Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Albert Nyathi

Fans and Fools

Fans and Fools

Fans and Fools

I see a sea of citizens milling,
Scattered, seated, standing, swaying
They are swerving, sweating, swinging
Singing and sighing
They are steaming and streaming
Football fans and fools alike
Fans cheer at the sight of the colour of the jersey
Fools jeer at the sight of the colour of the skin
Football fans and fools
They shout and share the joy of a win
They shout and share the sorrows of a defeat
Yes one team has to win.
Tell me then, how does the colour of the skin come in?
Racism is cancer eroding the human spirit
Racism is for imbeciles
Bent on destroying human relations
Bent on destroying the good that mankind has built

I shudder to imagine what would happen
If the world had one race
Look, if we had red roses only for flowers
No white roses, no lilies, nor daffodils
I do not want to imagine
What the jungle would look like
If we had lions only for animals
No leopards, no jackals, nor giraffes
I hesitate to imagine
What the roads would look like
If we had BMWs only for cars
No Ford, no Toyota, nor Volvo
No Limousines, nor tractor even?

Please do not ask me to imagine
What it would be like
If all of us just agreed on everything
If all of us had one opinion
If all of us looked alike
Were of the same height
Same weight
Same colour of skin
Same nose shapes
Same colour of hair?

Some have to have big nose
Others have to have small eyes
Some have to be tall like giraffes
Others big and baggy like baby elephants
Yet others short and stocky like rabbits.

So we need Blacks
We need Whites
We need Asians
We need the Chinese
We need everybody
To beautify the world
Do not tell me
You do not envy
The beauty of the rainbow
So, come on, let us beautify the world
With our different colours
Stand up and be counted
Stand up

Close

Fans and Fools

I see a sea of citizens milling,
Scattered, seated, standing, swaying
They are swerving, sweating, swinging
Singing and sighing
They are steaming and streaming
Football fans and fools alike
Fans cheer at the sight of the colour of the jersey
Fools jeer at the sight of the colour of the skin
Football fans and fools
They shout and share the joy of a win
They shout and share the sorrows of a defeat
Yes one team has to win.
Tell me then, how does the colour of the skin come in?
Racism is cancer eroding the human spirit
Racism is for imbeciles
Bent on destroying human relations
Bent on destroying the good that mankind has built

I shudder to imagine what would happen
If the world had one race
Look, if we had red roses only for flowers
No white roses, no lilies, nor daffodils
I do not want to imagine
What the jungle would look like
If we had lions only for animals
No leopards, no jackals, nor giraffes
I hesitate to imagine
What the roads would look like
If we had BMWs only for cars
No Ford, no Toyota, nor Volvo
No Limousines, nor tractor even?

Please do not ask me to imagine
What it would be like
If all of us just agreed on everything
If all of us had one opinion
If all of us looked alike
Were of the same height
Same weight
Same colour of skin
Same nose shapes
Same colour of hair?

Some have to have big nose
Others have to have small eyes
Some have to be tall like giraffes
Others big and baggy like baby elephants
Yet others short and stocky like rabbits.

So we need Blacks
We need Whites
We need Asians
We need the Chinese
We need everybody
To beautify the world
Do not tell me
You do not envy
The beauty of the rainbow
So, come on, let us beautify the world
With our different colours
Stand up and be counted
Stand up

Fans and Fools

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère