If you have read Lion and the jewel by Wole Soyinka – the Nobel laureate from Nigeria,
you would be familiar with LAKUNLE.
This little poem is to his tribute.
I hope Prof. Soyinka wouldn’t mind my reducing this great character to a verse.
I’m Misita Lakunle, a precious stone.
The pigs of Ilujinle are indeed too,
purblind, unsighted, unperceiving.
to see this.
My pocket is full of knowledge,
Cognition, wisdom, sapience
My days are spent fruitlessly
drumming the western ways
into those savages
when I’m not looking out
through the rotten window
Sidi! as stubborn as an illiterate goat,
But I love her still
Hum my Sidi……………………..
The jewel Baroka, the crafty rogue
Snatched from my smooth fingers
Master of self-indulgence
Stole my love.
Could I have had her still?
if I had paid the bride price
maybe, maybe not
But I would have been subjected to that
Savage, barbaric, out-dated, rejected,
denounced, accursed, excommunicated custom
…..hum hum, forgive me,
but I own only the shorter