Feature Article of Thursday, 14 April 2011

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

Ode To Street Kids In Accra And Elsewhere


Father, to you I pray
Let me not suffer less affection
Fortify me against self dejection
Inure me against society rejection
In all this, I plead childlike - innocence
Father, let me not go astray

I ought not in the street be, loitering
Nor wandering aimlessly, an urchin,
I ought in school be, learning
Many a time, I ponder and pause,
Why was I orphaned so young?
There goes a pregnant pause-
To test humanity of their inhumanity?

All wise and all-knowing Father,
When I ponder this imponderable,
I am at utter loss,
Every night I survey your wonderous handiwork in the star- lit sky,
In the day, I tramp about under the glare of your fiery sun,
All alone, deserted in this vast ocean of a world,
Where I will end, I don’t know,
Though I do know it will end one day,
Let it be in your Divine presence,
Till then, grant me the fortitude to bear
The heavy burdens of living off the street,
To feed from garbage heaps and leftovers,
In childlike humility my cross to carry,
Let me not pry into divine secrets
Lest a good child I cease to be,
Supply my needs through other people,
Touch hearts of passers-by and NGOs to care and give

We orphans in the street unburden our hearts to you,
We are part of humanity, we deserve pity and sanity,
We are not some strange animals or aliens from outer space,
Why do you discriminate and mistreat?
Why do we need to live off the street?
Father, bless orphans wherever they may be,
In streets, alleys and dark corners,
Give direction and discernment
To our suffering, mitigate and alleviate our plight,
Let us from wrong seek flight,
Touch hearts of government to heed our cries,
We also, like normal children, have a right,
Let not good and upright people be affright
Nor their good plans for us take flight
Let them not be affrayed to join the fight,
Grant Father for us to grow up proud sons and daughters of Ghana,
Always pursuing good and fleeing easy ways,
In your own wisdom, Father hear our humble prayer