Nengi Emmanuel Obelley: Three Poems



How long will you sleep,
How much longer will you
cradle in depression,
sulking, and watching your children
sink,slip and get swept away in uncertainty?

Africa wake up from slumbering!
Breathe in the burnt body of Somalia,
draw from river Nile and wash your face,
taste the flavour of Congolese blood
taste and see that nothing is good
Mwaitu wake up!

Wake up with the fierceness of a whirlwind!
Make a crown from the Lion’s jaw!
Make music from the Hyena’s ribcage!
Make clothing from the Jaguar’s skin
Nné arise! Nné bulie!

Arise ’o widowed warrior
and wear your pain like an armour,
tie the Sahara about your loins
take up Nigeria as a shield
wear our umbilical cords like corals
waste no more time!

Mayi! Mayi! Mayi!
Wake up!!




To the Son of the soil
washed up the river shore,
we beg your spirit rests.

For your body is all we have left,
left fingers can’t hold Spirits.
Your body, embalmed in turbulence,
boxed in blue coffin washed up
at the mortuary of the shore
We beg your spirit rest.

Guilt has built a home in our hearts,
a storm rises in the sea of our bodies
colonies of grief breathing inside our veins.
Our heads arched low
faces buried into our palms,
we are drowned in your demise
we beg your spirit rests.

We stand soul naked over your body
Africa weeps bitterly,
your muffled pleas for help was unheard
your fight for life short-lived
and your dreams unseen.
By river Nile we break kolanuts.
Tionana mawa!




On this day, this very morning,
Africa shall emerge a bride
and all her daughter’s shall put on
waiste beads and decorate their
bodies with patterns, and faces with

On this day, this very morning,
We all shall gather at the table of
Nelson Mandela, and eat in oneness,
We shall drink from the jug of King Luther,
And remember his dreams.

On this day, this morning,
South Africa will kiss the cheek of Nigeria
Congo will dance with Egypt
Somalia will teach us a new song
Ghana and Kenya will bloom in laughter.

On this day, this very morning,
Our black will no longer have kinds
and our diversity will become our magic.
We would gather around the graves of the dead
and sing a happy dirge.

On this day, this morning
Africa would gather her children,
break one kolanut for all to share
and wash us clean in river Nile
Oh she would cry for joy, and we would hum her a song.




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