The ALA All Community Call is an annual event which brings together student and staffulty alumni to reconnect with ALA, with Africa and with each other.
On November 21st, members of the ALA Community gathered on campus, with hundreds of community members watching online from as far as the USA and China, as the event was also streamed online.
Social media was abuzz with alumni, staff, faculty, parents sharing their memories and passion for the Academy.
Fellow alumni ( ALA Class of 2011) and now staffulty member, Priscilla Takondwa Semphere wowed the audience with her graceful MCing, and this year we had a special spoken word piece by Dean Hatim, who dedicated his poem to the ALA community:
I’ve never written a spoken word before
although I’ve often spoken words before
and so I guess I shouldn’t be so scared therefore
I’ll begin by just beginning and we’ll see.
Also, I asked Amu for advice – he said “not everything has to rhyme”.
So Amu do what I like, and only rhyme some of the time.
One last thing, I’m not trying to be Chiro – that poem was straight MFC.
I haven’t quite got the wit, the rhythm or the flavour, that’s why I’m calling my poem:
Friends. Can I tell you; it hurts to be in love.
I wake up with a start sometimes and start the day
with a heartache.
Now it could be from too much indomie
but I think, in actuality,
that my heart is just too full.
How could it not be?
When Cornelia, in Liberia is literally fighting for democracy –
Color-coding her supporters they’re wearing red, not green this time
Aisha, Chemutai, you might not know this
but Cornelia was the original Voltarian,
she set the disco on fire
Today, instead of chickens, Cornelia’s killing voter apathy.
Tell me, how can I not be overfull with love,
When Mainza’s building robot eyes in the sky that bring safety from above;
When Spencer’s blimps are making distance disappear;
When Tafadzwa Matika, Bradley Opere and Michael Kayemba
Are stress-testing avocado economics – call it Divine intervention,
because we know they were all stressed by Divine Kangami’s economics tests.
Tell me, friends, how could I not drown myself in admiration
When Julia Agudogo, is engineering cervical salvation
When Esther Soma is advocating for a peaceful South Sudan
When Nashipai is pioneering health in Kenya
Who could fail to see
that the future is a she.
Friends, how can I not be overwhelmed with my friends?
When Gavin Peter is Gavin Peter is Gavin Peter
When it takes a Joe a Bass a Jake and double-doctor Sarah
and we still can’t fill that space.
When Kyla, K-dawg, Mills, can conquer illness with her jokes;
When Veda holds Kigali together and Ryan holds it down in Mauritius
If you don’t know ALApella Kate Kraft and shebs will be annoyed,
Friends, can I tell you, I can’t wait to be unemployed.
It’s not that I’m destroyed but rather soon to be redundant.
When Belinda’s Reekworth school
becomes a network so abundant
When Jihad walks down a human causeway
resplendent with the magic of Majak
When Eddie is going all the way to space!
Friends, can I tell you, I can’t wait till I get fired.
It’s not that I’m tired.
It’s that it’s happening.
It’s that one thousand now
and thousands still to come like you
Are figuring out one thousand ways to make this dream come true
When Priscilla comes as Priscilla, lives as Priscilla, leaves as Priscilla
but then 100 times more powerful –
Takondwa comes home.
When Rumbi and Oulli and Zakia come back to learn the ropes and Tsion is already steering the ship. But folks,
In case you didn’t know
She already runs all the shows.
Friends, we’ve built a family, and the family is building.
But like we’re taking our first quad walk,
let’s be a little careful with our egos
We aren’t heroes,
we mustn’t start to think that we’re saviours –
this afro-optimism of ours
is still just