Mr. Sugira made his name for the first time as a school Journalist at Kyangwali Secondary School, Kyangwali Refugee Settlement while pursuing his O'Level education. This involved preparing a news bulletin every Monday to read to the school what had happened during the previous week and this earned him recognition but this time, he made another record that attracted the attention of the audience, not news but a piece of poem about being a refugee in a foreign land. This poem, entitled, "Man In a Foreign Land" is a emotion striking, and reminds of what refugees have and continue to go through. According to Mr. Sugira, he was invited to the world refugee day commemoration event organized by International Rescue Center (IRC), a resettling agency in his home city of Phoenix. He wrote, "Well, a few days ago I was invited by Shana Bell on behalf of the International Rescue Center (IRC) to attend the world refugees day. " Mr. Sugira told us that he had written poems for Kyangwali Star, a local journal for the refugee settlement of Kyangwali and that this built his reputation in such pieces of writing. He wrote, " It was brought to my knowledge that some performances were very welcome. Thinking of what I could offer, I started working on this piece." After hours of checking through the Kyangwali Star Achieves, Kyangwali News was able to access some of the poems Mr. Sugira had written for the news magazine. While reading through, the evaluation was that if was of humor, and it felt very real. After the presentation, he was asked whether it was important to always have such presentations and he said this in response: "Whether for joy, sorrow, politics, romance or grievance, poetry is the basic way through which heartfelt emotions can be communicated. It goes deeper than just writing and reading in the way that both the writer and the reader are both touched. Poetry is a sure way through which culture can be told and understood in it's entirety." Mr. Sugira, according to many youths from within Kyangwali Refugee Settlement has been so silent since his arrival in the U.S and this move was a surprise to many. With his permission, we were able to reproduce the poem from the pdf he shared with Kyangwali News:
MAN IN A FOREIGN LAND
"Man in a Foreign Land Away from home he roams New scenes, strange sights, he stares Home streets left in a distance Pains, panics and heartaches in the trenches “Homesick! Oh! Homesick” he cries.
Mother’s face pale from weeping Eyes, red from crying Daughter faints in her arms Her life, ebbing away from famine Before crossing over, she says; Why is this my life Cutting and piercing my skin! My body is racked with pain. I’m staggered by what I hear I’m confused by what I see.
I’m heartbroken Fear makes me tremble Joy is gone from our hearts And when we cry out, We get no comfort.
We have become orphans and fatherless Our skin burns like an oven We must buy the water we drink And we get our bread at the risk of our lives All joy’s turned into gloom!
My soul is consumed with longing But after I have looked in vain for help; This is my secret to stop the pain Faith; Every mountain is climbable; Every river is crossable (Believe it even when your best is not enough) Trials and battles are part of us Believe it and never give it up That’s what champions are make of.
Now, come close my friend, Put those arms around me. Oh, when you do, You make me feel alive! Pieces of my broken heart Begin to mend. The company of you is supreme A unique feeling of perfect sense A powerful lesson not to be unlearned.
Do not despise me Do not shut the doors Take me as I am Please lend me a hand.
You have not given upon yourself, We will not give upon you either. Since you are still trying You have not failed. There’s so much beauty You haven’t seen yet. And because we all share This planet equally; We will rebuild each other, To be that unshakable rocky mountain. A nation built upon unity. One people, one heart; One community in harmony! "__Sugira Joseph, AZ.
Please tell us in the comments what you think after reading this great piece of work.