What if I told you, the stars emulate you, diamond in the dirt

The last line weaves into the question asked in the first line of the poem; the poet speaks: “Precious Jewel, do you know your worth?” and ends his plot of cultural unchaining with ‘I am Kunta Kinte, Rukara bya Bishingwe to the core’

Eric 1Key’s piece ‘My Precious’, which is a gentle but sharp reclaiming of self-worth raised to the power of many years of cultural amnesia, plays over Simbi’s cinematic instrumental which rises and falls with the poet’s words.

The very first sentence of the poem is marked by an irony that could be easily missed but which strikes whoever catches it with a blow of awakening. To think that a precious jewel should be oblivious of its worth is the kind of analogy 1key wants the listener to juggle in their mind.

Precious jewel, do you know your worth?

The Jewel that the poet is referring to is the nation. The poet reminds the nation of her glory and how it came to be veiled as non-existent. 1key speaks revelatory words of recollection to the nation almost as one would to raise the spirits of a friend.

Your story is as old as the furthest source of the Nile; It wasn’t meant to be written, even your destiny was spoken; Your mystic poetry was smitten, the esoteric code broken;

1Key doesn’t leave anything to the imagination here, his words are sharp and direct, he seems to be saying the nation has suffered from a deliberate manipulation of her people’s thinking. This piece has as its intention to denounce and break away from the brainwashing the poet refers to in the following lines.

But I’m breaking free from their manipulation; They may bleach my thoughts; But they can never reach my soul;

The poet plays the role of the nation’s redemption in the end, announcing the conscious and loud act of embracing cultural identity. Despite maintaining a calm and soft tone throughout this piece, 1Key speaks on serious cultural issues like the corruption of identities by foreign ideas and beliefs. ‘My Precious’ is a piece about the need to tap into cultural heritage, for there, the poet seems to be saying, ‘diamonds in the dirt’ lie, hidden.


Mutsinzi is majoring in Computer Science. He likes reading, listening to music and creating.