This piece is one in a series inspired by Which Way Nigeria? an evergreen track by socio-political commentator and Ozzidism exponent, my kinsman Sonny Okosun, who went to rest in Paradise 10 years ago. I hope you enjoy it.
How can it be
That the seed of hope
Sowed nearly six decades ago
Soaked in black blood
And watered with martyrs’ sweat;
Despised yet envied
By the long-nosed masters of yore
Is choked by a power-fool thirst
And has yet to yield sumptuous fruit?
Who takes the rap
For the hectic heat
From the harrowing hunger
In the peasants’ belly?
No! It’s the umbrella’s fault;
The new song sings,
Sweeping into oblivion
the ravenous road trodden
The vast farmlands abandoned
And the food baskets wasted
In the wake of black gold.
Soon, hoarse voices will gallop
With septuagenarian zest
Across the fallow countrysides
Plundered unhindered by heinous herdsmen:
But the people will only feebly follow
For the people are too dizzy to dance;
Too weary to weave their waists
As once they did
To the melody of these voices –
Save for those with long filial proboscises
Sucking supplements from the master sauce.
The people –
The forsaken percentile –
Drowning in depths of pessimism
Long for another song;
A new redemption song
Or a farewell chant.
They nurture the hope
That nature or nation
Would sound the knell
To break them loose
From the noose
Of their present malady.
O! What god makes rulers deaf
To the deafening whimper of souls oppressed?
What power latches leaders to the ladder?
What power makes them opt
To crash from their heady heights
Rather than step aside for others to climb?
From Random Thoughts: A collection of essays and poems by Tony Ekata
Enjoy the song here: