Togo: Thank You for Being a Woman | Jémima Fiadjoe-Prince Agbodjan

Thank you for being a woman
For having been born
To know the pain of childbirth;
For having nursed my mother’s breast
To know the joy and happiness of offering my milk;
For having been carried on her back
To learn how to strengthen my back
For having known the tenderness of this maternal heart
To learn how to have a child’s heart.

Thank you for being a woman
For being at the school of prudence
Of endurance and of patience
In order to be guardian of the hearth
To insure its protection and fulfilment;
For being a nest of clear and creative thoughts
For being the welcoming earth where grow
              The seeds of the future

Thank you for being a woman
For being beauty and softness
For being light and warmth
For being discretion and lobe
And finally, more than anything,
For being born to give,
To give my Peace for the Peace

Jémima Fiadjoe-Prince Agbodjan studied medicine at the University of Dakar and then in France at the University of Lille. She works as a pediatrician in Lomé, Togo


Culled from Scottish Poetry Library

Burkina Faso: Black soul | Monique Ilboudo

Black and woman
God knows
if I have a soul

man or woman
Who knows
if I have culture

with or without a soul
I know
That I exist

with or without culture
I know
Who I am


Monique Ilboudo was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She completed a Doctorate in Law and taught at the University of Ouagadougou until 2000. She is currently the Minister for Promotion of Human Rights in Burkina Faso.  This poem is a translation from the original French language version. 



The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.