Justina Kehinde| To The Child of My Youth

Understand that the dusk of your skin is what makes the starlight shine so bright.

Learn to be at home in it.


Let the multitude that makes up our cosmos unfurl itself

and set up home along the streets of your collarbones.


Let that cloak of raw obsidian or burnt chestnut,

the lemon drizzle tinge of saffron or the burnished mix of ruby and oak

be a majestic garment pulled lovingly over your cowrie encrusted bones

so wear your skin,

with back erect knowing that legends before you have danced victoriously

wearing that same concoction of splendorous melanin,

Do not let society make you fear your natural complexion.


If they ask why you spend so many hours studying,

tell them the only thing worth stealing is knowledge.

So grasp it.

Every word that pours out of pages,

riot the racks that make up your library,

be they the words of DuBois or Morrison, Fanon or Achebe,

be it in the witty lyricism of Grace Nichols, Malorie’s checkerboard or Benjamin’s Talking Turkeys,

let your Tongue be a creole of intellectual stimulation,

and don’t be surprised when you discover a canon filled with playwrights and poets,

academics and critics who have characters that look like you at the centre of their work,

and don’t stop yourself from joining that great collection of work,

even if Wole Soyinka was the first,

you too can create an oeuvre that will be hailed as Noble,

so let your pen be the source of a river of words.


You are living Gold.


Formed at the joint where Ghana meets Tobago,

your value is something that cannot be corroded,

you are the standard,

so stand firm in the knowledge that the wealth that you come into the world with

is more than any currency can purchase,

you are not worthless

because you have not worked less.


For every seed that you have sown you will reap a harvest ten times what you could fathom,

our achievements are home grown.

Born in the depths of our beings, let the intimacy of your dreams begin to breathe,

look ahead at the Giants whose backs form bridges leading into an infinity of possibilities…


I want you to worry less

Worry less about how the world might seem, and work harder to shape it into what you want it to be.

Don’t be a worrier, but be a Warrior

like the fighters who paved a way to enable your dazzling mind to be seen,

let your peers drink the sweat from your intellect for every test question marked correct,

You are living gold, baby, living gold.


So understand that the dusk of Our skin is what makes the starlight shine so bright

So shine, for you are a jewel that can no longer be hidden from sight.

Follow @JustinaKehinde

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One thought on “Justina Kehinde| To The Child of My Youth

  1. ‘For every seed that you have sown you will reap a harvest ten times what you could fathom,’ and for each step you take, Chukwu Abiama (Oluwa) will add ‘itenani. Ofu e tinylu itenani bu ili’ (1+9=10)

    ‘JUSTINA KEHINDE| TO THE CHILD OF MY YOUTH’ No! TO THE CHILDREN OF YOUR YOUTH.’

    Like

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