Land of the Dodo and Ebony
Basking mid Indian Ocean, South of the Equator
Deserted by Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch
Where later others feasted buried bounty
Left with the key to the mystery.
Some away from the fierce mob in the Old Continent
Stayed on for peace and tranquillity
Brought from the Great Continent Africa
Many working hands to shape the place
Eyed by “frères ennemis” across the Channel
Eager to grab by hook or by crook the Little Star
A change of hands not without a battle
A gentleman`s agreement for peaceful co-existence
Saw new Lords at the helm
On was the zeal for development
Arrived indentured workers from the Indian Peninsula
With endurance, perseverance toiled for sweet produce and others
Bore hardship for years hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel
Mutual respect adaptive cohabitation across time
You have your way, I have my say; you have your say, I have my way
Gathered several to confer with diplomacy, determination
Round a table with The Leaders of the Great Albion
For the birthright of our people our homeland – freedom.
Broad sunlight at the strike of the twelfth hour
Twelfth March 1968 a nation saw the day
On equal footing with other free independent states
Masters of our own fate at last ‘Independence, Liberté, Aazadi’.
Proudly we bow to thee Mauritius “The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean”
Where before no soul could claim sole ownership.
Today chips, chappatis, chowmien entwined like the roots of the Kewal
Swing to the beat of the ‘dholok’ the rhythm of the segas
The sound of the guitar and the tune of the enchanted flute
Strengthens the brotherhood bond among all of us.
Long Live Independence, Long Live Mauritius.
Dr Mala Modun-Bissessur
* Published in print edition on 11 March 2022
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