Lenten Poems - A Rainbow Nation

A Lent Reflection - Who is my neighbor?

In South Africa, often called the ‘Rainbow Nation,’ six and one half million, or one and five adults, are infected with HIV. Approximately nine hundred people a day die in South Africa. For most, if not all, Congregationalist church members in kwaZulu-Natal, AIDS is not a disease one discloses. Many who are infected are silenced during life as well as death. The silence produces hopelessness. We believe that by recognizing and remembering the tragedy, specifically the individual tragedies, we can invoke hope.  These three poems about  the 'Rainbow Nation' were written by 8th grade students.

Different faces.
Many races.
The past behind us.
The future and freedom before us.
As children of Africa,
We stand together.
Through violence and racism,

We stand together.
We live in one land.
We are very different.
Yet we stand together.
By Nqobile Ndlovu

South Africa, Africa
Rainbow Nation
What makes us a ‘Rainbow Nation’?
Is it our bright colours?
What difference does it make?
We’re all individuals, differently coloured.
We all have talents, fears and ambitions.
When combined, through it all, something is formed.
Something magical.
As we stand together, like a painting,
Splashes of colour in different shades.
We truly form ‘A Rainbow Nation’!
By Asanda Kubone

I am somebody.
I may be small.
I may be young.
I may be different.
I may think I am a mistake.
My clothes may be different.
My hair or my colour.
I may be black, brown or white.
But I am protected by Human Rights.
I am God’s child.
We are all one.
And I am somebody.
By Senamile Nkosi

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa. Scott serves with the UCCSA as pastor at a UCCSA congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa as chaplain.