Knowing not, they came into the world;
Children of hurt and betrayed souls
But in innocent childhood, they saw
They saw not the charred bodies
Not the kwashiokor
Nor the bombarded buildings and marketplaces
The birds of the Egyptian mercenaries had long ceased to traverse the skies
There was no sign to tell of the intention to kill with bullets, shells and starvation
The newborn children saw none of these;
For the genocide had long ended
But they saw of something different;
In the eyes of men and women, they saw bowed souls
But they weren’t to know what tales they bore.
The growing children heard tales of Biafra
All it meant to them were gallantry and nonsense and nothing more
For the heart of childhood shines too bright for any lurking shadows
Many years have passed
Yesterday’s children are today’s men
Eager and wide-eyed with enthusiasm
They swore love and allegiance to Fatherland
And in confidence, they dared to give of their lot and to receive in return
But they were hurt
Most, too badly
Burnt, they set their hearts to enquire
And lo! the answers lay before them all the while;
Fathers had been conquered, and their sons forever,
Motherland is forever the spoils of the victors’ wars
Tomorrow shall come
It shall bring along its children
If but today’s children remain slaves
Then tomorrow’s children have a certain destiny
Perhaps Father’s advice should be heeded;
To offer our backs in servitude
Wring our fingers in dejected helplessness
Offer thanks to Providence for the gift of life, at least
And hope that the oppressors show some mercy someday.
Life is never death’s kinsman
The sun shall set upon today
And may tomorrow’s children come
May they see the signs of all we have done
And with pride, let them say;
“This is Biafra, the dream of our founding Fathers.”
This is to commemorate today, May 30th, which is Biafra Heroes’ Day; a day set aside in remembrance of over 3.5 million Biafran civilians and soldiers killed in the 30-month war 40 years ago. Between October 2015 and today, over one thousand Biafran civilians, mostly peaceful protesters, have been killed by Nigerian Security forces.
Writing is an art; very arbitrary, I must add. However there are some rules which are unspoken and nearly unbreakable. You might want to break those rule though if you have the guts to face the criticisms you will be sure to attract from breaking them. But if the final rebellious work does hold any precious grains of value, then be sure to have won yourself an army of disciples (if not today, then sometime after you are long gone).
Growing up, I never met any one who dreamed of becoming a writer (except one fellow though, and he grew up into become one). Now I am grown, I encounter a lot of people, myself no exception, who strive through rejection, denial, and sleepless hours to hit the shelves with a bestseller. You might not know of the raging wars that go on in our world if you haven’t taken that ambition to become a writer seriously. My own personal stories will be for another day.
Today, I want to tell you about my novels. Yes, my novels. At the moment they come in ebooks, to make them more available to you and easier to carry about in your mobile devices to be read on the bus ride, in that waiting room or when the lights are turned out.
Remember I told you earlier that I write crime fiction mostly (or did I not?). I started with An Assignment In Owerri and then followed up with the sequel, A Bad Time To Die. They are both available for download at http://www.okadabooks.com for only a hundred naira.
Stay well and happy, and dream big until when next we meet!
The bald outlaw feasted on a carcass
’Tis the body of the thief, they said
Well deserving of the lunatic even in death, most others said
The bald outlaw feasted on an old carcass
Less appealing to his palate it was
But the bald outlaw ate gratefully all the same
Ah! ’tis the body of the lonely old man, the people said
If but he had a kin to pay the funeral rites
The bald outlaw chanced upon a carcass
But they wouldn’t suffer it to have a taste of Providence’s offer
Heaven forbid the forbidden thing taste of the priest’s flesh, they swore
And into dug earth, the outlaw’s feast was committed in reverence
They are but flesh
All that are the sons of men;
Of lowly and noble
Pious and wanton
Has Providence supplied
And they taste all but the same.
Only apparels and titles
Tell men apart while they but live.
You can read all of my poems from my anthology Man Must Whack