A Township Dream

Imizamo Yethu, the magic of that name
The teeming hillside township where Niall Mellon came
And saw the need for action, and action did he take
To find a team and build a dream, a dignity to claim

He found his team, a tight-knit group
They shared his vision grand
They toiled against the hill and built
In spite of rain and sand

And walls went up, and walls came down
‘Twas Doctor Cape, they say
But walls re-built, with hearts renewed
The new walls there to stay

His team it grew, as word spread far
The gospel of endeavour
To make the change, ensure that folks
Be not in shacks forever

And on they moved, the volunteers
The vet’rans and the fresh
To Mfuleni, building hope
The school-rooms, and the creche

To Freedom Park, a sandy base
In Mitchells Plain so vast
The team a’growing, hearts a’glowing
To change folks’ lives at last

And on that trip, the numbers grew
The biggest Blitz in years
And eyes were red with sandy wind
Or were they filled with tears?

In Khayelitsha, two thousands folks
And eight more folks beside
Were piped in marching, very proud
As Tiger Ireland slowly died

With history made, t’was made again
When down the street they stream
In Mbekweni, near to Paarl
The womenfolk kept on the dream

In Wallacedene, it rained like hell
We hadn’t seen such rain as yet
But like the rain on Emerald Isle
This rain was very wet!

Then Wallacedene once more, we saw
Our last years’ houses there
So good to see our work prevailed
Well-minded and with care

‘Twas Witsand, where we last year built
And this year Wallacedene
Our last Blitz here, our legacy
Twenty thousand homes we’ve seen

We see tradition on the streets
Tradition’s grand we know
But folks need shelter all the same
To let tradition grow
And when, at home, they say, you know
Why build so far away
Just recall the Friday house hand o’er
And keep the tears at bay

There’s always one for whom we work
A special one with love
They may be special back at home
Or gone before us, up above

And when we see the township scene
We should remember thus
But for the rolling dice of birth
Those township folks could well be us

Niall Mellon, N and M,
Initials are the same
As Mandela’s Nelson, well, you know,
It’s all just in a name

And we were lucky to be here
With home support to build
A new beginning in these bowers
This golden privilege is ours

Mama Aifric, slan go foill,
Our hearts are here to stay
We leave you now, ‘cos other folk
Need shelter down their way

We now salute you, Niall and folks,
And like the hands within a glove
Respect co-mingled, all in one
The dignity of labour with the liturgy of love