Millions of years ago, the Earth fundamentally shifted and changed. Forces collided and so in all this chaos, I was born. It is too long ago, but I still remember. I also remember hungry nomads moving, taking up farming, and establishing great civilisations. I burst my banks to fertilise the soil. I ebb and flow in constant rhythm, with life and sustenance for all.
Despite my indisputable might, I have quite humble southern origins – You won’t recognise me as the unassuming tributary – Yes, this is the miracle of coming together: Sisters from the wet forest slopes, the drier Serengeti Plains, and the rich swamps. All of us, from such different origins and characters mix and churn our initiation song into being – through the thunder and mists of mighty roaring falls.
More sisters join us from the East, where the music is as sweet as the fruit. Though not all of their stories are happy. There is much agriculture that spits out poisons. And even then, we nurture crops, to grow and feed you. And even then we flow on without complaining – as we always did – as we always shall.
Exhausted by our journeys from the East and South, we finally meet in a grand confluence. Here, our distinct colours flow next to each other before mixing to complete into the mighty river you have called the Nile. This is the land of the ancient pharaohs and many other great civilisations. Their ruins speak of their glorious past. Their ruins also speak of the inevitable cycles of change.
Listen to me and my wisdom for I have ebbed and flowed long, and I know the secrets of the ancients. I know the aspirations of the women and children who wash and bathe in my waters. I will serve you well if you pay attention, if you allow me to speak. You can see, I am dynamic. I can evolve. And so can you. You chose what you desire and it shall come to be. As for me, well you can dam me all you want but you cannot take my desire and longing for the sea.
I am one of the mighty rivers of mother earth. I am the Nile.
Video footage by: Asmaa Gamal, Yosra Mostafa, Mohamed Hilali, Bebe Joel, Bullen Chol, Dagim Terefe, Mugume Davis, Kevin Ogutu, Sadick Businge & Fabien Niyonizigiye | Written by: Habib Asfar | Narrated by: Leila Bendra-Lehnert | Edited by: Sebastian Prams, Chrsitoph Kienzle & Dominik Lehnert