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The New African Talking Drum: A Poem by Tony Marinho

The New African Talking Drum

The dreaded new African talking drum
Drums damaging every eardrum
Day, night, its message, a bush fire,
Consuming village to presidential villa

It talks in all 340 tribal tongues
Drumming into dreams, destroying sleep and lungs.
But no one dances in the noisy polluting heat
Of the new African talking drum beat

President to prostitute
Restaurant to research institute
Police to petrol station
Right across the darkened nation

It drums a dirge, mourning
From dusk to dawning,
www – the world wide waking,
As power dies again, again, and again.

Nigeria requires a 100,000Mw revolution in energy
Making every city an electri-City.
To be truly ‘I fine pass my neighbour
Silence the new African talking drum – the generator.

– Tony Marinho
I fine pass my neighbour’ is colloquial for a small family size generator

Tony Marinho
Tony Marinho
Tony Marinho is a doctor, social commentator, writer and poet. He runs Educare Trust, a non-governmental organisation.


  1. Dr Marinho actually taught me in medical school at I badan. I must say, I really like ths poem . Beautiful, poignant and very instructive. I hope our leaders are reading this.

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