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The Sunday Morning Poem for Millicent Chapanda Paul Mortimer's inspired Millicent Chapanda moment, makes him the weeks Sunday Morning Poet

The Sunday Morning Poem for Millicent Chapanda

Paul Mortimer's inspired Millicent Chapanda moment, makes him the weeks Sunday Morning Poet

by Paul Mortimer, Contributor
first published: October, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

After attending the recent Outsideleft Night Out, our incredible Studio 67 event with the brilliant Millicent Chapanda, Paul was moved to write this poem for us, for her...

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Paul Mortimer is record collector of some repute, and lifelong music fan. After attending the recent Outsideleft Night Out, our incredible Studio 67 event with the brilliant Millicent Chapanda, Paul was moved to write this poem for us, for her... 

 

FOR MILLICENT CHAPANDA

These words I dedicate to the resilient Millicent
Midlands Queen of the Mbira, she’s still quietly militant
She tells how Europeans invaded her land
Stealing their people, their precious culture now banned

Their very existence and great history denied
By intruders who came, stole and left, and then lied
Black lives did not matter to those who now rule
Exploited as slaves by those racists so cruel

Though history records those centuries of oppression
They cannot now silence Millicent’s perfect expression
The art and the instruments, the music, the songs
Never denied nor forgotten, no matter how long

Traditions and practices once sullied and shamed
Her instrument now thrives, the Shona legacy reclaimed
Gently-stroked thumb-keys, warm sounds weave the air
Invoking the Ancestors - tonight, are they there?

The Mbira serenades us, entertaining many nations
Carrying its legacy to the new generations
Like Stella Chiweshe, Mbira Queen of times past
Now Millicent is our tutor, and her message will last

© Millicent Chapanda

Paul Mortimer
Contributor

 is a music fanatic and DJ's at any event that calls for a little soulful psychedelia...


about Paul Mortimer »»

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