Africa, let’s discuss this plight*

Read up on Slavery and contribute to Africa*

Do you think our forefathers too contributed to the success of slavery in Africa? (http://www.slaverysite.com/images/images2.htm)

Are you of the opinion too that Africa has her own portion of blame in partaking in slavery?

Or do you think that Africa could have prevented slavery?

Is it true Africa is still a slave to the imperial powers?

If then, what is the way forward for Africa?10941216_679898555460229_8641906593847543954_n

New title Coming Soon!

thomasshippabramsmith

Enoch Ojotisa’s new title, “Cries From The Ocean” is coming out soon!!!

His new work is a collection of poetry which is more focused on Africa and its roots.

This title will be published by #AkewiArtsHouse.

The title will be first available in its electronic version.

Watch out on this website and his social media accounts for details soon.

Thank you.

Cultural Identity*

 

 

 

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CULTURAL IDENTITY*

VOL 1.

I don’t know what autumn is,
Baba l’bule has never told me
in our usual moonlight tale.
But I know seasons of my Ibadan.

I am not aware of what winter is,
Iya-mi-re has also not told me
by my bed-side lullaby.
But I know seasons of my African place.

I am from Ibadan,
large city, built on blood and courage,
Ija-igboro larun Ibadan.
My Ibadan unlike London,
has over 200 gates of entrance.

I am Ojotisa,
descendant of ancient Eba’Odan warriors,
warriors who fought to retain Ibadan’s glory.
I am aware of Oye, Igba-Ojo and Igba-Erun,
No white mind should think less of my cultural identity.

VOL II.
Do you know Williams Shakespeare?
I mean have you come across,
Christopher Marlowe’s works?
Damn it! You need to read slave! Read me only!

Haaahaaa!
Come here, you pink reddish ass man!
Have you heard of Femi Osofisan?
I mean have you read
Helon Habila , Onyeka Nwelue?
Stupid of you!
Your intellectual hallucination must stop!

Hey Negro Hello?
Have you ever read of Napoleon
or the crusaders?
Oh sorry
I forgot you don’t read or write.
I am the king of the world.

Beast of all men,
remember your fathers learnt
and also stole Egyptian civilization,
Your mothers,
never as attractive as Saartjie Baartman.
West,
known as thief of history and civilization.
Everyone is a king of his own world, park well*
VOL III

Catch me mother Sheba,
stretch your hands,
place Africa on her feet again.
Mother, my mother queen Sheba of Africa.

_____ I am a man,
An African man so I am.

Father,
on my way from farm of hospitality,
came a visitor with disguised conviviality.
In his hands,
book of salvation,
in mine was a fertile land of culture.
But as we knelt in trust of prayer,
our destiny was switched.

______ Still a man,
but an enslaved African man.

Mother Sheba, look after Egypt your first son,
and Libya my brother, injured in 2011;
help Kenya and Sudan my cousins____
Forget not Nigeria your prodigal son,
he’s diseased of geo-political ailment.

______ I remain your dark skinned son,
Whose skin is said means evil.

FITILA PROCESSION

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FITILA PROCESSION

I am Betiku,

son of Famurewa,

last of our kind____

 

After long years of travel,

about our return they marvel.

After long years in chains,

yet, now in freedom, still in pains

Our capture is our agony!

 

Too long have we been in this capture,

our feet have long been in this torture.

No longer can we join the Fitila procession of our source,

our BLACK heritage has us as a loss.

Our capture is our agony!

 

We must narrate our stories,

though not a tale of good memories,

like a threatening disease of death,

so we were treated to slavery of debt.

Our capture is our agony!

 

On board the ship to an unknown land,

chained, lined and bond as slaves of sand;

under locks of the long nosed;

ate under boots that agony with posed.

Our capture is our agony!

 

While we called on ancient gods,

our tongues no longer pronounce; now like frogs.

Oh! Reason the gods couldn’t hear us.

So we were captured thus.

Our capture is our agony!

 

We must but praise those memories,

I Betiku, last generation will tell my memories.

caught and chained, my lips now is a gate.

blood rushed and gushed, waiting on fate.

Our capture is our agony!

 

While some of us died on the plantation,

some liberated and with them came a nation.

On the Caribbean though, we are from BEKUTA,

but an old woman says we are from ABEOKUTA.

Our capture is our agony!

 

Today we are back,

though from Bekuta, but back to cultural lack,

now Jamaicans,

But can’t we be annexed as Nigerians?

Our capture is our agony!

 

 

 

Dedicated to Jamaicans who are of Abeokuta origin in Ogun state of Nigeria*

 

 

 

 

SLAVERY

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SLAVERY

Africa in bondage
That no one seems to loose
The shackles of poverty
Mating with our ripe life

Our life on the line again
We live through the wars
Our rights at the back again
We laugh in sufferings

Africa is pushed to the wall
And no where to go
Not even our neighbouring friends
‘Cos sovereignty is their pride

Doubted destiny for Africa
This is not our dream
Turned people to Messengers
This is not our will

Oh Africa in bondage
Oh Africa in shackles
Oh Africa in fetter
Oh our Africa in slavery

LUCIFER’S BRIDE*

Hello Africa, here is a short story titled Lucifer’s Bride. Write a literary criticism on this piece, and if selected, you stand a chance of winning 2 copies of Commoner’s Speech by Enoch Ojotisa.

 

LUCIFER’S BRIDE*

My fiancé is the most fascinating persona a woman will ever be blessed to love. Quite a towering person, dark skinned, very hygienic black eyes, good dentition, healthy lover he is undeniably. My lover, my person, my husband-to-be; he is the whole kit and caboodle, and he is a devoted trade chap. My fiancé is well learned and religiously groomed. I sense he is a fortunate man on earth, so much that every diurnal of his being, he tries to keep so much low profile from the community, and sometimes even from “us”…he will often give such excuses by adding that,

“My love, I have a professional plot tomorrow, to be executed by my workers and for it to go smoothly, I must say a few words of prayer to Allah tonight on my mat all through the night”

…such words which a very good woman, a wife to be like me should never be imagined to contempt. I hail from the Yoruba, where we are taught to work and live our lives in line with the accomplishment of our husband’s business.

He grew up in Nigeria and years later before he clocked 18 years, he was moved to Egypt and then to Libya where he was groomed by a very good Islamic scholar for another 3 to 5 years, before traveling to Saudi Arabia for his Masters’ Programme: and recently returned from the United States, where he defended his thesis on” Islam and contemporary International terrorism (Africa as a case study)”. He has been so keen on having me also completing my Masters’ Programme in the UK, studying “Christian theology and theory of Feminism in the Church”, but I have so far continued to turn the tide against his wish, because I am so scared of losing him to some of these “Nigerian emotional underdogs”.

Perhaps I should discourse about his religious doings and mine; it’s quite preposterous for an everyday Nigerian. When on earth he wakes up around 4:30 a.m. he would say his Islamic supplications to 6 or sometimes 6:30 a.m. and he would then come to my room, kiss me and say,

“Wake up my love, its morning already”

…there is never being any sort of religious fracas between us. If I not for now that I am letting all these out, no one can ever say my fiancé isn’t a Christian, apart from his exquisite pious goatee, which may let the cat out of the bag that he ain’t. Even on Sundays, he would wake up before me; arrange my Bible pack with other Christian literatures we use during the church service. And before I even say Jack Robinson, he’s already prepared some toast bread for me to munch before running off with Christ that day. He would usually say,

“Pray for me as well love; tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine”

My betrothed is so far a blessing to me and even to any person who enthusiastically comes for his assistance. But there was this day as usual; he told me he was traveling to see one of his aunts in Borno state. I reminded him of the security crack and the “Boko killing thing” raging those places…and in his usual joking manner he said,

“To be killed by a Boko Haram fellow is a glory for Allah than to be killed by an infidel Nigerian soldier”

I didn’t really see any moral witticism out of this. It nearly became a concern before he set out later that day with two of his men, Nigerian soldiers though. After he left the house, as a woman and as a wife to be, I decided to clean up his room and help organise his apparels. He is rather blasé with his room and stuffs you know. As I moved near his drawer and dusted some of his old books which he never liked anyone touching, I slipped, trying not to fall, I held unto his little night robe and in the process, I pulled the little ward robe off…gbarrrrrr!!!!!!! Everything fell…now I had to rearrange it all piece by piece before Abubakar my lover comes back.

After almost two hours of reshuffling and cleaning, I saw one hoary blood tainted Nigerian military clothing. While still bewildered as to why my placid affectionate Abubakar will have blood sullied Nigerian military clothing in his ward robe, I notice a diary in the back compact of the blood tainted clothing. Opening the first page, here is its contents;

“Abubakar, now, you must be acquainted with the fact that our principles and dogmas as an organization, has been breached by the fraidy-cats within us who have refused to take up armaments against the Nigerian government and its irreligious infidel citizens. Even though I am the spearhead of this faction, even though I am the patron and one of the countless stakes of this religious offshoot, you must comprehend that I cannot brashly come out to take up arms together with other brothers and sister from within the country and outside. But you, being a child that has been trained from infancy and loyal to this essence of Jihad from birth, I charge you to use all your sensitive astuteness that you have acquired from those spaghetti western infidels to combat the present day Nigerian government and to make sure that our Northern brothers and sisters are governed under the Islamic religious laws. Do not be downcast by the expanse of innocent massacres and awkward assassinations that may have to be carried out, they are to be completed for the sake of Allah and for our credence as Allah’s defence force. Slay them, abduct their families, rape them as long as they are not Muslim brothers or sisters; defile their wives, daughters and their households right in their presence. Make the country wild for them, till we get hold of our own independent zone and declare ourselves as a nation or get to Islamise Nigeria as a whole. Remember you are a soldier of Allah, do not be petrified of these doings…go on with the plan as you have been directed by Sheik Ibrahim Abdulsalam Ibn Buhari while you were being trained in Libya…never tolerate your private life to clash with your Islamic revolutionary life as Allah’s Jihadist…whenever you are with you loved ones, you are spineless, tranquil and tender; but whenever duty calls, remember you are that “devil” everyday Nigerian fears, Shekau.”

In shock of whether this is real or not, I dropped the diary back into the cloth and perfectly rearranged it all. Not sure of whether to run away or run mad, I have written all these down. So my fiancé, my love, my man, the man who tolerates my dissipations and my faith is the man who also torments the nation and its government. No wonder he would usually say,

“Tell Jesus I said I love him and his disciples for their gentility and non-retaliation doctrine…”

So all the while he said these, he was mocking me, my religion and other Christians he had killed and will still kill. So all the while he claimed that to be killed by a Boko Haram fellow was glorious meant that, he was indeed not just a sympathizer but a dedicated blood liner for the horrific group. But I love him. He is my heart and my dream man. I cannot imagine my world without Abubakar…I cannot imagine my life without the man who comes to my bed early Sunday mornings to whisper sweet words to my ears. Even if he is Shekau, I want to believe he is a devil to Nigeria but he is Abubakar to me…and what is the difference between Shekau and Nigerian Soldiers? They both kill for a cause. I am in love with Abubakar, to me he is Abubakar; to you he is Shekau the devil, the Boko Haram leader.

 

Review of Chukwuemeka Ike’s The Potter’s Wheel

By Enoch Ojotisa

At first, when I picked up this work of fiction, and saw the name of the author, VINCENT CHUKWUEMEKA IKE, what struck me instantly was the thought of Chinua Achebe. And in all honesty, why it hit me like a thunder strike is owing to the ethnic background of both writers. And I can boastfully commend as such that, writers from the eastern part of the country, easily have the well nurtured story-telling skill. So, without even opening the first page, I knew instantly that I was bound to come across “an African (Igbo) village plot”. The first page opened the mind of the reader to sorts of impediment which the lone hero character will later on come across in the fiction, by expressly narrating in its second paragraph that,
“Obuechina was the only boy out of seven children born to Mazi Lazarus Madaubuchi and his wife.”
Perhaps, it occurred herein at that spot, that the author is styled to write solely in an African layout. Let me make myself clear at this spot that, identifying an African styled literary work, is easy, due to its openness. And this is not far-fetched from its glaring pattern of narration, which the reader or audience can easily have its grasp. Now, what wooed my attention first was the nature of language description utilized by Vincent Ike. The tone of language of any literary work, determines how its message can be easily passed across and absorbed by its readers. “The Potter’s Wheel” is written in such a very orthodox language, which creates a moving trend of imagery in the reader’s mind. It is bottled up with various use of metaphorical description and use of indigenous words’ or say, motherland tongue. The work of fiction explored diverse use of figurative expressions. It arrests the mind of its readers, with painted pictures of sequential events.
But, despite the author’s use of sound lingual display and demonstrative use of English to garnish an African (Igbo) village plot, I am of a personal opinion that the author got carried away in his mood of painting a perfect village picture. In as much as the author tried narrating an African story in an African style of glaring format; perhaps, he got too detailed with every piece of information he was trying to pass across. And this in some way could be boring to the readers. Did you say why? The reason is that, right from the onset, the author couched the mind of his readers around one sole character…the hero, Obu. And too much description that did not really pertain to our hero was more or less, a hole in the ball of the author.
Now, I must proceed to examine the morals of this very African work. The first approach which the author has employed to keep still the eyes of his readers to his work of fiction, is the tool of separating, distinguishing and perhaps stating the differences between the African style of “Informal education”, and the Western style of “formal education”. Within my own permitted view, I will quickly want you and I to deliberate on whether the African education is in reality informal as maintained by some people. Education has been defined to mean, an impacting and acquisition of skill, idea and or knowledge through teaching and learning. Then it is right to say that, folktales, proverbial thoughts and other indigenous mythological system of learning and teaching amount to education, which our fore-fathers used to pass down information, secrets and our traditions from one generation to another. Allow me to further philosophize this view, that, one of the distinguishing factors, which most “colonial era and aftermath effect generations” now neglect of Africa, is the true genuine ability of Africans to real come to the reality that the African setting is based on oral tradition and our mythological patterned settings. Taking a clue from page 23 to 24 of the book in discourse, you can see that the hero character and his friends plotted to have their own masquerade show. Although the author did not state how they arrived at owning to themselves their own masquerade nor did he state how they were schooled about masquerade. But what I am equally driving at is the length at which oral tradition and our own indigenous mythological traditions, can take African civilization.
Still on the matter of informal and formal education, I am opportune through the eyes of my African literary ancestors, to see that, at a point in this work of fiction, the author carries the mind of his readers to a place of choosing one’s own destiny: and with a very great deal of professionalism, the author skilfully emphasised it strategically at each point, the ordeal of destiny.
Even though the setting of the work of fiction and its time of event was sequenced to have occurred during the Second World War; but digressing for a worthy note, allow me to quickly say, that, I believe Africans are always on the cheated sheet of history. There is no actual occurrence of World-Wars. What transpired from 1914 till the end of its second phase is what I call Imperial Wars. They were never world wars. Africans were during this time, subjects of colonization, and as such, we never fought out of our own sovereign will, rather some were catered away to the war front as human weapons. Getting back to our focus, the core which transpired at each strategic point by the author, which I referred to as the ordeal of destiny, is the issue of being prepared by the harshness of informal education so as to succeed in line of the formal education; but note the image of “mind colonisation”.
Lastly, I will want to comment on the subject discuss of “Ogbanje”. And this is referred to in the western part of the country as “Abiku”. In chapter 6 and specifically on page 64, down to page 75 to page 77, the essence of a male child as a spinal societal image of continuity was well represented. But the author in my own view, failed to open up on the societal discourse of “Ogbanje”; either as a reality or a mere myth, or a product of ancient civilization.

Request for another head

By Enoch Ojotisa

Let the gods smile towards me…
A sky is the poet’s page,
And I the long awaited poet.

My ink longs for words,
The poet’s tongue lingers for speech.

Ajala, moulder of heads,
Mould another for this which I carry.
It’s not your neck that will tarry…

Oh! Your specialty I forgot,
You make head not neck.

The head I request,
Load with lyrics of love;
Just to easy my sport of women.

Ajala see me not as a womanizer,
My fate is to be lover of women.

What about taking a stand?

By Enoch Ojotisa

How many will die before we take our stand?
How many more to be killed
For how long are we to be persecuted
Shall those blood be as broken pipe?
Or will the flesh be as piece of merry?
Why such pain in this difficult times?

We can make a stand,
We shall take our stand,
On this point we stand!

Bring me a stage to stand,
Set me up as a voice to be heard
And my messages; get them circulated.
I have blown many messages as a pipe,
But this like others I will not bury
Expose the international web lies.

Here in Africa, we make a stand,
We have taken our stand,
On this, we all stand!