Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Africa”

Ed Bates returns to the guitar duties this week



“Africa son – cradle of the world”
Uncle George would preface each tale
“Don’t bore the lad” Aunt Florie would growl
But it always came up without fail

Uncle George was an expert, top of his field
In fairness that has to be said
He knew every town, every river and road
From the tip of the Cape to the Med

Their house was a shrine to obsession
Dripping with costumes and spears
Musical instruments and decorative masks
He’d collected over the years

The tribes, religions, customs, cuisines
He knew Africa top to toe
You had a question, George had the answer
There was nothing he didn’t know

In Rabak do you eat with a fork or a spoon?
What about Togo or Cameroon?

In Fes do you go for the Fish or the lamb?
Is it true coffee is fried in Sudan?

In Benin what sort of sport do they play?
Are you safe on the Ivory Coast if you’re gay?

In Giza who serves the best Kushari?
Would you recommend the Atlas Hotel in Banghazi?

Cape Town at night – Is it really secure?
Where can I listen to Youssou N’Dour?

When and where are Blood Lily’s in bloom?
Have they opened the Halfia Bridge in Khartoum?
In Lethoso do they really find Dog’s eyes delicious?
Do they drive on the left or the right in Mauritius?

Should I email my details to this scheme in Nigeria?
Why is there a travel alert for Liberia?

How much is a Visa for Senegal?
What do they call what was once the Transvaal?

How much does it cost for a beer in Malawi?
How much to bribe police in Harare?

If I nose pick in Chad will they cut off my arm?
Are you allowed to wear shorts in Dar Es Salaam?

Is there really a Rick’s Bar in Casablanca?
If I call the bloke Sam will he think I’m a wanker?

How many Lofti’s make one Dinar?
Or a Dirham, Escudo, Rand or Dobra?

Is Kilimanjaro losing it’s snow?
There wasn’t a question George didn’t know

From Bujumbura to Constantine
There wasn’t a place George hadn’t seen

Guinea to Ghana, Kenya, Botswana
Kampala, Lusaka, Rwanda, Asmara
Kandi to Lome’, Mali, Kigali
Burundi, Djibouti, Lilongwe, Kumasi
Luanda, Algiers, Nairobi, Tangier
Sierra Leone down to Tanzania
Mogadishu to Mongu, The Congo to Dongo
Longongo, Kibondo, Buhongo to Mongo
Lobito, Soweto, Lesotho, Limpopo
Gambia, Zambia, Bomassa, Kinshasa
Addis Ababa, Dakar to Zanzibar

There wasn’t a question George didn’t know

He spoke every language, from Maslam to Dinka
Kituba, Africaans, Dahlik, Maninka
Putai, Bambara, Berber, Setswana
Kokola, Chitumbuku, Mari and Muru
Ubi and Mubi, Bantu and Zulu
Ashanti, Malagasy, Somali and Swazi
He was fluent in all, two thousand – nearly
Aunt Florrie reckoned they all sounded Swahili

There wasn’t a question George didn’t know

Then one night it came out – the whole sordid affair
Though he knew the place backwards he’d never been there

Aunt Florrie confessed – she could hide it no longer
The furthest they’d travelled was round Yarrawonga

George went into hiding, he’d tarnished his aura
The great white hunter was an internet explorer

Sadly to say within weeks he was dead
A spear fell off the wall and severed his head

Doubtless, knowledge is never a waste
But what is a kiss without smell and the taste

A banquet is more than presentation and looks
There’s only so much you can glean from books

Aunt Florrie remarried after a while
A Kenyan, they honeymooned cruising the Nile

Seems there were some things George didn’t know
Such as ‘Life is too short – just pack up and go’

Hang on a minute – I mean after this show!

© Copyright 2010 Ian Bland

One comment on “Bland On Bland – Africa

  • You’re bloody hilarious Ian….fuckin brilliant too! thanx for the laughs and so much more….luv ya….( I have poetic licence to say that I’m Greek)…Cheers Maria

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