Terra Nullius by Engenoi
Hushed tones and tiptoes
Its 9pm don’t make a sound
Be invisible – don’t be seen
After all, you’re here to learn the game
Tired of lurking in the backdrop
I want to stand on table tops
Trapped by bars they use to tame
When they don’t even know my name
Still a savage in a cage
But I’m trying to turn the page.
Midnight Thursday Night
‘Get out of my country you fucking Nigger’
Nigger? is that me? I guess it must be
I am weighted, surrounded by a sea of white skin
Some would rather divide
When I’m just trying to survive.
The Terra Nullius law
No man’s land
They forgot to mention Mansa Musa- King of Mali
First Library and University
We knew the rhythm of the sun,
When they still thought the earth was flat.
When they were plagued with rats and famine,
We were trading gold and fabrics.
Let us not forget our Queens, Candace, Nefertiti,
Yaa Asantewaa set the stage for Nkurumah,
Our brothers, Tom Mboya, killed like Dedan Kimathi,
PanAfrican state of mind
Gold Dinar could have set us free
But they’d rather have us blind
To the power we could have-if We all just realigned
They created all these tribes. And forced us to subscribe
Tax collection, make it easy,
Set up borders using rulers,
Wilhelm’s birthday…give him Kilimanjaro
Straight lines split families
Ancestor’s skulls in European museums.
Poke and prod us even when we’re dead
And that’s not even where it ends.
Terrorists turned a continent to scrambled eggs
Yet they still think they saved us.
Engenoi is a storyteller and educator. Born and raised in Kenya, her Maasai heritage plays a massive role in all the different projects that she does. Her work is centered on resistance, identity and wellbeing. She is passionate about elevating the voices of indigenous and marginalized communities. As an Anthropology graduate, she has worked in education and mental health research and currently convenes an Anthropology and Sociology course at the School Of PanAfrican Thought. Growing up with a mixed heritage, she came to understand later in life that if you come from a Black woman, you are a Black woman. Being racialised and exposed to social and institutional racism has impacted the work she does today and she used poetry to express herself and escape judgment. She recently qualified as a holistic practitioner and launched a podcast, Healing in Harmony. Art is a powerful medium to process and understand trauma and grief and reach resolutions within. She hopes that through the stories she tells through poetry and the space she facilitates as a holistic practitioner, more women in the margins can find the courage to rise up and reclaim their narratives and power.