For Africa & Her Historians
You tell my story
and paint it in details so gory.
You pick up your pen
and write of a once-upon-a-time glory.
You sit back and then
you tell the world that it is my history.
How can the plunderer objectively tell the story of the plundered?
How can a notorious predator objectively tell the story of its prey?
How can a potter be expected to objectively tell the story of his beaten and battered clay?
How can a fraudster be told to objectively write of those he has cornered?
Until I tell my story,
It will always be mistold.
Until my pen bleeds my history,
My truths will remain untold.
I will pick up my pen and let the world know,
where I have been, where I am and where I still must go.
I will stand on rooftops and shoot down your century-old lies;
I will ask you to remove the dirt in your eyes before you search my head for lice.
Every lie has an expiry date,
every untruth its reckoning day.
Tell the world that I have found my pen,
And I am coming to free the truth from lie’s den.
Let the peddlers of untruths get ready,
Tell the distorters of facts to be prepared.
Call out to the dubious rewriters of history to remain steady;
For I have found the pen that will my truth declare.
Nigeria to Somalia
Here I lay to sleep in Nigeria,
If tomorrow I awake in Somalia;
Ushered in by the gladiators’ greed,
Tell the world I saw no transformation; neither did I any change feel.
If tomorrow I awake in Somalia,
Smuggled out for a journey so far.
Tell the world I breathed no fresh air while alive,
And my eyes never witnessed change arrive.
If I awake tomorrow to the sound of guns,
And behold the abbeys deserted by monks and nuns,
Do not stop to sing the national anthem,
Do not look back when you see the flag decorated with phlegm.
Do not hide out reading psalms in your room,
Or run to any mosque to take cover.
Look through your house and destroy every broom;
Look through the store and rip apart all umbrellas.
Sheath Your Swords
We don’t want no war, all we want is peace.
If only these leaders will listen, we will tell them this.
Even though you’re the leaders and we are the led;
When you start the war, you’ll escape but we’ll wind up dead.
Nigeria is our home; we’ve got no where else to run;
Think deeply on that before you load that gun.
You want to rule; we’ve got no problems with that,
But if you think we’ll let you spill our blood, you must think we’re daft.
Elections will come and like others, they will go.
Friends will be neglected, promises forgotten.
The dead are buried and infact they are already rotten;
Their sacrifice a waste, but its too late to know.
Go about your business, but remain vigilant,
They want bloodshed, we say its peace we want.
We want no victory bought with the innocent’s blood,
So, can you return those guns and sheath your swords?
So it’s official;
I will be domesticated tomorrow.
Me, a free-spirited bird of the wild,
Cuffed and led through the gate called narrow.
So if after tomorrow you see me not,
If I go in and somehow I don’t make it out,
Don’t believe them when they tell you I’m dead;
Remember just one thing: I was here.
President Jonathan, see what you caused?
This year’s val is a no no was what we thought,
But you shattered it all, even you Dasuki?
Guys are not smiling, I hope you can see?
We had thought this year’s val would be at the polling booth,
Donating our thumbs to Jonathan or to Buhari.
See, this thing you started will yield no good fruit,
I know you think I’m bluffing, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Tribute to the Iyas
Iyas, I greet you.
Horrible vultures gathering in the dead of the night.
One-eyed monsters who see clearer than those with two;
Lovers of the dark; they have no use for the light.
Iyas, I pay homage,
Mothers whose silent whispers send men of courage into hiding,
With boundless energy, not slowed down by age,
They prove, without lifting a finger who really is mighty.
Iyas, I do obeisance,
They plan in the night and in the day they pounce,
Mothers whose laughter cause great men to bow,
He who dares challenge them will die the death of the fowl.
Iyas, I hear your gentle whispers,
May my ears not go deaf.
Mothers, I hear your victims whimper,
May similar fate not befall myself.
For the simplest of things;
A little of that and this.
For the minute ones called small,
Named so by those the world calls poor.
Look well at the hand that never holds back;
For it belongs to the man that never shall know lack.
For the big favours,
And the little hands that make it happen.
For the giant strides taken,
Helped by the weary shoves of those who labour.
Here I stand, I have no regrets;
I am a product of love’s toil and sweat.
For those who left us where we were,
And to those who helped us get where we are.
For those who sap us daily of the will to live,
And for those who help us along with loving rebukes.
History has seats reserved for all to occupy;
But while some will rejoice; others will have to cry.
For those who inspire us and keep us moving,
For those we inspire daily and give reasons for living.
For those who help us push the limits of reason and go beyond the ordinary,
And for those who are hot on our heels like the hunter after his quarry;
You are the reason we are where we are;
It is to you that we owe all we have.
You are all remembered,
You have all tried.
I can appreciate you in English and say “Thanks”
Or go the Spanish way and say “Gracias”.
You are the reason why night has to disappear when it sees the day;
You all are the reason I’m still standing today.
Photo Credit: 4daystofreedom.com
If you see Freedom,
Tell him to check himself into the nearest police station.
The world has been eagerly waiting for him to come;
For he’s the eternal longing of all nations.
Someone called to say they saw him,
Giving people jobs, then taxing them to death.
Ripping them off bit by bit till nothing was left;
I said ‘twas not Freedom; ‘twas his evil twin.
Another said he saw Freedom,
In Libyan skies dropping from NATO bombs,
But few years after buying the democracy America sold;
There’s hardship in the land for young and old.
In 2011, some said they saw Freedom in Nigeria,
Hoisting party flags with promises of a new era,
But today he’s dancing in Kano and campaigning in Nigerian slums;
Saying he doesn’t give a damn if Baga burns.
I was told Freedom visited South Africa,
Ended apartheid and freed Mandela,
Years after, apartheid is gone, but Freedom does not ring;
They say it’s because we are still tied to the West’s apron string.
Someone in Washington said he saw Freedom,
Giving orders and taking the world for a ride.
He said ‘twas he; I said ‘twas not;
And when I looked, ‘twas his look alike.