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  • Ancient Curse By Ugochukwu Victory

    These theology of tranquility which everyone treasures
    Is the reason for treason and so much pressure
    Our rabbis and teachers preach of blessings forever more
    If the poor comply and honor their god of war

    Filled with hatred and envy, the steadfast shedding of blood
    Of those who are helpless, those who are hurt
    Legions are slaughtered for their so called "god"
    The guiltless are condemned, with no redemption at all

    Others take to suicide just to secure
    A spot in that land promised forever more
    Turning to beasts and hungry murderers
    They swear to follow their leader's very orders

    Any child brought to the mullah is taught to hate
    And told that it is its destiny, its divine fate
    They go ahead and spoil it's mental state
    Crying 'Allahu Akbar' becomes it's weary fate

    All these destructions, all these war
    All these killing and shedding of blood
    Is because we haven't yet been cured
    From our Ancient Curse, Religion.
  • Agu n’eche mba By Isaac Somto

    Agu n’eche mba; the lion that guards the city
    We want to sing praises of your works
    We shall gather at the village square, under the great iroko tree
    There we shall dance and sing praises of your might
    We shall make the soothing sounds of the Oja pierce the dry air
    No, we shall blow the Okike, the sacred flute carved out of the tusk of an elephant

    Agu n’eche mba; the lion that guards the city
    Our brothers from Asaba shall dance the sacred "Egwu-ota"
    A dance meant for royalty
    N'ihi na ị bụ eze ndị eze

    Agu n’eche mba; the lion that guards the city
    The one who sends our problems running away like a lion sends the antelope running
    Dike na’gha
    We have come to sing your praises.

  • Nigeria by Isaac Somto

    Nigeria, a country created without a vision
    Joined together for unity but what we see is division
    One Nigeria is something we only envision

    When I am called a Nigerian, what I feel is shame
    I can not go to the north for food without them questioning my name
    The fangs of tribalism, how can we tame?

    A country where the politicians play with a poor man's plight
    Where an average citizen sleeps without light
    Where citizens dance to hardship every day and night
    When shall we get things right?

    Religion, this has taken our sanity
    Forcing men to fight against humanity
    A pastor will preach today about vanity
    But check his account the money you will see there is infinity
    When shall we stop this inanity?

  • Letter To The Moon By Favour Umogbai

    Letter to the moon

    O' Crescent Moon,
    Excuse me if I talk too much,
    My blabbings must be a bore.
    I dare say I know that listening is a chore.
    Just for tonight,
    Let me trap you in a trance of my soulful words
    My captivity holds no bondage
    Just an excess of tears and sad tales

    I try to fight for my freedom
    My sanity, My reasoning
    In the same vain wanting to live a life
    Not trapped behind these plastered walls and terraces
    A life as free as air
    Moving with the wind
    Not caring about the little things
    Like the loud bang of the alarm clock to wake up
    The feint 'ching' of coins in my piggy bank
    The burden of a querying mother,
    The pressure of a wanting father.

    I need an inbuilt haven in my head
    I want to move and feel the world spin
    Not knowing if my next breath would be my last
    Knowing that for a moment i'd let go of my past,
    And that when it all fades.
    Would I sing the hallelujahs in heaven?
    Or would I scream while I drown in agony of my own fears
    Would I be at peace?

    The blades don't seem sharp enough
    Are my tissues immune?
    The ropes had been tighter
    My only friend lives miles away
    Smiling broad and brightly down to an hurting friend.
    Do thou mock me?

    Goodnight from earth, My round fren'
    I'll see you in another revolution
    If the world still still finds this being worthy enough,
    And maybe next time when we talk I'll smile and won't look this fluff.

    In the dark night my thoughts had seemed louder
    In the day I was just another Nigerian stranger

    *drops pen*


    Keenly watching the gradual fire of a young, promising man like Toby, one would definitely foresee an explosion like this. It was an ominous truth, expected to drop like a bombshell that it has always conceived but well, perchance, it came way too quick and everyone was caught in that spool of shock.

    Toby Abiodun, master word player, reckoned for the depth his punny puns weighs along, especially in an era backed by an unwavering argument of watery, non essence punchlines. I met Toby for the first time on Friday and I am left wondering how a seeming introverted soul yet lives in a body filled with heavy truths.

    Art especially writing and the performance angle of it has always been the most feared. The advent of blood thirsty, eye ripping radicals were enough cause for tremor, it takes much more than gallantry to face evil in the face especially in a space where evil, like palm oil has always risen atop water, triumphed over lights. But like we all know, the victory of Bashorun Gaa wasn't for long, these chaos are momentary. Toby Abiodun brings to our face yet that mind blowing, thought provoking audio "The Revolution".

    “...The country where I am from is called chaos...everyone speaks the language of'd think murder is fine art, the way boys have learnt to draw guns..."
    Yes, that was an opening excerpt from the audio and I am here, wondering what is going through your mind. That was the same thing that went through my mind — uncoated, subtle, wild. For a non conventionalist as I am, pictures speaks a thousand proverbs to me. Toby deliberately created scenes and imageries in our mind...Toby left me hanging in between the sea and the devil, that dicey question of swimming away for safety or facing the devil totally. If there's one question that Toby didn't particularly answer or tried so hard to shove off, was that of the nature of the revolution, who will spearhead this revolution and when the revolution is ripe. Toby deliberately threw our disaster to our very face, a reference to the past, a replay of the present and a prophecy, unfolding.

    I am not being sycophantic here but I strongly believe that Toby's The Revolution is one of the strongest voices the art and hearts of my country people has ever had. Amidst the humor of Lasisified brothers, Toby remind us of the fact that danger still lingers around, we are still soaked in the blood of our kiths and kins, home is still the mouth of a shark. This work is a re affirmation of the age long tradition of a revolution that will not be televised, one that will tear walls against walls and brutalise skins against mahoganies. One libe that would never leave my head is that in which he stated:
    "...Our old men run for presidency while our young men run for their lives..."

    It is not enough to try to beautify an already made beauty. The Revolution is not a plea neither is it actually an angry poem, this is grief expressed in the most sublime of manners. I would particularly desire a well shot visual of this work some days soon, that work would grace screens. Toby's The Revolution is a social catalyst. Even if Toby never writes a poem that surpasses the magic of that very one, I'm sure that poem is enough to keep his name on the soil of heavy truths and an uninterrupted timeline — war, crisis, death, radicalism.
  • FreezinPaul's Glow In The Dark: This Is Not A Poem by Yusuf Balogun Gemini

    FreezinPaul's Glow In The Dark: This Is Not A Poem.

    Paul Njoku, popularly regarded as FreezinPaul is much more beyond your normal, average poet. It is not flattery when I claim this man needs to be celebrated for he has consciously or unconsciously broken the barriers of the art and set a limit of entertainment into poetry - breaking beyond your normal, rigid art taught in classes. Paul combines humor with expertise, the extremity he goes with wordplays and logical puns is something to chest out kudos for! As if that wasn't enough, he dropped a hit work of all times "Glow In The Dark" in 2017, particularly on his birth date.

    At the first listen, I knew there was something iconic and unusual about that work. Maybe the fact that I couldn't get my ears off it, no matter how hard I tried or the resounding truth that this work still seems fresh upon twenty listens in a night. Words have powers, we all should know that — words can make magic unfold but personally, I have never been a lover of motivational or inspirational talks. The anger that boils up in me whenever these people who most times never met in their early sphere of life yet come around and tell a striking, over fed cliche "If you want to do it, you can do it". Not all doors are meant to be opened, a simple fact discredited by motivational scholars. With this strong apathy borne out of nothingness in my mind, Paul's Glow In The Dark threw me off balance — it was much more than inspirational yet much heavier than a poem would be.

    Every work of art is created by a trigger (refer to as muse) but I'm sure what came over Paul while writing this piece was an unusual muse, one every scribe would actually wish to be possessed by even if it's once in their lifetime! Not many have this privilege, I don't know what happening or situational connection led to "Glow In The Dark" but I can bet the writer didn't foresee a poem coming on the way when he dusted his notes. For a work that might find it quite difficult to cut through a slam onto the next round, if literarily analyzed — might be found wanting of some necessary poetic - conjunctive devices yet unarguably evergreen, remain atop every other poetry productions yet in the same class or as the case might be, Glow In The Dark is a fire cracker! This is heavier than a poem yet lighter than art, this is more than a poem! This is true art! This is magic!

    While many argue that Paul Henry is fond of inspirational productions, I do not know what his defense might be to that argument but definitely wanting to learn. All in all, Glow In The Dark actually lived up to the name and glowed at a period when poetry was definitely finding its way out of the dark. I suppose the quote of Micheal Faraday applies to this particular work, in which he cited:
    “I am no poet, but if you think for yourselves, as I proceed, the facts will form a poem in your minds”.

    Even while I drop this pen, Glow In The Dark blare within the speakers of my phone.

    I will leave you wanting with some resonating lines from this masterpiece...

    “If your passion makes them hash tag you an imbecile, grab the mic and keep spitting on it...
    be the difference...
    stand out...
    glow in the dark like a candle...
    do what no one can do...
    be that candle that never stops to kindle..."

    On repeat.
  • SUCH AN EVIL YOU ARE by Joy Okwori


    Once I was a little girl
    holding love to a warm
    heart, cause I had mama
    and papa all to myself.
    Soon darkness came at
    noon and ruled like the sun.

    With tears streaming down
    my pretty angelic face, I
    closed my eyes and imagined
    mama and papa holding hands
    again. I was too little like a
    mustard seed, so they thought.

    But oh, how I understood the
    mountain that stood like an
    evil giant, that made papa to
    squeeze mama's neck, until she
    gasped for breath. They turned
    strangers before my very eyes.

    It was strange, for papa was
    once a good man, but that evil
    mountain like a giant, did turn
    papa's heart into a rock. A rock
    that felt nothing and had no
    more love to give.

    My heart broke on one cold
    morning, at their raised voices.
    Mama was heart broken, I could
    see it in her eyes and watch the
    broken pieces fall from her eyes.

    Papa was not papa anymore, his
    eyes became the red scarf mama
    wore to church on Sabbath. I
    watched in confusion when papa
    threw mama's bag out the door
    and watched aunt Lauretta walk
    in and planted a kiss on papa's cheek.

    Kicking mama's bag the more
    out of the door. But Lauretta was
    mama's friend whom papa never
    liked. While I broke down in tears
    calling out to mama, I tried to
    understand why aunt Lauretta
    betrayed mama.

    "Oh aunt Lauretta, such an evil
    you are!" no one cared about
    me no more, mama was gone
    and love became a strange word.


    © Joy Okwori
  • Diary of David Lein Victor Episode 3

    November 24, 2018.

    "I am Davidlein. I am a creative and a content writer, a public speaker and a personal development and leadership coach. I help individuals, brands and businesses develop compelling content strategies that will boost their businesses and I provide personal development and leadership guidance to individuals," I said while introducing myself to the Purposeful Parenting Africa members during the meet and greet programme.

    I attended an event with Adejumoke at CUCRID hall, Covenant University, Sango Ota, Ogun state and the experience on that Saturday was a great one. It was a youth empowerment program, an initiative of Abraham who's also the founder of Young Breed Africa.

    I already made up my mind to pay Adejumoke a visit anytime I'm in Lagos because she's a wonderful teen coach who's very passionate about teenagers, an editor, a proofreader and a storyteller. Our working relationship is so superb that I never wish I disappoint her and her brand.

    We talked about her brand with a focus on the meet and greet event and she said to me "David, you'll be the anchor of our meet and greet programme next Saturday oo, please don't leave Lagos yet." My mind was already calculating a lot of things because I already plan I'll leave Lagos during one of the weekdays. But I had to stay behind for Purposeful Parenting Africa because I already crave to be part of the story, who doesn't want to be part of something great?

    They all sat on the mat while introducing themselves one after the other, and I was very happy I was connecting with parents who have vast knowledge in their various field of expertise.

    After the introduction, Mr Dare gave an amazing presentation on ARM, such wonderful insight should never elude any parent who wishes to cater excellently for their children as regard education.

    "You should know Emeka Nobis," Michael asked, we were in a very deep conversation concerning the world of literature, getting our brand known, life-changing programmes and how like minds can connect to create something of value, something that will help the generations to come.

    "Of course, I know him, he's actually an expert in his field, he's currently in Abuja for his programme and one thing I found amazing is that he actually resigned from his job to chase his passion."

    Micheal took some cool photographs of the moments and together, all members of PPA at the event had a wonderful long chat.

    "Guy you dey office ba?" I asked Fisayo over the phone.

    "Yes, I dey."

    "I dey come soon so we go follow go house."

    Together with Adejumoke, Bimbo, Michael and I, we get on the bus to Ikeja, 'under bridge'. But something happened on our way to the bus stop and I don't want to talk about it on this episode because it's a scene that's somehow hard to narrate. Nevertheless, I'll do well to narrate it to you on the next episode.
  • African Love Poem : Ife by Isaac Somto

    The beauty of your face is muse i have come to know
    A sight sets my pen on a voyage through silent papers;
    Testifying of your beauty, a beauty so pure.

    Your eyes tells a thousand tales
    Tales which transports men into a land of fantasy when they read
    Tales that makes one wants to live.

    Your beautiful melanin skin brings back memories
    Memories of the beautiful African queens
    Memories of the long lost beautiful daughters of the west who didn't pay to be white.

    When i heard your voice, it reminded me of nightingale's sweet song
    So soothing and real
    It makes me want to take you under the tree at the footpath leading to the village square
    There we shall sit, and you sing
    While i stare at your face and write poems.

    Writing a poem in glory of your beauty is an insult
    An anthology should be written and titled “IFE”;
    Your name written beautifully on the covers with the fanciest of fonts.j

    Toby Abiodun refers to it as the lit-est love poem he has ever heard from a Nigerian spoken word poet, I refer to Adunni as a serenade for ages. If not for one or two "eye escapist" shortcomings, I would have given it a hundred percent. Bankole Kolawole, known by many as Bankhall and revered for his constant attempt at not only playing with words occasionally but also making it a point of duty to create rhythms out of words. Of course, every listener or to-be listener of Adunni would testify to the rhythms embedded in the alignment of these vocals - you'd think this poet has got a lyre on his tongue!

    Adunni is the imagery of a typical "Lepa Shandy", yet with that modestly tall height that makes even palm trees outgrow their tappers, Adunni is the picture of that ebony like, lustrous moon that radiates like the beaming "Alugbinrin" - the attraction of every onlookers, strangers and sons of the soil alike. Bankole Kolawole putting upon the garment of a word carver that he is, believes his sugar coated, milk doused, chocolate grated words backed up by his indigenous appeal would win the heart of the exquisite beauty. This is obvious in the opening folk song _"Oju re pepe"_ which I feel would have been way more tantalizing with the application of the guttural talking drum - that skinny voice of a thousand masquerade! Perchance, Bankhall reminds us of the long last fact that words have powers and most times, the ears of a woman can be the perfect tool in getting her heart drawn to one. Wonder why the essence of sycophants is much more overrated in the pre colonial and mid post colonial era, I am sure Bankole would definitely spend the rest of his days with the Alaafin of Oyo or better still, be on the other angle stealing the hearts of every spinster in the village square with stress (had it been he had existed in the far ages behind). Bankhall is that typical Yoruba demon!

    For a considerable list of artisans that have found a permanent, unchanging space in grief, almost every other form of veterans have explored love, romance through arts and spirituality as a basic factor to live on. A quick flip back would give us Sunny Nneji's Oruka, even as far much as the oldies - Baba Gani Agba (Haruna Ishola) who sets the love fire going then with Ina Ran, not even the son of Afolayan(s) would let go without Kokoro Ife and then...we have that cautious attempt of toggling Yoruba language with a major quarter of the English language from Bankole Kolawole, laced with the undertone of Adekunle Gold et Simi's lyrical "No Forget".

    Bankhall's Adunni is not a recent hit. In fact, it was my very first encounter with spoken word poetry sometimes in the early hours of 2017. It is unarguable that this audio still seems fresh at every listen, a quick advice would be not to allow your fiancée the privilege of listening to this audio lest...

    Even though I am at a crossroad as to why Bankole Kolawole has decided to go into a seeming deck silence after the release of Adunni cum Before Now, I hope the next strike won't be louder than the screams at Melete, Borno. It wouldn't be bad to whet our appetite with another delicacy in the soon to be takeoff hours of 2019. Meanwhile, I spearhead the league of patrons awaiting the response of Adunni ever since or like the election of a certain country, is it still inconclusive?

    This was written by Yusuf Balogun Gemini for the "Poetry In Africa"
  • Diary of David Lein (Episode 2) By David Lein Victor

    "Make we waka reach Shoprite then we go get Keke to enter Ogba," he said to me in a tone I found sounding pitiful. The traffic on that evening was too deep, we couldn't even get a bike and when we come across any bike man who is with no passenger, we would say "oga Ogba, name your price." Even with the name your price tag on our lips, no bike was ready to convey anyone, not even in the traffic.

    We got to Shoprite, together with Assumpta who's a model, she actually came to Ikeja to collect her iPhone from Fisayo but because of the traffic, she had to stay back at Allen waiting for us.

    "Guy wetin dey house, I dey hungry die," I said while reaching out for a bottle of coke. We bought some raw food and I mustn't forget to tell you that one of the female security at the entrance after collecting our belonging ask I buy something for her. I actually bought a chocolate but I couldn't give it to her because another person collected it. She was laughing, holding my hands while looking at me straight in the eyes, I had to say to her "abeg wait, calm down first make I find you something," I dipped my hand into my pocket and handed to her a two hundred naira note with laughter then she handed to me my belongings. Just look at how swift the trade by barter went even if the two items involved belongs to me. Lagos is mad!

    "If you fail to visit me, I'll beef you for a long time," I jokingly said to Esther. Esther is a friend, she is into marketing, decoration and event planning. A lot of people around would have thought we are in a relationship because of the closeness but we are just friends, not just friends, disciplined friends.

    She actually came around, she met with Fisayo, we talked on diverse situations and that day was actually a blessed one as we never forget to capture some of the moments.

    November 16, 2018.

    "Guy e no easy o, see CCCSP for my head, see JCCF, see Press Club, I just tire sef." Those were my words, I was trying to balance the thoughts that were running through my mind that night. I and Fisayo were actually talking about the days we were not together and we shared a lot, we talked about how life has beaten us, how life has tried to shape us into the being we never wish to be. We talked about the challenges and how God has really helped us to stay focused and determined.

    I remembered that night, during the Reunion week, where I was called out as the President of my fellowship (Celestial Church of Christ Student's Parish), I remembered how I shook my head because I know what the next phase of my life will entail.

    I remembered how I was called out on that Sunday morning, at the sports complex of Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, during the Joint Christian Campus Fellowship handing over programme as the General Secretary of the Christian body on campus. I remembered vividly!

    Lagos was actually cool as I got to connect with Adejumoke, some of the Purposeful Parenting Africa members, Abraham and other people. But I'll talk about this experience in the next episode until then, keep digesting this one.
  • Diary of David Lein By David Lein Victor

    "Guy! How far, when you dey come to Lagos?" That was the first thing I heard when I picked the call. It was Fisayo and we have agreed I come to Lagos for the next phase of planning to better our lives.

    I am David Lein Victor, I am in my early twenties, tall, fair in complexion and many people claim I must have been born overseas because of my look. I actually do not make that to get to my head because I am Nigerian by heart.

    "Bros, he no easy o, I hardly have time for myself, you understand now, but I go show shaa," I said while glancing at the document on my desk. I just finished printing a 31-page seminar topic and I had no clue on which aspect to focus on on the day of defence.

    November 14, 2018.

    "Hello, I go soon reach Berger o, but the driver say make I reach Oshodi unto say na there I go get Ikeja on time," I said to Fisayo even after getting frustrated by the Carlcare agent who just called me to come pick my mobile phone after I already leave for Lagos.

    "Okay na, no problem, when you reach Oshodi just enter Ikeja then stop for Ikeja along bus stop, then ask for medical road, I go pick you up."

    Well, I got to Oshodi and I couldn't understand why the street of Oshodi is endowed with dust, humans chanting vulgar languages, humans chanting name of places, tattered yellow buses and there's a  huge long bus I saw which Lagos people call 'BRT BUS'. "So na the Lagos be this, chaii!" I actually said that loud, very loud.

    I get on the BRT bus to get to Ikeja along bus stop and the kind of heavy traffic on the road can be likened to a soldier of ant marching without a break. Just imagine Lagos, see the traffic, I even get to notice that most of the yellow buses are Volkswagen old model bus. Yes, that's how sensitive I can be!

    Anyways, I got to Ikeja and located Medical road and I saw my man coming toward me and smiling wide like I just arrived from heaven with the host of angels by my side. I mustn't forget to say I bought a chill bottle of coke to calm my system, I actually did that so as not get my intestine roasted by the unknown weather of Lagos.

    We got to his office (Imate Apple Store), and we couldn't get to talk much because he was fixing an iPhone. I only browsed with his phone to keep my self-busy and when it was 6pm, we left for Ogba together.

    The journey to Ogba that night was an adventure I won't be able to put down on this episode. That night was mad, very mad.


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