Posted by: Dr. Y. | October 30, 2015

‘Ils m’ont dit’ de Francois Sengat-Kuo / ‘They told me’ by Francois Sengat-Kuo

I would like to share another poem ‘Ils m’ont dit‘ by  François Sengat-Kuo published in Fleurs de Latérite, Heures Rouges Éditions Clé, 1971. This poem ‘They told me’ is all about reclaiming African-ness. I know it doesn’t quite sound like it, but here is someone who left all to please others, in this case the European masters, and in the end decides to reclaim what is his, his culture, and above all himself. The poem deals with colonization times, the service of African soldiers in World war I and II, and then independence or rather the quest to find oneself. And yes, once he decides to put himself first, they tell him that he is a traitor. I bring you here “Ils m’ont dit” (They Told Me) translated to English by Dr. Y. on




  1. It is a very good poem. Thanks for sharing with me.


  2. This is a fine poem, Dr. Y, and so captures the multiple injustices visited on the colonized in Africa. That it is written so sparely, without show of justifiable rancour says a great deal about the spirit of peoples who have endured too much on the say-so of others, others who for some reason considered themselves superior in every way without ever being able to provide evidence of same.


    • Yes… I totally agree with you Tish… I really like what you said about the lack of justifiable rancor, but rather a sort of normal progression to that point when the colonized finally awakens, and decides to look out for himself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forbearance is the word that comes to mind. But reclaiming autonomy after being consciously belittled is a hard path.


      • Thanks for sharing. You said it so well Tish.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is as raw as it is powerful. What observation is more real than this one.


    • I totally agree with you Eshe, this poem is very raw, and powerful.


  4. We studied this poem and he is write very well .
    Thanks for it !


    • I totally agree with you Gerard, Francois Sengat-Kuo is a good poet.


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