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The state of independence
Is the governor for how become
It’s more than signed papers and deal
More than a ceremony or marked day

55 years ago
Amid clutter and gutter, high points and gains
Nigeria marked independence
With a bounty on our shoulder we walked away from colonial hold

Bountiful and ill-harvest tides
Deserted and inhabited shores
Seasons dry and green, long and short
We’ve seen them all

Moving through from independence
May not have been sinuous
Our democracy
May have looked like a child crawling

In clear gaze, it has been
More like groping in familiar darkness
Dancing through alien rhythms
Watching old me loose their ways and younger ones bump into them

and I am my father’s daughter
A believer in the voice of reason
Still, I fan the embers of hope in me
Nigeria is a trigger and we must be her bore and muzzle

What is a skeleton without a spine
Or sockets without eyes
What is Nigeria without her people
What are we without a voice

So I speak
On behalf of me and my people
I open my heart and let go the pain
I embrace the new dawn in-spite of the long haul

I speak a new song; a new tongue
Telling my people to gird up
Ready for the journey ahead
For our dwellings in awry lands have come to an end

Yes we may not seem so
True we may not be so
But I look and I see breaths living daily
I ask, how long will these be dead?

Not long, not far
For the crying of the heart
Calls the mind to unease
To rest in solitude of peaceful dwellings

So I look again
I call to dancers
To singers and poets
How long will you be silenced

Speak the tongues of the ancients
For your fathers are visiting again
You are not deserted
A little lonely and broken – I agree

But I awaken you all
Calling to the dance at the village square
The city is rising in all its beauty
Throw away the death garments – live

Good people great nation
Victors and Victorias
Ululate in shouts of your tongue
(Yileeeleeee) do you not hear

Look look we can not always be masses
Hear! Hear! We cannot always be silenced
Move! Move! We cannot always be crippled
(Yileeeleee) the bridegroom is here the bride must arise

Young men it is true your fathers sold you
Young women it is true your mothers killed you
Paving the path you inevitably tread
But no! Turn back for posterity

(Yileeeeleee) I cannot hold back my tongue
We are the uniqueness of nations
Despised and called names in today’s courts
But we’ll go forward from yesterday

We’ll pave now the path the future holds
For I see Nigeria arising
I see hope I see love.
Believe with me I plead, Believe with me

See the strong hands decked
Hear great minds speak
I enter courts of rising stars and I marvel
I meet twos and threes and yes there is hope

Oh believe with me
Join hearts join hands
Nigeria is rising: so subtly
Nigeria is changing

True independence is approaching
No longer depraved minds and crumpled systems
No battered economy or peasant meats
I see true independence in our pots

Speak! Speak!
Apply! Apply!
Listen! Listen!
Understand! Undertsand!

Freedom is coming
Truths roped for life
Independence of our spirits, souls and bodies
It is time to live!


Jennifer Dafwat is a poet and spoken word artist

Dafwat Jennifer

Contestant 3 of the #Patriotsforchange creativity contest

Goodluck Jennifer! :)

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