THANK YOU, BRA HUGH 

Today we want 

to thank you, dear Lord 

for what you have already done & given

Everything that happens 

is Thy Will

You are the One 

that gave us Bra Hugh

Only you alone knew 

for how long 

You are the One and Only 

that took him away

Only you alone know 

the mystery of life & death 
We will not wait 

until his ashes 

are buried in African soil

Dust to dust

We are not going to wait 

until buildings & streets 

are renamed after him

We are not going to wait 

until the poems have been recited 

& the speeches written & presented 

in the backdrop of soul haunting music 

& images of inequality 
We cannot wait 

until men without shoes 

have bought new ones 

to avoid being chased away 

and those who complain 

about the design 

of their suits & dresses 

have their orders delivered 

to portray the profile 

of being “somebody” important 
We wish to thank you right now

We cannot wait 

until Bra Hugh wakes up 

to see that we now dress 

like Africans, 

whatever that means
We are not going to wait 

until haters say sorry 

for the things they said 

about Bra Hugh

& the way they treat some mourners

Or until his detractors 

retract their condemnation 

of this son of the soil
The worst thing 

that could have happened 

to this special man boy would be 

for people not to talk about him

Everybody good & bad 

have something good or bad 

to say about him

That, in itself, will not take 

anything away from him

He was who he was true to self 

It is what it is
We are not going to wait 

until the tears dry up 

& the pain is gone

In fact, that is not going to happen 

anytime soon

We shall allow those 

who want to mourn & lament him 

including watching proceedings on TV

to do what they need to do

to bring closure

It is the end of an era 
We want to thank you right now 

for a strong & courageous manchild 

who did not want us 

to shed any tears for him

He gave us the serenity 

to accept that 

which we cannot change

Not all will be on the list 

for a private burial

It is what it is 

exclusive 
We are not interested to know 

what his financial situation was like 

or who he owed for this or that

What we know 

is that he has paid all his dues

done everything 

that needed to be done 

which has been done 

There is nothing to add
We want to thank you 

for this great son 

who brought nothing to the world 

& will take 

no material wealth with him

Nothing at all

Dust to dust 

Ashes to ashes 

All we have now 

that which he left 

are the footprints 

of love care & tenderness 

in the hearts 

of those he touched
We are not going 

to seek his children 

or wake them up 

to tell them 

what a legend & icon 

their father was

We are not interested 

in the number of women

he married or did not 

There will always 

be hangers-on & opportunists 

who will want to use his passing on 

to claim 

how much Bra Hugh loved them
But they have nothing to say 

about how they loved him 

or to show how they supported 

to institutionalize 

his dream & vision 

for an Academy of African Arts 

to promote protect & preserve 

African arts, culture, history & heritage
We just want to thank you right now 

that he had a dream & a vision 

for a man or woman 

without a dream 

nor a vision 

is like a broken winged bird 

that cannot fly
We thank you 

for this visionary & dreamer

His stubborn spirit lives

without any rest 

until there is 

justice for all 
We are not going to wait 

until we are accredited 

to be VVIPs 

that will be part 

of the throngs of family 

& selected friends 

privileged to attend 

a special exclusive funeral
We understand 

Bra Hugh was a popular 

& highly gifted artist 

yet a simple & ordinary man 

who did not desire 

any special treatment 

by a government he felt 

was constantly betraying its promises 

to the people
We are going to admit right here & now 

that not everybody understood 

that Bra Hugh 

was a talented musician 

who was a radical revolutionary 

Above all, he desired 

that African people determine 

their own fate 

to own the mineral wealth 

of their land & country

Every nation belongs to its own 
We want to thank you right now 

for this son of the soil 

who has been aptly defined as 

a quintessential Pan Africanist

for that is what he was 

to all those few with eyes to see 
We are not going to wait 

until the liberation movement 

transforms itself 

into a sleek political party 

that transcends 

man-made problems 

of bribery, corruption
We are not going to wait 

until the violence

&  deadly political divisions 

have been resolved 

& the leadership knows 

the genuine meaning of unity

an ideal that Bra Hugh lived for 

the return of the land & country

to its indigenous owners 
We know things 

will not get easier 

anytime soon 

This is a time 

of “phuma ngingene”

It is our turn to eat

where everyone seeks 

to be prominent & important 

through the ill-gained money 

& more money in their bank accounts 

that will always 

be accumulated 

at the expense of Bra Hugh’s people
We have become 

part of a system 

we fought against

Gobblization it is 

we in the belly of the beast 
We are going to thank you right now 

for this man 

that you gave a trumpet 

at a tender young age 

to blow it so loud 

to bring down the walls 

of inequality and injustice

We must thank you right now 

for the consciousness & renaissance 

that he espoused & lived

Justice & equality for all 
Some among us feel 

strangely alive today 

brushing shoulders 

with the living dead 

who have sold out 

for personal interest & recognition 

We want to thank you right now 

for Bra Hugh who made the lowly 

feel kingly & uplifted them 

through the power of music

in death 
We are thanking you right now 

Bra Hugh has joined the dead 

that are not dead

He is said 

to have fought death to the end

But how could a man 

who loved & lived life to the full 

not know that 

the fear of death is the fear of life 

for life & death are twins

His spirit lives forever

We will celebrate his music
We are thanking you 

for you are the One & Only 

who sent us the Son of Man 

who walked through 

the apartheid valley 

of death & destruction 

& came out alive
Today those who chose 

to have a role model 

who has shown the way

that Africans have the ability 

& opportunity to give the world 

a human face 

to turn Azania 

not into a gangsters paradise 

but a beautiful land 

of equality & justice
We thank you Lord 

for giving Bra Hugh 

the spiritual resilience 

not to give up 

in the face of bribery & corruption 

an inherently evil system 

that lures Africans to forget 

who they are as a people 

who are the cradle of human kind
We thank you 

for you have forgiven us 

for teaching our children 

foreign tongues 

while they cannot speak 

indigenous languages 

that carry their intelligence 

& creativity

the culture & soul of the nation 
We wish to acknowledge 

that Bra Hugh 

exhorted African women 

to not wear other people’s hair 

to learn to love & accept themselves 

as they are the original people 

created in your image & likeness
We are not going to wait 

for another hour or day 

but wish to express 

our profound & profuse thankfulness 

to the life & times of Bra Hugh

before he wakes up

from the dead 
Thank you God

We also thank 

the African ancestors 

for everything 

that we have received 

through Bra Hugh

We know through him that 

God is one of us

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