Posted on July 19, 2012



How many kobo have you ever grossed

That your liberty cost several pounds?

Àjànàjú kọjá mo rí nkan fìrí [ii]

Only a fool would not see its passage.


You that never had a chief in your lineage

Dared argue with a king. Eemo!

You ve thrown your shit in Oba river

And the old woman is angry

And now you are helpless in your own ‘snag’


If a dirty linen wouldn’t complain

Its owner should know what to do

A cripple who is committing crime

Commits it for an able body to pay for

Come here, Ogunyinka,

Ooto oro oni pe ama so hun.  [iii]


It all started with your fathers

Our children, we sent on long train

To go and train, only returned

To train abuses on us

And in our presence burnt our ancestors’ relics.


First they changed their names

And with their left hands

Pointed to their father’s house

And we could only in our helplessness complain

As our heritage was thrashed by our own offsprings

Ọmọ ọká ní n ṣekú pa ọká? [iv]


Omo Oduduwa, the greatest progenitor!

What has befallen you?

Why have you forgotten your root

And become alien in your own land?


Don’t you know that

A river that forgets its source

Will only become a sandy ground?

But foresight and imagination

You ve never had.


Your aburo we prayed would be different

Are worse than their role models

They court trouble and in court end up

They stir the hornet nest at will   

But they only took after you their mentors

Accomplice in culture defilement.


Who would have thought it

That with all your big books

You will still be unable to know

That foreign is not the same as better?

In the name of civilization you commit atrocities

And ask us to take your shit as deodorant!


We your elders are pleased with our heritage

And you should be proud of your inheritance too

For your sake and that of our race.

Sometimes in 2007.

From my unpublished collection: ‘Verses from a Teenager’s Heart: 2004-2007’

[i] Ogunyinka, come here!

[ii] The passage of elephant is beyond denial

[iii] The truth should not be too difficult to utter

[iv] The children of cobra kill the cobra?





Posted in: Poetry