Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Wail 4 Biafra

Brother, Dear Brother,
Incredible violence.
Reign of fire.
More deaths.

A century earlier
before the dawn of alien powers.
The fantastic simplicity
Incredible, relative Peacefulness.

But now,
A million prideful souls –

historically ill-equipped
to acquiesce to domination, foreign or domestic
having spent a thousand years in tiny republics –

Wilfully sacrificed at the altar
Slaughtered in homage to Gowon
And, conversely, in the worship of dreams...
One in particular,
the nightmarish creation
of the alien, Lugard

Murder on a mass scale
Testament to Adekunle’s military prowess
Destruction with foreign weapons
Starvation – yet more violence
Execution by kwashiorkor
Why, Awo, my brother, Why?
Biafra wails silently, still.

- Copyright (c) Olumide Omoyele 2009

Broken Promises

They promised us a republic
A country to call our own
Rushed to the dictionaries and
We saw France and America
We canvassed support for ominira
That we, the people, shall rule
We glanced across the seas and

Marvelled at self-determination
Raised our hopes to the vagueness
Of this newfound self-assurance
We hailed as heroes these
Foreign-educated masquerades
Self-appointed masters who
In collusion with mindless

Killer drones in starched Khakis
Conspired to steal our thunder
Oppressors and plunderers
Skilful architects of an era
Of internalised colonialism
Ours, a stop-start nation,
An emere of a country

Struggling against itself
Forever dying and yet
Baying for rebirth, but
The reincarnation persists
As they recycle the monsters
Kidnappers of our essence
They hold us, still, to ransom

They demand our servitude
Loyal sycophancy only, or else face
The wrath of guns perpetually
Pointed at our hungry temples
Ah! Let me die o jare, at least
My demise is one promise
Incapable of breakage

- Copyright (c) Olumide Omoyele 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Setting Goals

Personally, I have come to terms with the fact that I, like all of humanity, am living a meaningless and purposeless life. So, if you're one of those who still pose yourself the question: 'what is my purpose? i.e. for what reason have I been "created"' or 'why am I here on earth?' Then I think the answer is staring you in the face if you're brave enough to accept it i.e. there is no purpose.

However, goals are different, since these are essentially desires that you decide for yourself and, therefore, strive to achieve. I think goals are important because otherwise you will drift aimlessly, with no apparent benefits. So, please do set goals, aim high and go for them!

You need to commit in order to achieve set goals. So while it is decidedly good/beneficial to be multi-faceted (I am one of those ppl too), committing to some intention is rewarding in the long run. But you mustn't feel that commitment necessarily requires you to be mono-focused e.g. you can commit to becoming a professional of some sort (psychologist, doctor, teacher, lawyer etc) but at the same time still engage in your other interests like writing in your spare time or whatever! You shouldn't abandon ALL your interests for just ONE. But one or two may have to take priority for a period of time as a result of the need to commit!

I admit, of cos, that ironically, part of the reason for goal-setting is essentially to fabricate meaning and purpose to fill the void.


Meaningless life

I am flabbergasted by the Meaninglessness of Life!

Life is meaningless. It is devoid of purpose. It must be why so much time and effort is devoted to creating falsities in life…to create reasons for existence – as though we were trying to convince ourselves that it is worth living at all.

Nothing is universally sacred – we create and destroy at will. Sacredness, it seems, is also one of our creations. Something we manufacture to help create and enforce favoured rules and codes.

Life is meaningless, and I know this is bewildering, but pls get over it!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Sociology hit me like the Holy Ghost!

Prior to studying sociology as part of my Advanced Levels, I had yearned for knowledge, for reason; and I had begun to question many things like my family’s relative poverty or Nigeria’s unending struggles – a nation in seemingly perpetual labour; at once pleading to be born, and yet detesting Life, afraid of Living. I had been consumed by religion as an adolescent and in my early teens. I had built a deep relationship with Jesus, the Christ; one that would lead me to reject the Methodist Church of my mother in favour of the newer Pentecostal “born-again” churches that sprang up all over Nigeria in the 80s and 90s – in all their militant glory. And yet, I had later slowly, but surely, begun to question the fundamental facets of the Christian religion. Such urges were tentative at first, somewhat shameful (and guilt-ridden), given the eagerness of my born-again conversion and the enduring spirituality of my mother – a woman for whom I continue to have the utmost respect and deepest affection.

But I was never one for self-delusion, so I continued to entertain my doubts but only in my mind, as there was no one I could talk to or trust enough to challenge on the subject. So, alone in my meditations, I strived for meaning and purpose. Then I made the acquaintance of Sociology which literally blew my mind. It did so not by magic or unique eloquence but by the simplicity and ease with which it seemed to encourage my thoughts. All of a sudden, here was a discipline where it seemed nothing was beyond discussion, rationality or challenge: nothing was taboo or sacred. Gigantic concepts like Religion, Gender, Education and Poverty could all be dissected and analysed, like a science; with the conclusions falling wherever they did, guarded nor guided by no particular sacredness or unwelcome blasphemy. POSITIVISM, MARXISM; DURKHEIM, PARSONS, MARX all took on real and immortal existences. It was a licence to think. To dream.

There was a price to pay of course – a floating, unsettled spirit no longer able to place phenomena in easy ready-to-go categories. Everything became merely a pawn in something larger: a bigger plot of power and servitude, of uprisings and suppression, of connectedness and relativity. I came to understand that in life there was a price to pay for everything, good or bad, pleasant or repugnant, short- or long-term, imagined or real, knowing and unknowing, hard-hearted or warm, emotional or otherwise, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, thinkers like me or those who refuse to think and who prefer the simplicity of straight lines etc.



I find myself in a struggle – not between right and wrong or good and bad; that would be too easy i suppose – a struggle to make sense of my surroundings, my consciousness, the caste systems that are all too readily visible to me, the contradictions of life, the fate of the “underprivileged” and of the victims of bilateral struggles of the powerful who seem to hover above invisibly, yet with considerable bite like angels playing a game of chess with earthly pieces, laughing and rejoicing in a faraway paradise.

My feelings of joy (though only fleeting) are just as potent as those of anger and hatred (with more longevity). I occupy various worlds simultaneously and it seems some of them want to choose; to decide which side I’m on. But the irony is that I’m not overly torn, I know who I am and I am happy with it – in fact, there are moments when I’m ecstatic about it but I struggle to like or, perhaps more accurately, to accept the consequences that seem to flow from that realisation.