COMRADE

There was an eagle in your eyes
In your gait
In your voice
In your words
In your deeds
In your mind
In your Heart, Daddy –

It was you. Your spirit. Your essence.

That eagle is flown away today
Six years ago
But the arch of its flight is still imprinted
In my memory
Like daylight in the nighttime.
A Comrade in life
And a Comrade in the afterlife.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

In Memoriam:
Comrade Uche Chukwumerije
11.01.1939 – 19.04.2015
Ugo Mba 1 Isuochi
Dike Ogu Ndi Igbo
Convinced Socialist. Proud Panafricanist.
Father. Teacher. Comrade. Enigma.

BOYS TO MEN

The older I get,
The more I miss my father.
The more knowing I grow,
The more I miss him.
The more I know him.
The more I understand him.
We live life forwards,
But understand life backwards.
When it‘s too late to change anything,
That’s when we understand everything.
The young shall grow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
(I just feel like remembering today)

THE WAY OF THE DRAGON

What was strange to others, was ordinary to us. When other kids went for children’s parties, we went for training and competition in martial arts and swimming. That was our father’s way – and it was the only way we knew; and looking back now, God bless that man. He was just unapologetically himself. He gave us a different world in which to live because it was the only world he was convinced of. A world of discipline, simplicity, hardwork, scholarship, modesty, frugality, brotherhood and fraternity. This is the root of our bond today – my siblings and I.

The most horrible thing that can happen to any person, to any family, to any society, is to think that there is something wrong in being different. For, then, there will neither be change nor progress. Just be yourself, even if it is different – nay, especially if it is different. Earth thrives on diversity. And diversity is only guaranteed when each person has the courage to be himself/herself. Thus, courage is the protector of our future as a human species. People, BE BRAVE.

Our father wanted to strengthen bravery in us, so he threw us into the martial arts, where you are alone in the ring and only your own fearlessness will see you through – and, win or lose, will cement your character and your legend. Just fight fearlessly. That was his message: Let fearlessness be your blood; that is all I ask of you. Win or lose, please my child just fight to the end.

When we turned it against him, though, it caught him unawares. Maybe he unconsciously hoped everybody was burning to be a public servant, or a socialist, and things like that, like himself. But I just wanted to be myself, to answer the call of life in another context – and he had taught me the courage to do so. But myself, at least in that period, was everything different from what he wanted for and from me. The irony and riddle of doing what is expected of you and thereby going against what is expected of you. The split was unpreventable, unavoidable and – for many decades it seemed – unhealable.

But Time, that great Mender, was Merciful. And Love pushed its stubborn head through and I will forever be grateful for the three beautiful years we had until he died.

Well, what on earth is this life all about? Who really knows? Is it politics? – Not everyone can be a politician. Is it the professions? – Not everyone can pursue one. Is it family? – Not everyone will make one. Is it ideology? – Not everyone will feel inclined to one. So what on earth is this earthlife all about?

In the end, it is simply whatever is in you that has to come out of you. And all you need to do, to make that happen, is simply to BE BRAVE. Brave enough to follow your innermost voice, no matter what!

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MUHAMMAD ALI

ali
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali.

As a boy, those were the men in my life – my father, and Muhammad Ali. My father and I both loved Ali. And now they are both gone. One year after the other.
So much is gone with Ali.
One of the earliest Poems I wrote in my life, in 1988 at the age of 14, was in honour of the one they called The Greatest – Muhammad Ali.
I have to check my old papers when I get back home today. I hope I find it, and I’ll post it on my blog. ( I did 🙂 )
Good things are forever.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DADDY DEAR

Ashes to ashes…

Dust to dust…

Spirit to spirit…

Have mercy, o Holy Ghost!

CDKC

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

Another anniversary of the day I beheld for the last time the noble countenance of my father. Then we closed the coffin and confered his cloak into the warm arms of Mother Earth. And set the spirt free for the Flight back Home. Always in my fondest Memories, Daddy dear… 22.5….

(Pic: my first day in Boarding School, Sep 1995 – King’s College. Lagos)