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Grade 8 english 3rd quarter poems, stories and other

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this contain some stories from the Grade 8 learning module
(this stories are for the 3rd grading)

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Grade 8 english 3rd quarter poems, stories and other

  1. 1. FOR THE 3RD QUARTER
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENT  Ali Baba and the forty Thieves  The Story of Ruth  The Song of Maisuna  On Fatalism  Prayer for Burma  The Country‘s Good Son  The African World- View  Nelson Mandela  Open House  The Dark Continent  The Capture  Free at Last
  3. 3. ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES Ali Baba and his elder brother Cassim are the sons of a merchant. After the death of their father, the greedy Cassim marries a wealthy woman and becomes well-to-do, building on their father's business—but Ali Baba marries a poor woman and settles into the trade of a woodcutter. One day Ali Baba is at work collecting and cutting firewood in the forest, and he happens to overhear a group of forty thieves visiting their treasure store. The treasure is in a cave, the mouth of which is sealed by magic. It opens on the words "iftah ya simsim" (commonly written as "Open Sesame" in English), and seals itself on the words "Close, Simsim" ("Close Sesame"). When the thieves are gone, Ali Baba enters the cave himself, and takes some of the treasure home. Ali Baba and his wife borrow his sister-in-law's scales to weigh this new wealth of gold coins. Unbeknownst to them, she puts a blob of wax in the scales to find out what Ali Baba is using them for, as she is curious to know what kind of grain her impoverished brother-in-law needs to measure. To her shock, she finds a gold coin sticking to the scales and tells her husband, Ali Baba's rich and greedy brother, Cassim. Under pressure from his brother, Ali Baba is forced to reveal the secret of the cave. Cassim goes to the cave and enters with the magic words, but in his greed and excitement over the treasures, he forgets the magic words to get back out again. The Thieves find him there, and kill him. When his brother does not come back, Ali Baba goes to the cave to look for him, and finds the body, quartered and with each piece displayed just inside the entrance of the cave as a warning to anyone else who might try to enter. Ali Baba brings the body home, where he entrusts Morgiana, a clever slave-girl in Cassim's household, with the task of making others believe that Cassim has died a natural death. First, Morgiana purchases medicines from an apothecary, telling him that Cassim is gravely ill. Then, she finds an old Tailor known as Baba Mustafa whom she pays, blindfolds, and leads to Cassim's house. There, overnight, the Tailor stitches the pieces of Cassim's body back together, so that no one will be suspicious. Ali Baba and his family are able to give Cassim a proper burial without anyone asking awkward questions. The Thieves, finding the body gone, realize that yet another person must know their secret, and set out to track him down. One of the Thieves goes down to the town and comes across Baba Mustafa, who mentions that he has just sewn a dead man's body back together. Realizing that the dead man must have been the Thieves' victim, the Thief asks Baba Mustafa to lead the way to the house where the deed was performed. The Tailor is blindfolded again, and in this state he is able to retrace his steps and find the house. The Thief marks the door with a symbol. The plan is for the other thieves to come back that night and kill everyone in the house. However, the Thief has been seen by Morgiana and she, loyal to her master, foils his plan by marking all the houses in the neighborhood with a similar marking. When the forty Thieves return that night, they cannot identify the correct house and their leader in a furious rage, kills the unsuccessful Thief. The next day, another Thief revisits Baba Mustafa and tries again, only this time, a chunk is chipped out of the stone step at Ali Baba's front door. Again Morgiana foils the plan by making similar chips in all the other doorsteps. The second Thief is killed for his failure as well. At last, the leader of the Thieves goes and looks for himself. This time, he memorizes every detail he can of the exterior of Ali Baba's house. The Chief of the Thieves pretends to be an oil merchant in need of Ali Baba's hospitality, bringing with him mules loaded with thirty-eight oil jars, one filled with oil, the other thirty-seven hiding the other remaining thieves. Once Ali Baba is asleep, the Thieves plan to kill him. Again, Morgiana discovers and foils the plan, killing the thirty-seven Thieves in their oil jars by pouring boiling oil on them. When their leader comes to rouse his men, he discovers that they are all dead, and escapes. The next morning Morgiana tells Ali Baba about the thieves in the jars, they bury them and Ali Baba shows his gratitude by giving Morgiana her freedom. To exact revenge, after some time the Chief of Thieves establishes himself as a merchant, befriends Ali Baba's son (who is now in charge of the late Cassim's business), and is invited to dinner at Ali Baba's house. However the Thief is recognized by Morgiana, who performs a dance with a dagger for the diners and plunges it into his heart when he is off his guard. Ali Baba is at first angry with Morgiana, but when he finds out the Thief tried to kill him, he is extremely grateful and rewards Morgiana by marrying her to his son. Ali Baba is then left as the only one knowing the secret of the treasure in the cave and how to access it. Thus, the story ends happily for everyone except Cassim and the forty Thieves.
  4. 4. THE STORY OF RUTH  The book of Ruth contains an interesting story about a Moabite woman who was redeemed into a Hebrew family. The book may have been written by Samuel and was probably penned during the time of David.  A Dreadful Time in a Strange Country  Because of a famine in Israel, a Hebrew family moved to Moab. This was a country not far from Israel on the east side of the Dead Sea. The family was from the city of Bethlehem-judah in Israel. Elimelech and his wife Naomi had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. Each of them married a wife from Moab. In time Elimelech and his two sons died which left the three widows in Moab.  A new beginning  After her husband‘s death, Naomi planned to return to Bethlehem-judah to be with family. She prepared to leave her two daughters-in-law. However, they begged to be able to go with her. She said that she had no more children and even if she were to marry again and bear sons that the two daughters would not be able to wait for them to grow up. She planned to return to Israel alone and empty.  True love and selfless giving  One of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, returned to her people in Moab. The other daughter-in-law, Ruth, said that she would stay with Naomi. It was during this conversation that Ruth said these words which have become the basis for many Christian wedding vows: ―Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.‖  Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem-judah together. Naomi was financially and emotionally despondent, but her family and friends accepted her with joy.  One land owner Boaz, notices Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law.  As they had no money and no men to take care of them, Ruth went into the fields to gather whatever grain she could. One land owner, Boaz, noticed Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law. He did not know at the time who Ruth was, but out of kindness he chose to care for the new stranger in their land.  Ruth returned to Naomi and told her about the generous landowner. Naomi asked about the man and was pleased to learn that it was Boaz. Boaz was a near family member of Elimelech, her late husband. This meant that Boaz had the opportunity to take Naomi and Ruth into his care as well as free them from their financial debt.  A husband for Ruth  Naomi instructed Ruth on how to ask for Boaz‘s help in the matter. She approached Boaz and asked him to become the kinsman-redeemer for them. Before Boaz could accept the care of these two ladies he had to negotiate with another kinsman for the privilege. This other man was closer to Elimelech and therefore had the responsibility to care for the ladies. This man chose not to exercise his duty for their care which left Boaz with the opportunity to buy them out of their debt and take Ruth as his wife.  Boaz and Ruth were married and became the great-grandparents of King David.  Arabic poetry is based largely on harmonies of sound and striking turns of phrasing. A poet's fame depended upon a few brilliant couplets rather than on any sustained melody or long-continued flight of noble thought. One distinguished philosophical poem of some length is the well-known "Lament of the Vizier Abu Ismael." This we give in full at the conclusion of this section; but mainly we must illustrate the finest flowering of Arabic verse by selecting specimens of characteristic brevity. Many of the Arab caliphs inclined to the gaieties of life rather than to their religious duties, and kept many poets around them. Indeed some of the caliphs themselves were poets: The Caliph Walid composed music as well as verse; and was hailed by his immediate companions as a great artist. His neglect of religion, however, was so reckless as to rouse the resentment of his people, and he lost his throne and life.
  5. 5. THE SONG OF MAISUNA  The russet suit of camel's hair, With spirits light, and eye serene, Is dearer to my bosom far Than all the trappings of a queen.  The humble tent and murmuring breeze That whistles thro' its fluttering wall, My unaspiring fancy please Better than towers and splendid halls.  Th' attendant colts that bounding fly And frolic by the litter's side, Are dearer in Maisuna's eye Than gorgeous mules in all their pride.  The watch-dog's voice that bays whene'er A stranger seeks his master's cot, Sounds sweeter in Maisuna's ear Than yonder trumpet's long-drawn note.  The rustic youth unspoilt by art, Son of my kindred, poor but free, Will ever to Maisuna's heart Be dearer, pamper'd fool, than thee.  ---Maisuna, Wife to the Caliph Mowiah
  6. 6. ON FATALISM  Not always wealth, not always force A splendid destiny commands; The lordly vulture gnaws the corpse That rots upon yon barren sands.  Nor want, nor weakness still conspires To bind us to a sordid state; The fly that with a touch expires Sips honey from the royal plate.  ----The Holy Imam Shafay
  7. 7. PRAYER FOR BURMA   Do you recall the land of golden spires?  Where morning bells are answered with murmurs of saffron prayers  And the silence of bare feet echoing their innocence  In a land overwhelmed by evilness and greed  A message of hope for hearts in deepest despair  In a language of love for a people enduring only callousness and betrayal  As their Meta Sutra chants rose high up above  Reflecting in the stillness of their gaze  You can see great courage and dignity in the eyes of Burmese monks  I remember the summer a lifetime ago  When your soft hair was shaved and the first time you wore your  Thin-gann the novice monk‘s robe  And your beautiful boyish face was full of determination  With serene downcast eyes  After shedding Shinlaung‘s ceremonial finery  You remained a Buddhist monk  To devote your life to your people and your religion  I also remember the dark winter nights  When you stayed up late studying Buddha‘s scripture, poetry and politics  Looking to find answers for your people‘s suffering  Since last September  The war against evil has only just begun  And I know that you will fight on  I am quite sure that  Your prayer will be answered  Your hopes will come true  And your fight will be won  Not because  Your anger is fiercer  And your power mightier  Or their hatred more bitter  But because  Your cause is just  Your prayers are sincere  Your wishes are true  Your hopes are pure  And your love for Burma is right  You will win in the end  There is nothing to stop your spirit and your hope  No one can silence your prayers for peace and freedom in Burma  We shall never forget our monks who were at the forefront of our march for freedom.  Burma Digest
  8. 8. THE COUNTRY‘S GOOD SON MINN NEW THEIN  Lin Aung‘s mother had a shop in the Mingaladon market, where she  sold slippers. Lin Aung helped his mother in the shop during his school  holidays. As the Mingaladon market was an army market, soldiers could be  seen shopping there daily. It was more crowded on Sundays. Many  soldiers could be seen moving about busily.  It was Sunday, and Lin Aung was sitting in front of the shop;  ―Younger Brother, do you have real ‗Sin-kye‘ No. 9?‖ A young man, wearing  trousers, entered and asked him. Quickly Lin Aung took a pair of ‗Sinkye‘  No. 9 slippers and showed them. ―How much are these slippers, Young  Brother?‖ Twenty -one Kyats, Elder Brother.‖ ―Can I take only the right  side slipper and pay you ten Kyats and fifty pyas?‖  The young man‘s question made Lin Aung‘s eyes become wide. If he  sold only the right side, how could he sell the left side? And why did he  want only one slipper? ―You can‘t do that. If I sell only the right side, the  one left in the shop will become useless. ―Yes, but I want only the right  side. But wait, I‘ll go and look for a partner.‖ Lin Aung was left behind,  looking at the back of the young man, who walked away, limping.  Soon, the young man came back. He had another young man withhim. The first young man asked Ling Aung for the slippers, and gave the  left side slipper to the young man who had come with him. He lifted the leg  of his trouser and put on the slipper. Then he nodded with satisfaction.  Only then did Lin Aung understand. They were buying and sharing  one pair of slippers. The first young man had a false left leg, and second  young man had a false right leg. So everything was all right because there  was one who wanted only the right side, and another who wanted only the  left side.  Lin Aung was sorry to see the condition of the two young men. They  were quite young, and they each had a leg missing. ―Don‘t you feel sad  that you have only one leg?‖ Lin Aung as inquisitive and asked them. ―Why  should we be sad?‖ the first young man smiled. ―We are soldiers who  offered even our own lives for our country. We are proud to lose a leg in  protecting our country.‖  When Lin Aung heard the first young man‘s answer, he respected  them. They were very different from the young drug addicts about whom  he had often read in the newspapers. They were wasting their lives and  killing themselves.  These young men were the country‘s good sons who were protecting  the country from its enemies. Their aims and intentions were as different  from those of the addicts as east from west, north from south. Although  these young men had one leg missing, they still wanted to serve their  country. The two young soldiers told Lin Aung that they planned to work in  the disabled soldiers‘ cooperative shop.  ―I respect you and honor you. You good sons of the country are the  jewels of our country. When I grow up, I will try to be a good son of the  country like you.‖  The two young soldiers smiled to hear Lin Aung‘s words. ―We admire  your intention. Our country‘s future will really be bright if there were more  young people in our country with the same aim and intention as yours. All  right, we will go now.‖  The two young soldiers said goodbye to Lin Aung and went away. Lin  Aung was filled with the desire to become a good son of the country.
  9. 9. NELSON MANDELA SHORT BIOGRAPHY  Nelson Mandela was born at Qunu, near Umtata on 18 July 1918. His father was chief councilor to Thembuland‘s acting chief David Dalindyebo. When his father died, Mandela was groomed for becoming chief of his local tribe. However Mandela would never be able to make this commitment.  Whilst at the university, Nelson Mandela became increasingly aware of the unjust nature of South African Society. The majority of Black South Africans had little opportunities either Economic or Political. Much to the disappointment of his family, Mandela became involved in politics, and along with his good friend and comrade Oliver Tambo was expelled from Fort Hare for organizing a student strike. However, Mandela was able to finish his degree and qualified as a Lawyer. In 1952, Mandela and Tambo opened the first Black Law firm in South Africa. The Transvaal Law Society tried to have it closed down, although this was blocked by the South African Supreme Court.  In 1944 Mandela helped found the ANC Youth League, whose Programme of Action was adopted by the ANC in 1949. Mandela was instrumental in pushing the ANC into more direct action such as the 1952 Defiance Campaign and later Acts of Sabotage.  By the late 50s the S.A. state had become increasingly repressive making it more difficult for the ANC to operate. Mandela had to resign from the ANC and work underground. In the late 50s there was an extremely lengthy Treason Trial in which Mandela and several others were charged with treason. Conducting their own defence they eventually proved to be victorious. Mandela noted in his autobiography the judiciary were one of the least repressive parts of the South African State and in theory sought to follow the rule of law.  However in 1960 the Sharpeville massacre of 63 black South Africans changed the whole political climate. South Africa was increasingly isolated on the international scene and the government banned the ANC. This led Mandela to advocate armed struggle through the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).  However by 1962 Mandela had been arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in the notorious Robben Island prison. Life at the prison was tough and uncompromising. However in his autobiography Mandela reveals how he sought to make the best use of his time there. He helped to keep other men‘s spirits high and never compromised his political principles when offered early release. Towards the end of his prison spell his treatment improved as the South African establishment increasingly looked to negotiation, in the face of international isolation. Although negotiations were painfully slow and difficult, they eventually led to Mandela‘s release in 1990. It was an emotional moment watched by millions around the globe.   The next four years were also difficult as South African society suffered inter cultural violence between ANC and Inkarta supporters, in addition to slow progress on a new constitution.  However on 10 May 1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa on and was President until June 1999. As president, Mandela presided over the transition from minority rule and apartheid. His advocacy of reconciliation led to international acclaim and importantly the trust of the White African population. Despite the initial euphoria of winning the election the ANC faced a difficult challenge to improve the lives of the black population. This was made more difficult by the HIV epidemic, which continues to cause grave problems. (Nelson Mandela recently lost his eldest son to this disease and Mandela has worked hard to campaign on this issue.)  Since retiring from office Nelson Mandela has continued to be an international figure of great stature. He is one of the few politicians who have gone beyond a political role; he is widely admired and has received many prestigious awards. Nelson Mandela is also associated with many educational programs and initiatives such as Make Poverty History Campaign.  In 1993 Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with F.W. De Klerk
  10. 10. THE AFRICAN WORLD-VIEW (EXCERPT FROM A SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. KOFI A. BUSIA AT A CONFERENCE ON THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND AFRICAN CULTURE IN 1955 IN GHANA.)  My subject is the African worldview, but I should say at once that though there are religious ideas and social values that are widespread in Africa, there are also diversities. For there are many and not one African community. There are numerous communities on the vast continent of Africa which have lived in self-contained isolation, under the varying conditions of life and experience.  Certain beliefs, nevertheless, such as animism, the concept of ghosts and spirits, polytheism and magic, are common patterns which afford valuable guides for understanding particular communities in Africa.  When we think of people‘s world view, we consider their concept of the supernatural, of nature, of man, of society, and of the way in which these concepts form a system that gives meaning to men‘s lives and actions.  Africans believe in a Supreme Being, the Creator of the world and all the things in it. The ideas as to the attributes of the Creator vary, but all believe that He is charged with power, both beneficent and dangerous. This belief in a Supreme Being who is omnipotent is held along with belief in lesser deities who are also charged with power, both beneficent and dangerous. These supernatural entities or gods are not always held to have bodies like men, but their values, attitudes, and thoughts, that is, their personalities are like those of men.   I may digress to point out that the problem of evil so often discussed in Western philosophy and Christian theology does not arise in the African concept of deity. It is when a God who is not only powerful and omniscient but also perfect and loving is postulated that the problem of evil becomes an intellectual and philosophical hurdle. The Supreme Being of the African is the Creator, the source of life, but between Him and man lie many powers and principalities good and bad, gods, spirits, magical forces, witches, to account for the strange happenings in the world.  Nature, too, can have power, and even spirits. It must be noted that in farming, fishing, livestock raising, and other economic activities the African shows knowledge of natural causes. The difference with Europe lies in the fact that the control that Europe has gained over nature is greater and therefore Europeans can give naturalistic or scientific explanations to a greater range of happenings than Africans. But there are theories of reality in Africa just as in Europe. When the African offers an egg to a tree, or food to a dead ancestor, he is not expressing ignorance of material substance, or natural causes, but he is expressing in conduct a theory of reality, namely that behind the visible substance of things lies essences, or powers which constitute their true nature. Those who have read Western philosophy are familiar with such formulations, but because the African does not formulate his problems in terms familiar to the Europeans, or may not even be able to express his awareness in words, its conduct is often grossly misinterpreted.  With regard to man himself, there is a widespread belief in Africa that he is compound of material and immaterial substances; man is a biological and spiritual being. Physical death is not the end of men. The soul concepts of African peoples are many and elaborate. Among the Ashanti, for example, as I have shown elsewhere, ―Man as a biological being inherits his blood from his mother, this gives him his status and membership within the lineage, clan, and the tribe, and his obligations as citizens… As a spiritual being, a man receives a two-fold gift of the spirit: that which determines his character and individuality he receives through his father; but his soul, the undying part of him, he receives direct from the Supreme Being.‖  Among the Dahomey, as Herskovits tells us, ―all persons have three souls and adult males have four. One is inherited from the ancestor, and is the ‗guardian spirit‘ of the individual. The second is the personal soul, while the third is the small bit of the Creator that lives in every person‘s body. The first in Euro-American thought is to be conceived as the biological aspect of man; the second, his personality, and the third his intellect and intuition. The fourth soul of adult males is associated with little concept of destiny. This soul occupies itself not only with the affairs of this world, but also with the collective destiny of his household, since the Daho mean reasons that when a man reaches maturity, his own life cannot know fulfillment apart from the lives of those who share that life with him.
  11. 11. OPEN HOUSE MUSA NAGENDA  Kabana saw his father and other elders from his village get off the red bus, take down their suitcases from the top of the carriage, and look up at the gate. After looking at the poster with approval, they noticed the boys standing in white shirts, ties and khaki shorts and hurried through the gate in the compound.  When the parents were seated on chairs under the trees, and the boys on the ground, the headmaster made a short speech welcoming the parents to open day at the school. He invited the elders to have tea with him and the staff in the common room after they examined the exhibits.  Kabana and Yagunga ran to their fathers and elders as soon as the headmaster dismissed the meeting. They dropped to one knee before the elders, whereas the elders placed hands on their shoulders and greeted them. Kabana remembered the courtesy of greeting the elders first, so he came to greet his father last of all.  ―Kaije – It has been long,‖ his father said.  ―Ego – Yes,‖ Kabana answered.  ―Buhoero – It has been very long.‖  ―Ego.‖  ―Agandi? – What is the news?‖  ―Nimarungi‖ – It is good, Agandi?‖  ―Nimarungi‖ – His father said.  ―Oraiegyo sebo‖ – How did you spend the night?  ―Kurungi – Well.‖  Mulangu smiled upon his son, but Kabana knew his father well and he looked hurriedly away, for he did not see the one thing in his father‘s eye that he looked for. He wanted his father to be proud of him, but that was the one thing missing. His father always seemed to be saying ―Prove yourself first.‖  ―The people at home greet you,― Mulangu said.  The people at home greet you – Olewa, Rugaya, Totesie. He could see the smiling faces of his mother, sister, and little brother as they moved about the compound in Ruti Village. His mother was such a wonderful mother and a good cook, and Rugaya such a beautiful and thoughtful sister that it almost broke his heart not to tell them so. But it was not the habit to show much emotion, for life was a hard challenge every day and the thing you love so dearly today might disappoint you tomorrow. And it seemed to him he was failing them all – especially Rugaya. Lately his father had chided him on his softness of manner, and one day during the last holiday, Kabana forgot one basket of coffee and it remained in the coffee field all night.  ―Why don‘t you use your head for something more than stuffing it with all that book knowledge?‖ Mulangu had asked.  But today was Open House of Kisumbu Secondary School. Perhaps his father had changed in his opinion of his son.  The leaders from the different villages had lingered behind him when the other parents and visitors left the school and went back to their villages. After the conference with the headmaster, they went outside and sat in a circle near the compound under the jacaranda tree. They smoked their pipes, talked and nodded their heads for a while before they sent for Kabana, Yagunga, and Biraro.  When the boys had taken the place offered them in the circle, the oldest elder slowly refilled his pipe and lit it. The ebony walking stick, his rod of authority, lay across his lap. When he‘d taken several puffs on his pipe, he began to speak. He did not hurry but looked straight at the boys with deep lines of seriousness in his kind face.  ―Mwebare munenga emirime – thank you very much for the work you‘re doing here,‖ he said. ―You have made the hearts of your forefathers happy. They and we rejoice in your success.‖  Then slowly, and with pride, he sketched a history of their tribe, telling about the hardships and demands of life in their village, how through hard work, daring, and attention to the ways of their fathers and Ruhanga, their God, who lighted and guarded the fires of the Omugabo and protected the drum of Banyankero, they had always triumphed. The faces of the other elders beamed with pleasure as his words, in the Bantu language, rolled out of him in a tone and rhythm not unlike the emotional beat of the drum.  Yagunga, Kabana, and Biraro sat in the circle of men underneath the jacaranda tree and felt the stares of boys of other tribes like hot sun on their necks. Kabana was ashamed. This talk was for the village and had no place here at school. He wished the elder would hurry so they could catch the bus. If they stayed longer, they would hear some of the things Kabana had said to the other boys, and the other boys would get a chance to see that his father couldn‘t eat with a fork and that he ate too fast.  Still the musical voice of the elder went on, and Kabana felt compelled to listen to it although his legs cramped, for it was a long time since he had sat on the ground.   ―Now,‖ the elder went on, ―you have gained a book education. We will also see that you have your tribal education. You, three boys, Yagunga, Biraro, and Kabana,‖ he nodded at them as he spoke, ―will soon be made men. You are of age, now.‖  ―They are of age,‖ said another elder with enormous ears and a black beard.  ―Soon you must come home for studies and trials and you will learn everything about the joy and the dangers of living. We shall spread your story in the village of our clansmen, and sing of it in our kraals. We greet you, we salute you, and now as our journey is long, we take leave of you.‖ After a moment, all men rose together and started toward the bus, leaving the boys sitting in the broken circle.  When they had gone a short distance, Mulangu turned and called Kabana to him. As always, now, when in his father‘s company, Kabana felt a tightening in his throat. He had mixed feelings about his father. He was ashamed of his crudeness, his inability to speak good English, his long hair, but at the same time he felt pride in his strength and his ability to take care of his family and play a leading role in village affairs. His chest rose high. He felt proud to have a father so strong, so brave, and so successful. He was respected by both villagers and Europeans for his bravery and his ability as a farmer and trader, and Kabana always felt that he‘d never be able to live up to his father‘s expectations. Mulangu touched Kabana‘s shoulder and nodded to where Yagunga and Biraro sat in a broken circle.  ―You have done well here in your studies and in your special callings as drummer but your life is incomplete. It is like that circle, broken because things valuable are left from it. Do you like this school?‖  Kabana nodded. ―Yes, Sir.‖ But it was the question that he knew to be coming next that he dreaded.  ―And the village, what can you say about it?‖  ―It is my home, father. My mother, my brother, my sister, and my friends are there,‖ he tried to be tactful.  ―You love them but no longer love their ways?‖ His father looked straight at him.  All right he would tell the truth. ―I used to love the village, but now things are different, I don‘t know where I belong. Do I belong to where I fail or where I succeed?‖  Mulangu‘s face clouded. ―So, this is what I sent you to school for. To forget your own people – to despise our ways. Your failure is your own doing. With effort you could do what is expected of you.‖ Kabana didn‘t want his father to be angry, but now he thought of old men who sat around doing nothing but drinking beer, of with doctors with rattling gourds, and poison taken from snake heads and the dried entrails of goats. The very worst of the village flashed into his mind. His father was talking to him. ―You hate the village, don‘t you?‖  ―You sent me to school, father.‖ Before the words came from him Kabana regretted them, but still he spoke them.  Mulangu stiffened. He almost struck Kabana, but he looked around hurriedly and saw the other elders watching them.  ―You‘ll never be a man. At the initiation you will surely disgrace me. You are always acting like a baby. Night and day your head is in your mother‘s kitchen or bowed to your sister. Do you know these are not the ways of men?‖  ―I shall improve,‖ Kabana repented.   ―You say so, but you won‘t. I noticed you in our village. You no longer joke, tell stories with the other boys, or dance. Are you a European?‖ Kabana bowed his head, and Mulangu felt the guilty sting of his last remark.  ―Very well, the elders think the boys here will vote to come for the initiation but having a son like you, I doubt it. So as soon as school is out, you come home and I shall try to do a father‘s duty by you.‖ He looked closer at Kabana and tried to be pleasant. ―We have been both made unhappy, father and son, but this time we shall talk to each other and in our village, we‘ll laugh and be happy.‖  ―Oh, that will be wonderful, father,‖ Kabana said, hopefully.  ‗Don‘t be late. The coffee is ripe and there are many goats to herd. Osibegye omwana wangye – Goodbye, my son.‖  ―Osibegye omukawa wanye – Goodbye, my father. Obandamukize – Greet those at home for me.‖
  12. 12. THE DARK CONTINENT  'Africa my beginning, Africa my end.  I was born here and I will die here, Africa you bear my hopes and fears Poverty, famine, crime and AIDS are words  which plague Mother Africa's name These demons bring me shame While people try to make Africa better,  a few let the hardship overpower them Shame on them They give up hope and go  about their knavish ways Even though there's hope on the horizon,  be that as it may They continue to destroy what little Mother Africa has Africa is no longer what she was 'Mother Africa is weeping' Yet a new dawn may be creeping Mother Africa and her children are beautiful,  they know their place in nature Even though hardship may corrupt good nature In the name of ALL that is good,  I hope Africa will rise one day And we'll stop the suffering before she frays The words upon a famous poet, I hear 'Africa my beginning, Africa my end.  I was born here and I will die here.'
  13. 13. THE CAPTURE  Kunta was born free. His parents, Omoro and Binta Kinte, offsprings of a distinguished family tree, were Allah-fearing, freedom loving, and respectable tribe members of tradition-steeped Juffure, a small but prosperous village on the coast of Gambia in West Africa. Like all African tribespeople, their most prized possession was their freedom – a faithfully secured and vigilantly guarded legacy from their forefathers. Every man, woman, and child learned not only to keep out of the way of the white men who kidnapped African natives for the slave market but also to be prepared to fight with their lives for their freedom when caught.  According to tradition, a boy who was a first-born foretold of Allah‘s special blessings upon the parents and their kin. With the birth of Kunta, who was named after a free and noble ancestor, a great hunter and warrior, was born the pride and the great expectation that the tribe of Kinte would indeed prosper. Hence, it was expected of Kunta to bring credit, pride, and many children to his family tree and to his village; to bring honor to the name of Kinte and to dignify further the nobility of the tribe. Hovering protectively over Kunta‘s crib, his father would talk of the brave deeds his son would do when he grew up. Thus, Kunta‘s boyhood, his adolescence, all his life with his parents in Juffure, were dedicated to the fulfillment of the great expectation.  As a boy Kunta roamed freely, happily, and fearlessly through the virgin forests of his tribal village, inhaling the deep musky fragrance of the  mangroves, romping with baboons, and thrilling to the shrill cries of kingfishers and pelicans. He hunted wild pigs, pursued the fleet-footed deer, fished in the rippling waters, set traps for the forest fowls, swam in the streams, and chased schools and winnows. In these happy, peaceful, and free surroundings Kunta learned ―to treat of Allah‘s creatures as he himself wished to be treated: with respect.‖   Kunta‘s happiness and freedom were short-lived. Falling a victim of a white slave trader, he was transported to America, sold in the slave market, and he remained a slave to his death. It took his progenies, several generations later, to regain the freedom Kunta lost.  Kunta finally reached the head-high grass surrounding the grove where he was going to pick out and chop a section of a tree trunk just the right size for the body of his drum. As he stepped into groove, Kunta saw a hidden movement from the corner of his eyes. It was a hare, and the dog was after it in a flash as t raced for cover in the tall grass.  The excerpt reveals a significant fact in the life of Kunta – his capture, which marked the beginning of his life as a slave. It shows the tenacity and the violence with which he fought to keep his freedom.   Kunta finally reached the head-high grass surrounding the grove where he was going to pick out and chop a section of a tree trunk just the right size for the body of his drum. As he stepped into the grove, Kunta saw a hidden movement from the corner of his eyes. It was a hare, and the dog was after it in a flash as it raced for cover in the tall grass.   He was bending over a likely prospect when he heard the sharp crack of twig, followed quickly by the squawk of a parrot overheard. It was  probably the dog returning, he thought in the back of his mind. But no grown dog ever cracked a twig, he flashed, whirling in the same instant.  In a blur, rushing at him, he saw a white face, a club upraised; heard heavy footfalls behind him. Toubob! His foot lashed up and caught the man in the belly –it was soft and he heard a grunt – just as something hard and heavy grazed the back of Kunta‘s head and landed like a tree trunk on his shoulder. Sagging under the pain, Kunta spun – turning his back on the man who lay doubled over the ground at his feet – and pounded with his fists on the faces of two black men who were lunging at him with a big sack, and at another toubob swinging a short, thick club.   His brain screaming for any weapon, Kunta leaped into them clawing, butting, kneeing, gouging – hardly feeling the club that was pounding against his back. As three of them went down with him, sinking to the ground under their combined weight, a knee smashed into Kunta‘s lower back, rocking him with such pain that he gasped. His open mouth meeting flesh, his teeth clamped, cut, tore. His numb fingers finding a face he clawed deeply into an eye, hearing its owner howl as again the heavy club met Kunta‘s head.   Dazed, he heard a dog snarling, a toubob screaming, then a sudden piteous yelp. Scrambling to his feet, wildly twisting, dodging, ducking to escape more clubbing, with blood streaming from his split head, he saw one black cupping his eye, a toubob holding a bloody arm, standing over the body of the dog, and the remaining pair circling him with raised clubs. Screaming his rage, Kunta went for the second toubob, his fists meeting and breaking the force of the descending club. Almost choking with the awful toubob stink, he tried desperately to wrench away the club. Why had he not heard them, sensed them, smelled them?   Just then the black‘s club smashed into Kunta, once again, sending him staggering to his knees, and the toubob sprang loose. His head ready to explode, his body reeling, raging at his own weakness, Kunta reared up and roared, flailing blindly at the air, everything blurred with tears and sweat. He was fighting for more than his life now. Omoro! Binta! Suwadi! Madi!. The toubob‘s heavy club crashed against his temple. And all went black
  14. 14. FREE AT LAST (SPEECH OF NELSON MANDELA, MAY 2, 1994)  My fellow South Africans - the people of South Africa:  This is indeed a joyous night. Although not yet final, we have received the provisional results of the election, and are delighted by the overwhelming support for the African National Congress.  To all those in the African National Congress and the democratic movement who worked so hard these last few days and through these many decades, I thank you and honor you.  To the people of South Africa and the world who are watching: this a joyous night for the human spirit. This is your victory too. You helped end apartheid, you stood with us through the transition.  I watched, along with all of you, as the tens of thousands of our people stood patiently in long queues for many hours, some sleeping on the open ground overnight waiting to cast this momentous vote.  South Africa's heroes are legend across the generations. But it is you, the people, who are our true heroes. This is one of the most important moments in the life of our country.  I stand before you filled with deep pride and joy. Pride in the ordinary, humble people of this country. You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own. And joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops - Free at Last!  I stand before you humbled by your courage, with a heart full of love for all of you. I regard it as the highest honor to lead the ANC at this moment in our history, and that we have been chosen to lead our country into the new century.  I pledge to use all my strength and ability to live up to your expectations of me as well as of the ANC.  I am personally indebted and pay tribute to some of South Africa's greatest leaders including John Dube, Josiah Gumede, GM Naicker, Dr Abduraman, Chief Lutuli, Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Yusuf Dadoo, Moses Kotane, Chris Hani, and Oliver Tambo. They should have been here to celebrate with us, for this is their achievement too.  Tomorrow, the entire ANC leadership and I will be back at our desks. We are rolling up our sleeves to begin tackling the problems our country faces. We ask you all to join us. Go back to your jobs in the morning. Let's get South Africa working.  For we must, together and without delay, begin to build a better life for all South Africans. This means creating jobs, building houses, providing education and bringing peace and security for all.  The calm and tolerant atmosphere that prevailed during the elections depicts the type of South Africa we can build. It set the tone for the future. We might have our differences, but we are one people with a common destiny in our rich variety of culture, race and tradition.  People have voted for the party of their choice and we respect that. This is democracy.  I hold out a hand of friendship to the leaders of all parties and their members, and ask all of them to join us in working together to tackle the problems we face as a nation. An ANC government will serve all the people of South Africa, not just ANC members.  We also commend the security forces for the sterling work done. This has laid a solid foundation for a truly professional security force, committed to the service of the people and loyalty to the new constitution.  Now is the time for celebration, for South Africans to join together to celebrate the birth of democracy. I raise a glass to you all for working so hard to achieve what can only be called a small miracle. Let our celebrations be in keeping with the mood set in the elections, peaceful, respectful and disciplined, showing we are a people ready to assume the responsibilities of government.  I promise that I will do my best to be worthy of the faith and confidence you have placed in me and my organization, the African National Congress. Let us build the future together, and toast a better life for all South Africans.

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