Leave them to Lead


By J. Lisa Lumeh

In commemoration of the International Day of the African Child

They were recruited against their will

To become sex slaves…

They were beaten and led to become slaves in homes

They were taught to sell drugs and pull the trigger

They were tortured and used as weapons for destruction

They are told to crush rocks while they were to be in school

To sell cold water on the streets to survive

They were taken in by relatives only to be used as negatives

They walk hours from their village to farms

Carrying heavy logs and cutlasses and knives and hooks under their arms

They are your children

Stop taking them to orphanages when you have all it takes

Don’t put them in boxes and suitcases and banish them

They’re angels, I tell you, and they’ll come back

They’re our precious ones, our babies

They should be given the love that will lighten up their distress

School them, feed them

Teach them, Protect them and

Leave them to lead


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