The Nigerian Dream

The Nigerian Dream

I am Hakeem,

Made of the stuff of rockets it seemed,

They also call me ‘The Dream’,

My star rising sky high before it dimmed.

 

I came from across the Niger to chase a dream,

My skills as tall and elegant as any dream can be,

I was the find of Houston’s team,

Attested to by rings that gleam for all to see.

 

I am Hakeem,

The Nigerian dream,

I hear all of you scream,

When I stretch to reach the rim

All your dreams I fulfilled

While those of  my fatherland I totally nixed.

 **********************************************************************

I will sing you a song

From the mountain tops at dawn

My voice you will hear like a shrill gong

Melancholic and hoarse from daily cries every early morn’

You call me a craze man

Because my mouth I adorn with sacred shrubs

Now that everything is upside down

All I do is lift my shoulders in mocking shrugs;

I sang you this song many times

Yet you preferred shuffering and shmiling to my call to roforofo fight

I sang you a song laden with many pregnant lines

But it was left to rot by zombies who would rather sit tight

Every morning I sang to you, you this original suffer head

But all you do is lock me in Alagbon close, where you thought my song will no more be heard.

 ***************************************************************************

An owl one late night hooted

Telling the story of a young tot yet unborn, yet highly rated

On a night dark and very cold it waited

To tell his tale of the one to be born brightly spotted

Young tot growing tall and heart strong

Fair hair grow, white and fluffy as snow

Young tot leaves his land among in a throng

To seed his eloquent oats where words grow

Young tot grew with white-haired brains

Reeling out messages from one who from Isara Remo hailed

To relief man from bondage and pains

His words on golden tablets  impaled

Only made young tot innocently grow tough

Until when he could tell the stiff collars he had had enough.

 **************************************************************************

 

Concluding part of  : ” Of Chinese Whispers, a French Kiss and the Nigerian Dream” coming soon….

Thank you for following me so far.



17 thoughts on “The Nigerian Dream” by shaifamily (@shaifamily)

  1. @shai if at all i understood what i read here (which i think i did), you are a master (if you are a woman as some say) wordsmith. this was simply great. i like what you did with the breaking and the shift in the text direction…kind of like a thought pattern of the speaker…

    1. Those saying that may be right and they may be wrong…I fink u should know better than most sha (since u and a few others I hooked up with on other forums).
      Thanks, for the compliments.
      The first centred around the famous “nigerian dream”, the second around the man who ruled “kalakuta republic”, and the third around our first “nobel laureate”.
      U finking same way?
      By the way, the piece is tied with the other 2 title wise.

      1. YOUR EXPLANATION made it a whole new experience for me but aside from the first part, my meanings were different bro…you did great here

        1. Do you mind, plss share!. It would create a whole new dimension to this piece.
          Thanks for reading. Final instalment should come ur way soon, I fink.

  2. I feel your analysis….I read it before but i was stuck between several themes…

    But with this explaining…it’s cool.

    Well done!

  3. @Shai…
    beautiful work really. You got me with the very first line and I must say, kudos!
    u’re a skilled weaver of words and I like that.

    check this though:
    Young tot leaves his land among in a throng…among in a throng? in a throng/among (a) throng(s).

    I understood ur poem as a wholesome work…though with different themes but I was thrown by ur explanation/analysis…wtz d connection? especially, with Soyinka…wt?

    1. @ada….Thanks. You don’t disappoint. That was a typo (noted and thanks).
      The soyinka piece is weaved with bits of fact and make-believe, ok? But, you will note that each of the pieces reflects a tinge of regret either ‘cos of unfulfilled dreams, aspirations, cause etc. Except for the first, the rest touched on individuals who actively turned to activism, due to the misguided way the state was being run. Dunno what u make of it now?
      It also was to reflect on how we can as individuals and a nation, revisit and make amends for opportunities missed and dreams/causes/social progrssives thwarted or truncated.
      They are also sonnets.

  4. @ada…I get ur confusion. The explanation I gave to xik was in respeect of the title “of chinese whispers, a french kiss and the nigerian dream” meaning “the nigerian dream is the third instalment (word count restrictions wouldn’t av allowed me post ’em together, so I broke ’em up).

  5. Shai, U good. Simple.

  6. Yeah, this is good.

    1. Thank u sir.

  7. dont you see that the second one relates to the Nigerian situation as much as the first?

    THE PERSONALISED I WILL BE THE NIGERIAN VOICE
    I will sing you a song
    From the mountain tops at dawn
    My voice you will hear like a shrill gong [THE SHRILL VOICE LIKE THE CRIES OF NIGERIANS]
    Melancholic and hoarse from daily cries every early morn’
    [AND IT GOES ON WITH THE SADNESS]

    You call me a craze man
    Because my mouth I adorn with sacred shrubs
    [NOW ADORNING THE MOUTH WITH SHRUBS COULD MEAN SCAVENGING BECAUSE OF POVERTY (though it could also mean using chewing stick…also poverty) SACRED NOW, NOT BECAUSE OF PIETY, BUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SHRUBS AS THE ONLY MEANS OF SURVIVAL]

    Now that everything is upside down
    [UPSIDE DOWN IS THE STATE OF THE NATION WITH BOMBS AND UNRESTS]

    All I do is lift my shoulders in mocking shrugs;
    I sang you this song many times
    [MOCKING SONGS…ARE NOT THE YOUTHS MOCKING THEIR LEADERS? THE NORTHERN YOUTHS PARTICULARLY HAVE LOST ALL RESPECT FOR THEIR EMIRS AND CHIEFS TO THE POINT OF ATTACKING THEIR PALACES AND VOICING STRONG OPPOSITION]

    Yet you preferred shuffering and shmiling to my call to roforofo fight
    [THE LEADERS LEAVE US IN OUR PLIGHT RATHER THAN ENGAGE…boko haram..millitants]

    I sang you a song laden with many pregnant lines
    But it was left to rot by zombies who would rather sit tight
    [THE SONG IS AMBIGUOUS BUT IT COULD MEAN FALSE PRAISE-SINGING OF OUR SIT-TIGHT POLITICIANS…JUST LIKE GEJ WAS PRACTICALLY WORSHIPED INTO THE SEAT ONLY TO BEGIN TO MANIFEST SOME….TENDENCIES]

    Every morning I sang to you, you this original suffer head
    But all you do is lock me in Alagbon close, where you thought my song will no more be heard.
    [THIS COULD BE ANYTHING…LOCKED UP FREEDOM FIGHTERS…AND SO-CALLED FREEDOM FIGHTERS..WE HAVE THE MOST RECENT IN THE PERSON OF NASIR EL-RUFAI]

    hope i make sense? i dont have much time…i would have worked on the third and first too

    1. U see why I like you?
      U re so on point and there a few stuffs u av helped me unearth. I am so glad u did the kind of analysis you did. Ofcourse, some of those issues were hidden in the rubble…masking it with the literal experience of abami eda himself (incidentally today is the 15th year anniversary of his death).
      Will get back to you soon.
      But, u re so on point!

      1. The first piece:
        Deals with the dreams held by every Nigerian to excel in their field of endeavor. That dream leads them to leave the shores of the country (willingly but under slavish conditions). Out in oyinbo land they are oohed and aahed and in the headiness of the accolades they forget their fatherland (regretably cos by d time they are ready to redress it is too late ). Of course everything was dressed up in the story of that popular figure Hakeem olajuwon!
        2nd piece:
        All of what u said are valid.
        Plus, the story of a Nigweian youth whose dreams and aspirations are frustrated contoinies. This time, this chap turms a social deviant (as a result of the social perversions and policy suicide abetted by his own countrymen). But like many youths today he took solace in weed and music (which one kills him first? Who knows?). Central moral-he also excelled.
        3rd piece:
        Another young chap homegrown. One of the greatest minds we will ever see. But like a well-rehearsed script, he also has to ‘step out’ to be a made man! But in time, he learns the truth (he will only ever be a slave to the oynbo) but what reprieve does he have when his words/works/causes are derided “his words on golden tablets impaled”even by his own people who sought to silent him.
        Beyond d obvious themes and principal xters of these pieces are issues, concepts and ideologies I av not revealed ‘cos of time or ‘cos I will like to hear what others think.
        Thanks fot taking the time

        1. looks like i have found a true lover of poetry like me

          1. Gbam…noticed how I av stuck to dat genre? Have been trying my hands at plays and novels since God knows when.
            So, I stick to wat I fink I know.
            Pardon the typos, my bad.

Leave a Reply