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No More Black and White: Poems by Nsah Mala

No More Black and White

When on November 5th 2008 Obama won,
In happiness I dreamed of some joyful kids;
Both Black and White kids playing together like one kid
And my oppressed memory recalled the days of Lyncoln.
Everywhere in the world, there was great joy
For gone were the cruel days of Black and White
In favour of real democracy; in no Blackness and Whiteness
And then mad with joy as I was, I heard “I Have a Dream”
And I left for Martin Luther King Jr. in joy.


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Let twenty five
And thousand
Be taken away
From thousands
In hundreds as
We’ve halved
A century

Let the thirsty-for-work
Recruits walk
Across dusty-muddy
Roads to deposit their files
Let them ride away
In cholera vans
To clap for the King

Let bandits flank
Mbeh, call and motion
Him as they go away
With our village calabashes
While Nchindas whistle
In praise as the village Sun
Counts twenty and eight and more

Let the world see our joy
And come to our rescue
So that as Fons from above
Our villages are dethroned
May our Eldest Father tumble
With them down down down
Before it’s late; before twenty

And thirty and five. Let no one listen
To the lies that we shall surface by
The date you know—3520, (you can reverse it) for
Our village cannot resurrect under Mbeh B
When our bards, sages, fais, Nyobes and Mosese
Answer from behind the bars.

Go go Mbeh go go go!


Palace in Unity

Palais nostrum stands well where
The Spy of the Cross Servant peeps
From above it as it stretches
Up to MoteFebe on Febe down
To the talkers’ and singers’ hall
In second Mballa
There below our palace
Roads are tarred in mud
For our second Chief to continue
To reign as a Lamido in the people’s calls
Until our village forgets the Anthen’s Idea
Since all of these are happening in the Unity of our Palace
And time shall tell.



Walking through the streets of Yaounde, all I see are mad;
Some go, just as they were born, to HYSACAM dumps
Where they entertain their roaring stomachs;
Some women do smoke: surely, they have once worked in Miniferme.

Do you want to shop at Mokolo? Then you must
Hold your wallet and handbag firmly lest it be snatched away.
Never mind bringing your car; no parking space:
Hawkers and buyam-sellams need more space than you do.
Under sun and rain, they toil to survive; they are
Frustrated by the very soldier ants they praise, call and support in motions.
Ntimi tanks, Black and red caps…are after them; all of them,
The old, women, men, nursing mothers, children, Ngoakele products and never-see-As,
They are.

Do you know where their miserable lives rest?
In the swamps, ghettos, gutters, lonely abandoned and parked cars,
Under trees, etc., where blessed stuffy odours ever welcome them home;
Homes where water, food and toilets are as scarce as oases in the Roonian Desert.

Then the born-blessed go about idly in long flashy cars.
They have a party, seminar, workshop…here and there to attend.
Some of them do not need wives and/or husbands since man-to-man can go;
Human liquid and meat suffices in nocturnal gatherings to keep them in their holy luxury.

Ha! Ha! Ha! They will all go to Heaven!

They are friends to Fada, His Grace, Pasteur, Imam…
You need must clap when they offer ill gotten alms.
Who doubts that they are Jesus’ very cousins?

Do you have an uncle, aunt, brother, father, mother, godfather…and cling-cling-cling
And you are suffering yourself reading to sit in for a recruitment test?
Then you are a fool. Or you are a visitor in your own house,
Waiting hopelessly for an appointment. You are Waiting for Godot!
You don’t know about tchoko and you adore your coins and notes.

Is your driving license outdated, your taxi is overloaded, are you fighting
Along the road, are you prostituting or taking where you did not keep?
Don’t escape at the sight of Black and Red Caps-Mbele Khakis…
Turn to any six-month old babe by your side and learn that
Cinq cent francs will let you go.
Our Fatherland is easy-going. Impossibilities are not here.
Don’t complicate man!

Ha! Ha! Ha! We are in Hellende and
If Yaounde does not want to change then,
Change must Yaounde.


Women in Power

As I stood in Amour Mezam Bus Station,
Contemplating Park Boys’ impoliteness
And ungratefulness to the travellers
Whom they exploit, extort and insult,
I saw that taxi making its way in
To Amour Mexam Bamenda…

As I stood in Amour Mezam Bus Station
Meditating and dreading the human ashes
Of the Tonga Fire Baptism—Human Meat
Over-roasted—I watched the woman
Driver of that taxi piloting it with care,
The Care that was absent in Tonga…

Then, her taxi cruised to a halt
And amazed I was to read her
Inspiring inscription behind the taxi:
“Women in Power!” Real woman
In power she was! Glittering like
Gold among women who only have verbal power!

Then, her taxi cruised to a halt
And elated I was to see her
Transform theory into practice, giving life
To the trio: women, in, power. From age to age,
She’ll be glued to memories as an icon,
Separate from women who only kidnap March 8th.


(For Fallen Prof. Victor Anoma Ngu)

Fruit of the laborious hands of black
Intelligence! They say nothing good is black,
Losing sight of when they made your Creator
Their Monarch’s painkiller—Creator
Of her good health. Light-skinned inventors of
The Global Killer barred ways to the Architect of
The Hope-instilling Discovery—Black Vaccine, Black Vanihvax.
Rejected Science Stone, You’re cornerstone of health! Vanihvax!


© Nsah Mala

Nsah Mala
Nsah Mala
Nsah Mala is the pen name of Nsah Kenneth Toah, born on September 10th, 1988 in Mbesa, a village in the Belo sub division of Boyo Division in the North West Region of Cameroon. After primary education in CBC School, Mbesa, he went to Government Secondary School, Mbessa, studied for the GCE Advanced level in CCAST, Bambili, and got admitted into ENS Yaounde to study Bilingual Letters. He is a poet, playwright, short story writer and non-fiction essayist. He prefers to be published under the name Nsah Mala.

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