Friday, April 19, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

The Revolution Has No Tribe: Poems by Dike Chukwumerije


Do you not know that poverty is not an Ijaw man?
He will not spare the rest of us and afflict only the Ishan
He will step over the river and come across the border
So, when the drums sound let everybody answer

Do you not know that corruption is not from Nekede?
He will not hear that Ife had no dealings with Modakeke
He will wake up all of our children at might with hunger
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do you not know that HIV/AIDS is not Kanuri
He will not select his victims and kill only the Fulani
He will set the land ablaze from the delta to the sahara
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do you not know that our enemies have no face?
They are indigenes no state, they come from no place
And, if this boat capsizes every one of us will go under
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer

Do not say, “I am an iroke”, when the forest is burning
Do not say, “I am an obeche”, when the forest is burning
Our differences will not prevent us from perishing together
So, when the drums sound, let everybody answer



Adamu Magaji- candidate
Will he win?- No
He makes fine speeches- True
He has fine feelings- Good for him
How come he won’t win?
Belly politics!

Chika Ugonna- candidate
Will he win?- No
A man of vision- (yawn) What else?
Enterprising, educated, enthused young man
Good play on words- He won’t win? But why?
Belly politics!

Shola Balogun- candidate
Will he win?- No
A bright, young man- If you say so
Impressive records, he’s full of zeal
I know you will answer, he won’t win-
Belly politics!

Belly politics! Belly politics!
Then who will win?
Not Adamu Magaji- No!
Not Chika Ugonna- No!
Not Shola Balogun- No!
Belly politics! Belly politics! Then who will win?

Alhaji Kudi- Alhaji Kudi?
The illiterate?- Belly politics!
The…the…but why?
This way and that way
Shake a hand here, shake a leg there
Alhaju Kudi, he might win

Or Mazi Ego Juru N’ Akpa- What?
That…that buffoon?- Belly politics!
That imbecile…that…that…oh why?
This way and that way
Shake a hand there, shake a leg there
Mazi Ego Juru N’Akpa, he might win

Or Alhaji Burukutu- Impossible!
The man can hardly speak- Belly politics!
How can? No-
This way and that way
Shake a hand here, shake a leg there
Alhaji Burukutu, he might win

But- kai!
Belly politics is a strange thing
It raises our buttocks to the eyes of a laughing world
So long as those are rich, fleshy buttocks, well oiled and tender
Who cares?
I do.



Today, I saw a mysterious thing
A thing that vexed me to my very soul
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But crouching in the shadows with a begging bowl
His children were starving in fields of cassava
Dying of diseases the palm kernel could cure
Homeless in a land of rock and timber
“Why are you begging?”- He said, “I am poor”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
A wonder so great I cannot tell it
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But lying in the dust, crying at my feet
His legs were sturdy like the iroko
His forests were rich and teeming with game
His muscles rippled like the proud Zambezi
I told him, “Get up!”, but he said, “I am lame”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
So shocking I have no words to say
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But standing like the lost by the highway
He huddles in a cage that had no gate
He could see where the keys to his chains were kept
He stood in clamps but they had no weight
“Why are you here?”- He said, “I am trapped”

Today, I saw a mysterious thing
Oh! How can I tell such a horrible story
I saw the black man dressed like a king
But he was sharing a sleeping mat with poverty
His poverty was a fat man with a bulging stomach
Lying on his back, beside a pot full of treasure
This knowledge was all he seemed to lack:
That he could get up and make his own future


Note: “Okwesilize” is an Igbo name which literally means, “He is supposed to be king”

Dike Chukwumerije
Dike Chukwumerije
I studied Law at the University of Abuja between 1996 and 2001 and attended the Nigerian Law School in 2002/2003. I went on to obtain a masters degree in law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2005. I am currently studying for a professional qualification in management accounting (CIMA).


    • This is a wake up call that shows the Blackman a mirror nudging him to look and see who is holding him down if himself. Great poem. I love every bit of it.

  1. Dike, I never knew you wrote poems! I congratulate you, as a person who attended the same primary school with you, and watched your progress, up till now; and even when your dad became Senator.

  2. Dike!!!! Of course this is your true love, I promise to go and get the book and support my ex classmate! Many more successful writing ahead:) God bless

  3. Well done!

    I hope you find the satisfaction that drives your thoughts through you pen to your paper. Well done, worthy colleague! Found this when I set out to read some of your works this evening. It was meant to be nerve calming for me; indeed it was.

  4. Dike,i still have couple of the poems you wrote while in GWAGS(University of Abuja).you are such an amazing and unique person,i ve always known you are wordsmith.Good to see this.Regards from Debo in South Africa(One of your ex-classmate)

  5. i am not quite sure which one of the poems i like best…they all seem to resonate with me somehow….congrats bro…. you didn’t tell me about this last time we met in central london…all the best

  6. Excellent poetry for the people, especially leaders who hear the drum beating and because they are at the top, they think that ‘the bell tolls for someone else.’ ‘Okwesileze’ and ‘The Revolution’ are super; they are stories, they are entertaining and upbeat, they comewith lessons, they are in ballad form and are poetic. I think a storyteller is born in Chukwumerije. (Now, where have I heard that name before?)

    • I’m from Liberia 🇱🇷 but you are indeed an inspirational poet and both…
      I’m Mamade GV Kannneh a novice poet.
      Sir, please help me to build my spoken word performance

  7. Good piece, i’m particularly impressed by the fact that despite your dad’s official position you could still be a revolutionary. Its a testament to your dad’s surmi willed personality that in an age when son’s of senators live on their dad’s ill gotten wealth, you and your sibling’s are excelling in your own right..Dont know if you are marshall art son, i met at my friend shem’s house back in med school calabar, if not your dad is sure a different breed of politician..Back to your poem’s they are good, a lil handshake here and there you’d be an excellent poet. Belly politics was straight up! Hope nigerian senators are reading

  8. Awesome! Absolutely splendid. Saw the poem you performed as a tribute to Chinua Achebe, then GOOGLED the rest of your work. Its different and fresh. May God keep you in the right direction IJN.

  9. This is poetry that is filled with rage. I had one Professor recite “Belly Politics” yesterday evening and, oh! what a feeling it triggered! Potent words indeed.

  10. Nice quotes from you sir, I almost refers it to oby Okwesilize, Lol….
    I so much love this, especially Revolution has no tribe,

  11. I am edified by your write-ups. I humbly seek your permission to share some of your ideas in the 15th edition of our magazine, Justice Magazine.

  12. I am a big fan and for me your poems leave me speechless because, it captures everything that needs to be said. Well done sir.

  13. I first read ur poems when i was 14 n decided dat spoken word poetry resonated with me. i am 16 nw n ave written a few pieces myself which r largely inspired by ur works. especially d wall n d bridge. i hope 2 see u 1 day n get ur opinion on my works.

  14. You just turned out to be the best Poet I’ve come to know in our contemporary Nigeria. Your works hit the right spots as always. Keep up the good works.

  15. I’m blessed to have witnessed your performance once and ever since then I fell in love with your thoughts and works. You’re best to happen in recent time to our generation in works of art and poetry. Wish you the best and keep shining

  16. Well-done, our great poet,Dike! I want to carry out a literary and linguistic analysis of your poem. Am I permitted?

SAY SOMETHING (Comments held for moderation)

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles