POETRY CORNER “A CALL FOR PEACE IN BENUE” BY TALENTED BENUE POET LINUS AJENE

HADIZA!
I remember few years ago, we composed love song, we sang love song and we danced in love.

HADIZA!
I remember I thought you Ogirinya dance and you liked it and then you said, “Abah, we are going to dance Ogirinya together forever”. That was the promise that drove me crazy.

HADIZA!
I remember those days that you would never sell any cup of your “nunu” to any customer until I taste it and you would look at me with your sparkling face and pointed nose and smile – the smile that always raptures my soul to the third heaven.

HADIZA!
I remember those days that you would send my sister, Onyeche to me and I would stop whatever I was doing immediately and rush to the Iroko tree along the route to your house and you would say, “Abah, teach me your language; I want to speak Idoma language; I want to greet your mother with Idoma language” and I was proud to tell my friends and mother about you and about our love songs.

HADIZA!
I remember the day I called you my “Ihotu” and you shed tears of joy amidst your usual affectionate smiles. You told me you were privileged to have me in your life and we hugged each other – the first and the last hug in my entire life.

HADIZA!
I remember those days that your elder brother, Hassan lived in my village – hustling freely with his motorcycle day & night and he would stay in Okopi’s drinking joint till midnight before going home and he would go freely and resumes his hustling the following day.

HADIZA!
I remember those days that your uncle, Jibril would match his herds of cattle to River Benue after grazing all day in Okpoga and my father would say, “Jibril, please guide your cattle from my cassava farm o” and Jibril would laugh and say, “I de do my work well well”. He always brought bush meat to my father.

HADIZA!
I remember the Sunday morning that a lorry came to our village and all of you were to be moved from our village and I rushed to you before you entered; you thrust your gaze into mine and burst into deep sobbing; I followed suit. You said you would come back to me and I believed you.

HADIZA!
Where are you now?
You said you would come back to me but it was your brothers that came back.

HADIZA!
Are you aware that your brothers came back with daggers, knives and guns – hunting us like wild animals, roasting us like bush animals, slaughtering our necks like defenseless animals?

HADIZA!
What about the love song we sang together?
What about the Ogirinya dance we danced together every evening under the Iroko tree?
What about our sweet promise of  love?

HADIZA!
Do you still love me?
My heart still beats for you
I still dream about you day & night
My flute still remembers your sweet name

HADIZA!
If you still love me;
Tell your brothers about us
Tell them we only know love songs
Tell them our mouths can’t chant war songs
Tell them we aren’t their enemies or animals

HADIZA!
If you don’t talk to your brothers swiftly
My head may be their next target and you will forever miss me but you may not miss me because my ghost will keep making love with you.

***
Abah, Linus Ajene was born in Ogo Oluwa L.G.A. of Oyo State and brought up in Idiri Okpoga in Okpokwu L.G.A. of Benue State where he has his biological root. He is a 400L student of Benue State University studying English/Education with the ambition of become an African Literature scholar as he progresses in life with time. He was the first runner-up of the 2017 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize and was also shortlisted for the 2018 Tony Tokunbo Fernandez International Poetry Competition. He is the current President of Writers’ League, Benue State University chapter. He writes poems and prose-fictions.

 

linus

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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