Niyi Osundare

Lumumba’s Gold Tooth

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And in the casket came a tooth, Burden of four pallbearers There is a heavy weight to this tooth Extracted in cruel colonial jest from the jaw Of an assassinated patriot, like priceless coltan From Katanga’s bleeding bowels Belgium’s burden Congo’s catastrophe Sixty years, memento of the King’s colonial guard Now glittering trophy in the […]

The Happiest People on Earth

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We are H-A-P-P-Y We are H-A-P-P-Y We know we are We are sure we are We are H-A-P-P-Y Happppppy! I I come from the country Of the Happiest People on earth, Where death sells at ten for one kobo And the Living envy the peace Of the hastily dispatched. Living every day on the edge […]

Where Is Our Government?

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“We have a lot of insecurity in Nigeria. By road we are not safe. By train we are not safe”. (From a survivor of the Abuja-Kaduna Train bomb; Mon., March 28, 2022) Too many ills do a nation kill Ills just as many as the corpses That clutter every gutter Of our callously mis-governed country […]

Poem: “The Real Subsidisers” by Níyì Ọ̀súndáre

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NIGERIAN SUBSIDY AND THE REAL  SUBSIDISERS Here, in plain, unsubsidized language      Are the basic facts   About the fabled Nigerian “subsidy”      Whose endless lies have besieged our ears We the Nigerian people subsidize      The rampant CORRUPTION of our rulers We the Nigerian people subsidize      Their fatal incompetence and prodigal greed We the Nigerian people subsidize      Those […]

“He Taught Us How To Teach by Learning” – Ọ̀ṣúndáre

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For Ayọ̀ Bámgbóṣé at 90 When I called him the “doyen of African linguistics”  in my valedictory lecture at the University of Ibadan in July 2005 (a celebratory oríkì which, to my greatest delight, has caught on since then),  I did so with not the slightest fear of exaggeration or effusive adulation. Pioneer, pathfinder, scholar, teacher, […]

Nigeria’s Holy Romance with Ignorance

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(Random musings on an internet exchange between  two compatriots on “The Power of Science” ) Ours is a tragic case.  We are the most unscientific people on earth.                                              –    Bunmi Fatoye-Matory A ton of   thanks to Bunmi Fatoye-Matory and Omowumi Ayodele for their  insightful, provocative observations  on the Ekitipanupo Internet Forum of January. […]

For Desmond Tutu

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The stars lament his passing From Soweto’s seething streets to Bora Bora Kings, Queens, and Presidents flood the sky With tributes and purple garlands There goes a man In whose middling physical frame Throbbed a giant heart. Prophet who divined One complex rainbow in a land Ripped a-p-a-r-t by the colour creed He saw the […]

Ultimate Maestro – Victor Uwaifo (1941-2021)

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Siwo siwo siwo Siwooooooooooooooo He was Nigeria’s closest instance of the Renaissance Man: musician, sculptor, inventor, sportsman, architect, scholar, mythmaker, lay philosopher, folklorist, and culture ambassador/impresario. A true Jack of many trades who strove so hard to be master of all, he was a man of  many capabilities , with a voice that was admirably […]