Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
Oyo poets beam searchlight on xenophobia

By Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan on 29/04/2015

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 6,453


It was another day of book-reading when the recent assembly of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Oyo State Chapter, was held at Preboye’s Plaza. And, as usual, several poems, written by different poets, who are members of the association, were read to participants. Different topics of interest were treated: ranging from love, courage, adventure to calamity and ‘phobia’.

“If you want to be my friend, be my friend

Taking over my job is not a friendship deal

Don’t you hear what the elders say?

Money strains friendship.”

The above excerpt was taken from a poem read by Folu Oyeleye entitled ‘Povertyphobia’ which, according to him, was the root cause of xenophobia, a brutal and inhumane development which seems to be trending now in South Africa. The ongoing and yet-to-be settled xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and some other foreign nationals resident in South Africa was given more attention, as it sparked off controversial comments after the reading. The audience participation was apt and educative enough. The poet did not only read, but took it to the point of angrily acting the poem which further embellished and enlivened the moment.

Encapsulated in the first four lines of the poem is the question of giving a particular scenario a second thought, which many had not really considered. Reasons were revealed why sentiment should not deprive us of cogitating deeply, questioning and considering other people’s reasonableness on issues.

This identifies the fact that South African nationals, who are being globally reprimanded for their abominable act against their fellow blacks, must have had more than enough reasons why they have been lynching foreigners in their own land. They must have been afraid of one particular thing or the other, infesting their land: the foreigners.

But why? The truth is: Why are people not questioning foreigners usurping the jobs and businesses of these people? Why are people not considering the situations and economic reasons of the South Africans? The understanding is, African countries have not taken time to fathom the reasons inherent in the attack by South African citizens on Black foreign nationals from Mozambique, Malawi, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and particularly Nigerian immigrants. It is fear of poverty in their land.

Little wonder the poet asked: “Should I daze my brain and deprive myself of deep thoughts? Should I close my eyes and not see the rightful colour? Should I seal my lips, the bold lips of my conscience.” This, therefore, is the position of the poet.

Of course, the pogrom rearing its head, thawing relationships of African countries is questionable. But then, whose fault? Who is to blame? The African immigrants in South Africa, enjoying the citizens’ dividends, or the South African citizens who are afraid of wallowing more in poverty, hence killing the devourers of their wealth? In fact, this really calls for deeper thought. Unfortunately, many black South Africans are taking revenge against fellow Africans, instead of challenging the systemic cause of their enduring poverty.

The poet explained it better as he puts it thus:

“Should I allow you tear my thighs?

Tear my tears in the name of consanguinity

Joint eating is not interesting

Not interesting if not all contributing.”

Going down memory lane, the poet bitterly recounted those days when the moment of peace reigned among the African countries: Time when Nigeria fought tirelessly against apartheid in South Africa. He lamented the current situation of African countries in the aspect of keeping cordial relationship with one another. He brought back to mind those days when citizens gained free entrance into their different countries with love and sense of belonging, which made the consaguinous bonding, among African countries, exemplary and reflection of true unity. Now that the table seems to be turning, is povertyphobia fastly manifesting in South Africa? Yes!

Reacting on the support given during the fight against apartheid in South Africa, the poet cleverly asked: “Must you become pests because you have removed pests?” Is this not factual enough?

Just like the Yoruba will say: Ajo ko le da ni ile – which means “no place can be like home” – that is the lesson which these attacks boil down to. The poet’s mien underscores why the different countries in Africa should be well-built and made habitable for all. Of course, the man in Washington will only care for America.

The poet, re-angling his submission from a very sensitive, sober point of view, explored the reality which the Nigerian economic context has added to the whole woes and chaotic experiences of her sons and daughters in South Africa. Euphemising this in his lines, he asserted:

“Oh stop the lamentations

Ask insightful questions

Where is the oil money gone

That slavery is now the answer

Splashing and siphoning fortune

Squandering riches round the globe

Your children now victims of Xenophobia

Shame!”

Embedded in those lines is message of melancholy to Nigerians in the Diaspora, who are being killed, all in the name of searching for greener pasture in uncharted territories. Truly speaking, Nigerians that are being killed today would never have been. If Nigeria’s economy of today had not been destroyed yesterday, how would her sons have been enslaved in another man’s land? The effect of the wastages and squander spree of the leadership is what is telling on us now. Nigerians have no reason to be slaving anywhere in the world, but the bad management of her economy is making her citizens to be predisposed to dangers of migrating to other countries.

•Photo shows some participants at the event.

Source News Express

Posted 29/04/2015 7:09:42 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

 

You may also like...
Buhari’s approval rating nosedives to 39 percent

We’ll ensure safety of use of electricity, lives,...

Obuah identifies with Ogoni, condemn FG’s alleged lip...

We are set to enforce laws to curb...

CSNAC seeks revocation of waterways security contract awarded...

8 top American varsities scramble exceptionally brilliant Nigerian...

China plans to buy more crude oil from...

UBA wins big at Interswitch Awards

Senate restates need to revamp Ajaokuta Steel

Supreme Court judgment not only for PDP’s benefit...

No fresh petroleum subsidy in 2016, NNC declares...

Nnamdi Kanu: Court rules February 10

 

Latest News APC Convention: Panic over Okorocha’s minority report Police warns troublemakers as APC Convention holds in Abuja •Deploys 5,000 personnel, armoured personnel carrier Bandits launch fresh attack on Birnin-Gwari, kill more persons Pastor, 2 others nabbed over ritual killing of 19-year-old girl APC holding national convention with looted funds – PDP Buhari championing jihad in Nigeria: Christian Elders APC Convention: Oshiomhole will delete PDP from Nigeria’s political history — Senate Deputy Chief Whip NAFDAC DG sacks consultants over anomalies, irregularities Police dismisses 19 officers in Ogun, demotes 9 2018 Budget: Why we included new projects — NASS PDP queries DSS over Abaribe’s arrest World Cup: Rohr reveals secret of Super Eagles’ victory over Iceland

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (352,749 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (352,424 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (280,694 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (230,437 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (209,300 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (209,138 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (182,086 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (164,260 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (154,063 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (148,875 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (144,063 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (135,824 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (50) Business & Economy (3,264) Business Verdict (44) Columnists (871) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (506) Features (607) Global Business Monitor (284) International (2,047) Interview (155) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (124) News (36,418) Opinion (1,005) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,313) Religion (772) Sports (1,558) Stock Watch (30) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Argentina vs Croatia Goals

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement