The river flowed north and south yet somewhere along the way made meanders west and east too. Yet if indeed it were true you could draw a perfect circle joining the four points. The Jacaranda tree stood in the middle of the river, this was the African statue, our very own statue of liberty.
This river was our river. When you went close to its shores you could feel the calming breeze and when n you looked deep into the blue waters you could see the beauty. There was calmness in the river and when you were there it was not overwhelming, it was not intimidating, it just was the river. No one could really put a finger on why it was special but everybody knew it was. No one had ever found a name for it, it was just the river and yet every one talked about the river.
Legend had travelled about the river but nobody knew exactly what the legend said. All we knew is that there was a legend, a big story that the old told the young around the fires. When the young boys were herding the cows they asked each other if they heard the great story about the river and they all nodded they had, but none shared the depth of the tale. Indeed when they talked about the river they smiled. You could not talk about the river and not smile. You could not visit the village and not go to the river; you could not get married and not go to the river. You could not live your life and not go to the river and no you could not raise a child and not tell them about the river. The river was the river and you just had to know about it.
Then the strange people came and they chopped down the Jacaranda tree that marked the central point of the river. They split up the meanders and divided the river. It no longer ran north and south. You could not draw a perfect circle joining all the four points of the river. There was no longer any north, west, east and south joining together. The river was no longer the river. You could not go to the river and look into its deep blue eyes. The breeze was no longer calming, it was hot and stifling. All you could smell now was the smell of dead fish and murky waters. When you stirred the waters a foul stench rose up and it made you sick. You could see all the dirt and rubbish floating up now, objects and things we could not describe because we had never known them.
The old no longer told tales to the young about the river. You could not get married and go to the river, you could not have a baby and tell them about the river and you could not go to the village and visit the river. It just wasn’t the river anymore they had given it a name. It wasn’t our river anymore and we no longer talk about the river. There is no legend anymore. Our river is no longer our river.