The Freedom Train: Outspoken.

Position:LANGUAGE - Interview

Still inside the station waiting on the Freedom Train Its inspector came to check on our tickets if we had paid Finally my people shall be home amongst their relatives and peers They could hardly wait to see the city's horizon slowly disappear into the distance! It was one train with many classes ... the luxurious was the first Then came the second-class/middle-class citizens ... then the economy ... that is the worst Not because of its occupants, but mainly their conditions, Where they were packed like animals, sweating like the steam engines "All aboard!" that was freedom's last call The destination was democracy, equality for all, but a few! The few being the masses in the last Who were disposable to benefit the upper class! "Tickets! Tickets please! Amai, you did not pay! Do you think you are going to get a free ride on the Freedom train?" He can clearly see that she is sick and in need of urgent assistance "Amai, I am not a doctor, all I want from you is your ticket!" So another passenger dies for she could not afford The medication for her ailments, so she succumbed to her sores Across the masses gathered was this hovering of pain Another one of us departed from the Freedom Train Mountains rolled and valleys passed the few that had the view Aboard this runaway train of passengers without a crew, but the inspector! They huddled praying, "justice would prevail" But lived in the laws of physics, so they were destined to derail! A pregnant mother squirmed as her water broke in panic Hope was her unborn daughter, but her birth was none but tragic She only saw the light of day minutes before the crash Sucked back into a darkness with radiance everlasting If only the inspector started checking on the drivers There wouldn't be this ugly scene of checking on survivors 18 April 1980 was the day we left the station Aboard The Freedom Train, but still haven't reached our destination ... Freedom! [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Tongai Leslie Makawa, known throughout the rap world by his performance name Outspoken, is one of Zimbabwe's leading spoken word poets. His poem "The Freedom Train" addresses the inaccurate use of the term "Freedom" in today's Zimbabwe.

Historical or literary references to "The Freedom Train" or railroads more generally have highlighted issues of racial segregation across Africa. Cecil John Rhodes' plan for a railroad stretching from Cape Town to Cairo was intended to be the great symbol of British colonization and control of...

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