Omékongo wa Dibinga

My beloved Congo,
The joke of the African continent
The world’s gold, diamond, and coltan mine
Rwanda’s concubine

This country of mine,
Poisoned with the swine that is Western policy
Westerners and Asians exploit the riches
But live behind gated communities
With underpaid Congolese security

So they’re closing the door
On fractured Congolese faces with one hand,
While robbing her of her resources with the other
And no more

Congolese poet Omékongo wa Dibinga shares three of his poems with us exploring the attitudes towards Africa, aid and development. For more information see

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover
But it has become appallingly clear
That you can judge an entire continent
By its media coverage

You can color a whole continent dark
With the paint of poorly placed perception
When you rely on the media
To teach you your Africa lessons

Because I come from a continent,
That the world thinks is a country
And to put it bluntly,
We’re all HIV positive
Until proven negative more

What does development aid really mean?
Does it mean managing money to mobilize against HIV
Or driving through southern Sudan in an SUV?
Does it mean the improvement of life,
Since many join the development enterprise to improve their lifestyle?
Does it mean giving 1/10 of 1% of your GNP
And having 1/3 of that funnel its way to those in need,
Since most of the aid goes to pay aid agency staff salary?
What does it mean?
Development aid is more