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This poem removes any doubts about the detrimental effects of poverty.

Poem: In the house of humanity


On my poverty-ridden face

I am requested to paint a happy face

To smile and pretend I am okay

To walk the street of life without shame

I am required to walk with the rich and famous

I am forced to share the street with bankers and sports icons

I am asked to be courageous and full of vigour

Who made these requirements?

For me to paint my face with happiness

When I have already painted it with sorrow

For me to walk on the stage of life with pride

When I have so much shame in my body

For to polish my smile

When I have no food to eat

For me to look beautiful in the streets of life

When the effects of poverty have seriously disfigured my being

For me to hold courage above everything else

When shame is fully loaded on my back

I am not asking for your charity

I am asking you to look beyond your needs

I am asking you to put on my shoes

I am asking you to be me for just one moment

I am asking you to walk inside the boundary of poverty

And inspect the living conditions in my world

To pour yourself on the roof of my life

And see the pain I have to endure on the streets of life

I am asking you to change the way you look at me

Not to see me as a burden

But to see me as a human being

I totally understand your reluctance to accept me in your house

But I want to be accepted in the house of humanity



Kenneth Maswabi



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