An Elegy to the GIRL-bride by Gbenga Osowe (@gbengaosowe)

child bride

This is an elegy to the bride who is still but a child

Crying every night as she suffers pain so gruesome and not mild

Pains caused by the enlarged phallus of a man no better than beasts in the wild

In tears, she watched, as the beast grunted in the joy of orgasmic fervour

Panting as he spills the seed of life in her,

She felt relieved of the weight of his body,

But no, the ache in her heart wouldn’t subside

This is an elegy to the child bride

With silent tears in her heart as her childhood is being taken forcefully from her;

For she is still but a child yet would soon give birth to another

Nightmares from the previous night, makes her long for the cuddle of her mother

The mother who watched helplessly as she was given as a bride to a friend of her father’s

The father who intends to use the money collected to marry a girl just like her

The girl who she’d meet in the treatment centre from damages done to their birth canal and bladder

The bladder leaking urine, the pungent odour unbearable, their lives so miserable

Yet their plights could have been avoided, if only for their sakes others stoods

—-

This is an elegy to the girl bride

How I wish I were but a knight to take up your case and fight for your rights

I would defend your right to a future so promising and bright

Lifting my sword, shiny and bright

I would stand up and declare war against those who complicate your plight

Tawdry old men from whose brains wisdom has taken flight

But I am not a knight girl-bride, but even then I would still fight

I would fight with my pen, with my mouth, with the thoughts of my head and put them in verses

Child-bride, I would scream against this injustice to you

I would stand with others and sign this petition

careproperty

photo credit: google images

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19:16 – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe)

AL3DVH3CA9QLU3YCA1MRSJCCA51R03CCAIWVKLECATGHZQGCA82FT0TCA4RCSNSCAKWQ0HQCASCTNX4CA0ZT68ACA5GGAD7CAGGLQXECAP90FT3CA801TNVCA6415YTCA08TK0NCALXN9T9CAZXXIXGCADM3IT8

It’s 19:16,

And no, I am not talking about 2 years into the First World War

But peace still eludes us,

For we are ruled by men with no focus

Propounding theorems of like religion and ethnicity to divide us

So we fight and argue amongst ourselves

Whilst they keep on collecting allowances and bonuses so bogus

—-

It’s 19:16

And no, I am not inviting you to a time for us to take to our favourite brews

And revel in bouts of inebriation and drunkenness

Even if Guinness says 17:59 is the time for greatness

And I wonder how many bottles of such greatness must have been imbibed

By these ones causing their different factions to make “factual statements”

So contradictory and so porous,

But it’s all about

 

19:16

19 who are against us and 16 who are for us NOT,

Standing aside whilst poverty, insecurity and poor health infrastructures still decimate us

But they jump on the next flight to receive treatment for the slightest headache and toothaches

In hospitals beyond our shores

Need I tell you more about who the 19:16 are?

19:16 is the number that has put me in this conundrum,

Where my knowledge and practice of Mathematics is being questioned,

By my 10-years old pupil, whose knowledge of numbers is in turn being questioned,

By the actions of the Governor’s forum and their obvious lack of decorum

Somebody tell me how do I successfully explain to her

That the position of 19 and 16 on the number line do not matter

When the leadership ofthe Governor’s forum is the subject of the matter

Or do I just tell her to take it as it is without further questions

So her increasingly inquisitive mind she should not bother,

Even when I have taught her how to place inequality signs between numbers

Depending on which greater or less?

That, my people is the problem caused for me by 19:16 and

Now I urge you all reading this to

Guide me out of this problem with your comment and suggestions

As I place before you the numbers 19 and 16,

To fill in the blank space correctly

19___16 greater than (>) or less than (<)?

image credit: google images

MUMBO-JUMBO – Osowe OluwaGbenga

mumbo

The inchoate thoughts in my cerebral facility

Are propelling me to a point of torpor and soporific profundity,

Wherein I become incapable of lucid, pristine and accurate rhetoric,

So I satiate this page with a plethora of prevaricated specious verbose inanity

Hoping that your sagacity would repudiate my innocuous luminous disparate

Not taking it as a meticulously pedantic expose or homiletically-inspired dissertation

 

If you are fraught with lassitude, lethargy, weariness and weakness either physical or mental

Kindly halt your perusal of this asinine expose lest I exacerbate your ill-health

And adulterate your thoughts with my erratically-written desultory and florid limerick

For I seek not to assuage, attenuate or ameliorate your bodily frailty but to aggravate it

Therefore be at liberty to halt your literary sojourn here

But if your medulla oblongata can be imperturbable to the verbiage expressed herein

And sifter the idea in my dissonant piece

You can emulate your favourite dilettante and proceed with me to the subsequent doggerel

As we warble and reverberate an elegy to the lord of the mumbo jumbos.

 

I hanker after fine victuals and vintage vermilion wine

Concocted from clementine and pomegranates plucked from well tendered chateaus and vineries

And if you possess any premonition that deprivation of nourishment is the pretext for my histrionics

Then thou hast struck the bullock’s eye and should be granted a memento

For use of tremendous intellect and luminosity in deciphering the dispatch hereto

And you should make a call to the physician to ascertain if you are okay

 

Now that I have written this article in gargantuan and superfluous grammar

Do you scrupulously comprehend and fathom the message being passed therein

Or dost thou require a lexicon, thesaurus and glossary to understand so that

It can be safely postulated and hypothesized that simple words communicate better than

An avalanche of mumbo jumbo

Disclaimer: No grammar was murdered in constructing this.

Interpretation:

Verse 1: Sleep dey worry me so my thoughts no dey organised

Verse 2: If you know say you dey tired, abeg, stop here! Otherwise, continue.

Verse 3: Hunger dey worry me and na im cause my ranting. If you understand am, goodluck to you.

Verse 4: Sebi I don prove say na simple English dey make sense pass? *winks*Hahahahaha

MOTOR JAM POLICE – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe) & Toyin Fabunmi

akara

MOTOR JAM POLICE – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe)

Melodious rhythms echoes from the bean cake seller

As she bids all to come and gladly partake of her delicacy,

“Sweet honey bean cake, bring small money make u come take”

Then two silly swerves of the vehicle,

Like a madman on cheap drugs

And alas of the cake, none would yet partake

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Abeg na who go pay?

Who’s going to pay for the young lives brought to waste?

After the many years suffered in stained ivory towers,

Learning obsolete theories, mastering the science and art of copy and paste

Who’s going to pay for the lives cut short by bullets gone astray?

From the hands of policemen who for the reason of their protection earn their pay

Who’s going to pay for the lives cut short by the criminals called militants?

Amnesty pays, did I just hear you say?

Amnesty never pays the victims but the perpetrators

To keep them at bay while the same sad conditions continue to enslave us

So we earn so much but sit atop the list of debtors,

While we watch and see as sanity and progress visit our less illustrious neighbours

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

At least make una sha bring home the tray!

What will you do with the tray when there are no bean cakes to trade?

For fanciful display like the cranium of a beauty queen lacking in its matter grey?

Or you keep the tray like a symbol of your once beautiful past with tales

Of how you swayed your hips and made young men your every command obey

Now you walk aided by a dead wood, creaking footsteps with every move,

Your time in life is way past noon,

Your offspring no longer have time for you

They only bother with how much longer you’ll live before they’ll have to bury you,

So they’d throw talk-of-the-town parties in merry

Feeding their vanities and ego but while you live gives not a damn about you

 

 

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Ehn ehn, e don tey no be today?

 

I see the regrets on the faces of old men looking forlorn

Reading between the lines of the wrinkled faces

The tales of men who wished they made hay while the sun shone

Stares at me, daring me to make the same mistakes of their generation,

So many chances, not taken

So many stories, not told

So many battles, not fought

So many songs, not sung

So many mistakes already, I dare not make more

Motor jam police

Police jam mama,

Akara mama trowey

Oya, all of una youths, wetin go be una gain?

 

I see youths like Mama’s wasted honey flavoured bean cakes,

Deprived of giving the world their flavour to savour,

No way would I be part of this wasted generation

And watch generations yet unborn curse me when my head is full of grey

For my inactions when the world was waiting for me to be the solution

To the problems facing the nations

Now I’m going to get up from this swampy place and

Be the honey soaked bean cake, feeding the world with knowledge

And passions of my heart, day by day.

 

 

 

MOTOR JAM POLICE–A Short Play by Toyin Fabunmi

Mama alakara’s shed has been hit by a police car which was hit by a danfo. Her shed is gone, her adogan and agbada are broken, and palm oil flows on the ground like a river of blood. Akara balls roll in the sun like there was an invisible force chasing them. Her enamel trays lay scattered amidst the ruins of the wooden shed.

Mama alakara shrieks, tears her hair out, removes her head tie and straps it around her waist.

Mama Alakara: yeh… ofo se, oriburuku ba esu odara.

Turns to the gathering crowd

Can you all see that my life has been ruined? Can you all see that they have killed me?

The police men ignore her and climb back into their van zooming away from the scene.

 

Mama Alakara: You people stood and watched. You watched the unfortunate beings leave. You watched them hit my shed and you allowed them leave.

Crowd murmurs and wring their hands helplessly.

Mama Alakara: Which one of you will say he doesn’t know my husband? Akanni onigi, the one that is known in every saw mill and carpenter workshop from here to Patigi.

Crowd nods their head

 

Mama Alakara: You all also know that his profits are spent in bars and whore houses. Some women have husbands, some women are widows, and other women have husbands who are alive but might as well be dead. You all know that Adunni alakara oloyin falls in the latter category.

Man: Yes Adunni Alakara we know that very well. Was it not the other day that I saw him in Ijora Badiya with Iya Oyinbo in a ….

Iya alakara cuts in

 

Adunni Alakara: Kowope Alajo save your breath. Baba Onigi’s issue is not my problem today. My problem today is: who will repair my shed, who will replace my broken Adogan and Agbada?  I want you all to tell me who will buy now another keg of palm oil for me. Do you know how much a keg of palm oil is now? Do you know how much a sack of beans costs in Balogun market these days?

Woman: Adunni Alakara, don’t talk too much, much words causes one to offend the almighty. We all know the extent of your loss. We know how hard things are these days; we know how hard it is to feed our children, clothe them and send them to school.

Mama Alakara: Food you say? The sacrifice with which we appease the god of the stomach, the one Edumare placed inside us to demand daily and regular sacrifices. We all know how it itches and bite when it has not been satisfied. We know how it makes our children cry. Abefe, (mama alakara points to a woman with a bowl of pure water perched on her head.) is it not this god that makes your child Boritife come to my shed every afternoon, mucus dripping from his over sized nose, hands outstretched for crumbs of akara.

Woman selling pure water: Yes Adunni alakara, the stomach takes no appeasement than food. But be strong Adunni you would bounce back. Orisa oke will return your loss in multiples.

Mama Alakara: Orisa Oke? The same orisa oke that has watched the six sons and two daughters I have for Baba Onigi remain jobless for many years now? Most of you here know that those children were fed and bred on this akara business. Most of you here know that I trained these children with money made from this my akara business.

Old Woman: Yes Adunni we know. You are a brave woman, you did well. Pity the children do not have jobs despite the huge books they read.

 

Mama alakara: Yes you are right, it’s a great pity. I started Akara frying thirty and six years ago, the moment I realised that baba onigi would not mind watching my children and I starve to death. See this Adogan and Agbada (she points to the shards of the broken tripod and frying pot) those were gifts from my mother. Iya Alaso of blessed memory. You all know her.

Crowd murmurs

Old woman: Ahhh iya daadaa, obinrin takuntakun. The whole of Isale eko knows her

Mama Alakara: Thank you Iya wa. She gave me those items and told me to take my destiny in my hands. She told me the government would not know if I starve to death, she told me a woman has to be strong for herself and for her children. So I opened this shed and sent my children to school. I didn’t ask the government for anything. This road has not been tarred in my lifetime and I would love to see it black and shining but I did not ask for that.

This city has never seen water that flows in pipes. I did not ask the government for that too. I needed electricity to watch my black and white television and the coloured one when it came, I still did not ask for that. It would have gladdened my heart if my children could have gone to school without having to pay for fees or books. I still did not ask for that. All I asked from this government was to provide jobs for my six sons and two daughters. This they did not do. All I asked from this government was to be able to fry my Akara in peace. Yet they sent their agents, the ones cursed to wear mourning clothes to destroy the source of my livelihood. Who do I turn to now? Pray answer me.

Young man in Danfo bus: Mama we are all sad about what has happened. This lunatic (points at danfo driver) drank burukutu before starting the bus today and has been on a mission to drive us to death but almighty God didn’t allow it to happen. Ma, I am a graduate, unemployed and I’m aging. We all are in this unfortunate situation together. All we can do is keep hoping and praying. All we can do is live one day at a time and hope for the best. I believe that things will get better.

Crowd murmurs and nods their head

Man: Yes it will get better, hopefully before we cross to the other side. Be consoled Adunni. We all have to go back to our daily jobs.

Crowd disperses, the danfo moves away. Adunni Alakara picks her trays, places them under arm and walks away soliloquizing.

photo credit: google images

Silent Chapters- (One Thought-Two Genres-Two Writers-1 Title)

witness

SILENT CHAPTERS ( The Poem) Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe)

 

Mum says it’s a clinic, but all I see is a room full of books;

Big and small, written and illustrated by women like my

Mother, men like my father? Maybe!

Maybe I’d write a book one day.

Hard-covered, gilt-edged, with words masterfully crafted to

Recount the ordeals that have brought me to this place filled with books,

Part written by men like my father who are nothing but crooks with good looks

 

I am sitting on the couch in the clinic watching my mother and a man. 

My mind is locked up in a place far away,

Feeding fat on memories; not of days or hours but years

Of fun and love, years before the war.

Wars; not between nations or tribes but my mother and father,

Parents whom I once adored

 

I remember the day it all began,

Dad’s staggering steps, his speech- a blur

Mum’s stunned look as she beheld her husband;

Inebriated, wasted, the foul smell from his mouth – putrid and

Pervading the atmosphere with every belch

The morning after, I heard loud, angry voices,

Then sobs, in a low moan- gasp- moan-gasp sequence

 

I remember the grotesque look on my father’s face

As he threw punches that would make fine pugilists jealous,

I can almost touch my mother’s scarf -covered head;

Wrapped tight to hide external bruises whilst internal ones-festered,

Breeding on discontent and fostering hate.

Yet mum stayed silent and nothing changed.

She is a book filled with stories untold that she thinks concern only her.

 But the sights I saw,

Seemingly locked up forever, are holding session in my head.

 

Mummy calls this man a doctor,

And he keeps on mentioning my name with words like “traumatized”, “psychoanalyze”, and “shock”. 

This man’s many questions sends mummy’s glances my way as she answers.

Do they think I am sick?

I wish they could read the stories indelibly written on my mind with

The ink of memories, illustrated with graphic images of dad’s punches

And mum’s swollen faces.

 If only they could read the Silent Chapters

Etched on my mind and know that her trauma was always mine.

 

 

SILENT CHAPTERS (The Story) – Toyin Fabunmi

 

 

The woman and her son walked into the cool ambience of the clinic at exactly 1.55pm which was a few minutes before their appointment. She wrapped a shawl around her shoulders to shield herself from the cold air. She greeted the receptionist and handed her the appointment card she had been given on her first visit.

‘‘You can go in madam, Dr Kole is expecting you.’’

‘‘Thank you.’’

‘‘Hello madam,’’ the doctor said standing up from his desk as they entered the office.

‘‘Hello Doctor’’, she replied shaking his hand. I love this place she decided taking in the ornate Mahogany desk, the sturdy shelf filled with enormous books, the three huge vases of flowers and the two lavender couches placed on the right side of the room. ‘‘Cool’’ she thought.

‘‘Say hello to the doctor’’ she told her son who had busied himself with biting on his nails.

‘‘Good afternoon sir’’

‘‘Good afternoon young man.’’ The doctor said stretching out his hand for a shake.

Mayowa glanced at his mum and took the handshake reluctantly.

‘‘What’s your name young man?’’

‘‘My name is Mayowa.’’

‘‘How old are you?’’

‘‘Nine’’

‘‘Okay let’s talk; your mum would excuse us for now. Mrs Adesan, please seat over there.’’ he said pointing towards the couches.

The mother left and the psychiatrist went on to ask other questions just to put the young man at ease. He asked about his hobbies and was amazed at his knowledge of football and especially about his professed club.

‘‘Do you like girls?’’ He asked suddenly

‘‘No!’’ The boy exclaimed

‘‘They are very rude, irresponsible and uncultured.’’

The doctor was taken aback wondering who would have used such words in the child’s presence. He couldn’t imagine how a nine year old would use the words ‘’uncultured’’ ‘’rude’’ and ‘‘irresponsible’’ in the same sentence. He was also alarmed at the amount of hatred the child had for females.

‘‘I don’t like them, he continued. Dad doesn’t either and that’s why he slaps mum all the time.’’

‘‘He slaps your mum?’’

‘‘Yes, he does but he said it’s only because she is irresponsible.’’

‘‘Do you think your mum is irresponsible?’’

‘‘I don’t know, but dad says all women are.’’

‘‘I don’t talk to girls in school and if they talk to me I slap them so they don’t talk to me again.’’

‘‘Alright, Mayowa I understand how you feel and why you feel that way.’’

‘‘We would have these talks every Wednesday evening, your mum will bring you and we would discuss for about an hour. ‘‘I hope to be able to share my thoughts about women with you but for today we are done.’’

‘‘You can sit over there while I have a quick discussion with your Mom’’; he said pointing to where the mother sat.

‘‘Thank you sir.’’

‘‘Bye dear’’.  The doctor replied

‘‘Mrs Adesan’’, he called

The woman stood up and took the chair her son vacated.

 

****

‘‘Madam for me to help your boy, your husband will have to come in for counseling.’’

‘‘I don’t know how possible that will be sir.’’

‘‘Listen madam, the boy is seriously traumatized; your husband’s actions have formed a very dangerous impression in his mind. I tried to psychoanalyze him a bit and what he said was really disturbing. Therapy won’t help him if he goes back to the house and he is still exposed to your husband’s influence. He needs help too so your boy can be alright.’’

‘‘Okay, doctor’’ she said fighting back tears. ‘‘How about I divorce him and make sure my son doesn’t come in contact with him.’’

‘‘I don’t want you to do that ma’am. I believe in mending things. Find a way to talk him into coming.’’

‘‘Alright doctor, I will do that.’’

‘‘Have a nice day sir’’; she said signaling to her son that it was time to leave.

The doctor watched them as they left amazed at how much hate the boy already harboured at such an early age.

‘‘Some men are bastards’’, he muttered under his breath.

***Stop Domestic Violence against Women, It traumatizes the children****

 

 photo credit:google images

BROTHERS, STRANGERS – Osowe Oluwagbenga (@gbengaosowe)

 

myke

 

They are brothers yet strangers,
Born of different mothers
One dark and stocky,
The other light and lithe

 
One lives for the rings
The world of punches and jabs
The more you throw, the more your belts
The other lives for the pitches,
In his world, goals and dribbles count
The more of that you have, the more your trophies
Strangers, yet brothers
Brotherhood not of blood
But of the soul, something stronger
They give their all, they hate to lose
Their teeth, a weapon on their opponents to use
Meet the soul brothers
One a Muslim, the other a Christian
Religion won’t set them apart,
For their souls bind them together
Meet stocky “Iron” Mike Tyson,
And lithe, wiry Luis Suarez
Meet the BITE brothers
Champion brothers, yet strangers
—-THE TYSON, SUAREZ STORY

LET’s TALK ABOUT SONGS – Osowe Oluwagbenga @gbengaosowe

 

song

 

Let’s talk about songs,

Lyrically waxed intelligent or not,

Life’s messages mapped unto beats and rhythms

Love’s sonnets arranged into soul-enriching tunes

Lullabies, sending little ones to the lands where no worries exist,

Loud, ear-assaulting, intelligence defying, peace- eroding cacophonies

Let’s talk about songs, meaningful or not

 

Let’s reminisce about Commander Obey, a philosopher, teacher

Lyrics from him taught me that seeking to please all is the key to failure,

Lessons from the father, son and donkey, I’d never forget while on earth’s soil I traverse

The Elegant stallion preaching unity and love with words so tender,

The importance of abstinence and faithfulness, Oh! What a masterpiece,

The sweetly sung duet with the Ondo-born king of World beats, a classic, never forgotten

If you love me, wait for me” a song for a lifetime

The sweet voice of the elegant stallion looking into the king of world beats

 

My emotions are taking over; maybe I should stop here, lest I cry

Why should Christy, the lady of songs die so young?

Which child of that generation did not want to do well and be the father’s pride?

What should I say of Funmi Adams, teaching me the importance of education?

 “Bata re a dun ko ko ka” plays in my brain at the sight of a female banker in high heeled shoes,

Thank God, they listened to Mike Okri, not spending their time in school on “dodo ati raisi”.
 Let’s talk about tongolo, whatever that means, only the kokomaster knows,

Who’s Tony Montana? An actor, singer, dancer, what? Never mind Naeto C is badder than him

Booty shaking videos, weed promoting songs are all I see on my TV, be it local or terrestrial

So I ask myself what becomes of the next generation,

If music be the food of the soul, so what are these young ones eating?

Junks or balanced diet, I leave you to be the judge

Let’s think about this and let’s talk about songs.

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