“The African Madman” who dines with dogs, mocked and alone

The African madman-

He sleeps in heaps of garbage,

In the rubbish pits-

He picks the sugar cane’s chewed fibre,

Grinds and gnashes on it with his teeth.

Sucrose and sweetness free-

the peelings cut his jaws and wound his gum.

In the rubbish pits-

He dines with dogs

As he chases them off their bones.

The toughest ones rebel with claws dug in his rough skin.

The weakest ones cry away/bark off in agony.


The African madman

Graces his diseased skin with rags.

With the hot/stony/bare ground,

His tyre-like feet birthed deep gullies on the heels,

As the ruthless giggers ate the toe nails to extinction.


As the birds chirp their way to their nests,

Cows lock horns on the way to the kraal,

Kids playing evening games in the threshold,

The madman wanders about in the cold,

Unaware of his own suffering,

He brags “I’m the great Mushazi* of the ridges”

And the heartless humans

Find it a reason

To laugh about,

To mimick,

And to fun.


The African madman

Waits for another day

To languish in misery, hunger and resentment.




Courtesy of the author

Link to the Italian version


Amanya Aklam

Amanya Aklam is a fresh graduate from Kampala’s Makerere University.  He is a researcher in the fields of Gender, Women Studies, Men and Masculinities, and a short stories author.

He writes poems for Stubborn Poetry, a new poetry label based in Uganda. Among his themes is mental health, as shown in this composition that enlightens and humanizes the dark figure of a man pushed to the margins by his own illness and by the indifference of society.

Amanya has also written several poetry and prose pieces on climate action and environmental activism, as he is eager “to reclaim mother nature from extinction” and believes that “climate change isn’t an individual but a mass campaign“.

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