Analysis of Micheal Dei-Anang’s Dear Africa

Analysis of Micheal Dei-Anang’s Dear Africa

Analysis of Micheal Dei-Anang’s Dear Africa



Awake, thou sleeping heart!

Awake, and kiss

The love-lorn brow

Of this ebon lass,

Dear Africa,

Whose virgin charms

Ensnare the love-lits hearts

Of venturing youths

From other lands.


Awake, sweet Africa

Demands thy love,

Thou sleeping heart!


When all-summer sun

Paints the leafy boughs

With golden rays,

Know then, thou sleeping heart,

Dear Africa stands

Knocking at thy door.





The poem is a metaphorical account of Africa as a woman who demands our love because she is “sweet”. It states, in stanza one, that the reason why we (the readers) must tender our love to her is because “this ebon lass” (meaning a black woman, here it refers to Africa) has by the virtue of her “virgin charms” attracted the hearts of “venturing youths” from other places in the world.


It has a praise for Africa in the third stanza when it says that Africa knocks “at thy door” when the sun radiates. This also reinforce how strong and ardent the demand is being made. Peradventure, she might not leave the doorstep until she get what she wanted – which is love.


The poet demandingly requests that Africa be lauded in the sense that she has gone high with her beauty (natural endowments) to arouse the enthusiasm of ample foreign investors into the country. Thus, if these outsiders can come in to establish many good things from their far away lands, why cannot we (the indigenous people) act in such a way that will bring progress to her by merely showing our love.


Hence, the entire poem is a passionate call on Africans to appreciate their continent after the actions of the venturing youths who run and rush into the country. The last stanza strikes as a blinking reminder.



1. Love

To exhibit this, some words are used intentionally by the poet and they are: “love lorn”, “lass”, “virgin charms”, “love-lit hearts”, “thy love” and finally, “sweet”.

The poem states categorically in its stanza that Africa as a rising nation needs our love which we must render with all our hearts.

The repetitive use of “awake” and exclamation marks that followed lines shown how vital this thene is to the poet.


2. Appreciation

The poet must have been a great observer before composing this poem for he has successfully detected that Africans do not value what they have. In bitter reaction to this, he writes in the first stanza that Africa has ensnared the hearts of those in diaspora.


The poet has it in mind that by writing the poem, Africans will realise the rationale to appreciate what they have been endowed with in abundance.


3. Beauty

The central message captured in the poem is the beauty which it is depicted through the use of visual imagery. An intensive scrutiny points to how Africa is described as a black and shining woman who is “dear”. It says “ebon lass”, “sweet” and “dear”.


“Dear” as part of the title means “precious” whenever it is used denotatively and therefore it is intended to mean the same with its use here.


Something described as above presents the mental picture of a beautiful being.


4. Exploration

This is an underlying theme that runs stealthily through the poem, the poet with the troupe of symbolism and irony to express how exploration by the Whites radiate through in and out of the country.


Consider “venturing youths from other youths” and “when all-summer sun paints leafy boughs” which although not unfamiliar to Africa or limited to the outside world alone suggests the theme.


Another why we concluded that this theme is quintessential is that the poem is written during the era of neo-colonialism when Africa still hugs this exploration though slightly as at then.


5. Africa As A Mother

Africa is presented here as a mother who has the ability to conceive, thus “thou” as used in the poem points to her children.


Recall that she is called an “ebon lass” who has “charms” of beauty to have crush from other lands.


She is said to be standing at the door of these children “knocking”. Though not the major one, it is not irrelevant.



Almost all Dei-Anang’s poems are set in Ghana and this one is no exception.



1. Apostrophe is a figure of speech in an abstract thing is addressed as if it were present. The poem addresses the “sleeping hearts” as though they were in the poem and can respond to it.

2. Personification: This gives the attributes of human beings to inanimate objects. “Sleeping hearts” is personified to show our reluctance to extend their love before the call in this poem.

3. Repetition: ‘Africa’, ‘awake’, ‘sleeping hearts’ are all repeated for effect.

4. Enjabment: It is also called run-on line because ideas run into one another. Here, the poet jumps to another line to complete his idea although it can ordinarily be inputed in the former one too. It is very useful. It is used in almost all the lines of this poem.



A graduate of Achimota College, Michael Francis Dei-Annang is a Ghanaian writer who writes on African mythology. He went to University of London and became a government worker in the Gold Coast Foreign Affairs Services, this gives him the chance to be with Dr. Nkrumah.



A freelance journalist and legal researcher, Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed has been the editor and reviewer of books for The Yellow House Magazine. He studies Law at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State

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