, nor will she be the last, to pine for and write about her beloved Africa. Most expats from Africa have shared the following poem on social media at some point in their new lives abroad:
READ MORE: South African expat Craig Kinsman, who now lives in the Philippines, wrote a very moving Poem and a Plea to South Africans back in SA expressing the emotions of a South African who has left his country for what he believes is a more promising future for his children.