SILENCE AND INSULTS ON THE AFRICAN STAGE

Are the Igbo and the Yoruba united?
Are the Zulu and the Xhosa united?
Are the Hutu and the Tutsi united?
If hands and feet are not coordinated
How can you drive and steer the vehicle?

There is a level of identity and reality on which Africans have stopped building bridges to one another, and forging alliances with one another, and initiating peace amongst each other, and finding common grounds and respectful dialogue. – And yet that is the level on which they are really who they really are.
If you ignore reality, you will fall victim to it.

Are the Fulani in Nigeria beholden to the Fulani in Niger?
Are the Oromo in Kenya beholden to the Oromo in Ethiopia?
Are the Shona in Mozambique beholden to the Shona in Zimbabwe and Zambia?
Are the Yoruba in Benin beholden to the Yoruba in Nigeria?
If a foreigner is your brother
And your countryman is a foreigner
Who will you follow
When you come to the crossroad?…
Because you will.

There is a level on which Aricans ignore reality. They scold each other into being modern by lying that their roots are not still feeding their fruits. Yet that is nature.
It was naive inter-tribal non-cooperation and chaos in the ethnic map of Africa that made Colonisation so easily possible.
It is silence on this stage, in this theatre, that imppedes cohesion in Africa today.

And when the stage is not silent, then it is full of distrust and animousity as they are hurl insults at one another. You can see it on the internet everyday. It seems to be the only form of communication that we still have left between us.

No, it is time to reawaken the dialogue. The African multilogue.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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TRAYVON

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You’re walking on water
Don’t think it is land
The tide is about to turn
Your feet into sand

Signals sent out over the earth
Kill them before they grow
There is a protection Claws in our justice
For a darker tomorrow

Subliminal messages
Password more valid than passport
What is the colour of love?
Blindness is just in court

Mankind will destroy humanity
And claim to be its saviour
And cunning will mask hatred
And none shalt love thy neighbour.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

In Memory.

BIAFRANS AND NIGERIANS, YOU AND I

The Crack was so loud
We actually failed to hear
The piercing cry
We are dying even whilst they die

You struck me hard
You were hellbent on killing off
All the love in me
So that you could point at my corpse, my heart
And me the coffin housing it
And declare:
You see! He was dead all along!
And everybody will nod wisely
You cannot murder a dead man.

Africa vanished like smoke in the wind
And left Africa behind
Battling the barrenness you and I…
Strangers stood back
Watched us tear one another to pieces
And when we’re through
They’ll step in calmly and calmly pick up the pieces
And build anew an other Africa again
Their Gain
Empty of all Africans
Biafrans and Nigerians
Hutus and Tutsis, Zulus and Xhosas.
Holy Warriors,
Nationalists, Traditionalists, you
And I
And all that will remain
As a memory of a people that once was
Are the poems and songs we
Left behind…
Even the slogans will be forgotten.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

LINEAGE

Look at the palm of my hand,
My lineage has run riot –
Griot! Take note!
For the palm is the root of our land.

Tapper, come down
from them high
intoxicating dread locks,

The Elders on the ground
Can see beyond the highest tree.
Tapper, come down
And tap your roots instead

Look at the palm of your land.
Before you boast, ask yourself if you really know
The back of your hand.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
(PALM LINES)

ABOMINATION

My feet are stepping on me
My souls are brutalised
My grass is Thorn, apart

Strangers
Are laughing in glee
But my children do not understand

It is the foolish lizard
Who nods along wisely
To the snake’s slithering sermon

A child slaps his father
And corrects him
Did you hear the sky fall down?

Are you not ashamed?
If it is wisdom,
Why is it vestigial?

A short tree, shorter than me
Has peed on me –
Can I take it like a man?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

NIGER DELTA

There used to be a village quiet
One of many of the same childlike face
Faces of native fisherfolk
Of contentment in nature’s ancient cradle

A village on the river
Somewhere in the labyrinth of the Niger Delta
The songs they sang on their swaying boats
Put to sleep the fish in their nets’ embrace

Sweet was the voice of the water
Clear, her heart, clear, her mind
But, treacherous, the land bore a secret treasure
Deep within her precious heart

And they came, they came, thirsty
For the dark oily secret in her laps
And they drill, they drill, deeply, and spill
And until today they’re coming still

The village, it is no more
The river’s song is choked slowly to death
Crude and dark and slimy and viscous
The oil has smeared the water and defiled the land

But, unquenched, the flames of caustic lust
Still they burn, still they yearn
The bright acid fires that char our skin
Burn our throats too and poison deep our thoughts

Our colourful birds are burned into memory
Our fish, our beasts will be future-fossilized
There was a tree, it was the last of its kind
May nature preserve our footprints still formed

And the villagers now are refugees at home
Seeking other shores and other huts
Seeking rivers where they can again sing their songs
As they outcast their ancestral nets

And in their hearts they never forget
That once upon a not-so-distant time
They had a land, they had a river, that hid
A precious dark secret beneath its soft breast.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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NIGERIA OIL

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