Rhapsody of Freedom

Rhapsody of Freedom

The melodious cock-a-doodle-doo woke everyone up, as the sun rose over the vast pratum meadow to the east, the rustic foothills and plains of the plateaux in the North, tendering like the labyrinthine corridors glowed with golden light as if touched by an Angel or Midas from prairie.
The radiant sunrise reminded us that it was the dawn of freedom and hope – the Independence Day.
As I turned around to greet my father who had prepared to step out of the house.
He said enthusiastically with an infectious grin,
“We all dreamt of this gleeful day long ago.”
The first warm winds of spring gusted along streets and broad boulevards, calling out winter-weary residents who had pains of slavery locked in their loins into the daylight and allayed them. They thronged the sidewalks, strolling, linking mouths and hands together, everywhere smiling and chatting.
People hanged around in groups like village gossips, discussing on the wonderment.
The well-wishers visiting from overseas stopped at intervals, marveled,
“This is the enchanting Canaan promised in our travel guides.”
I came out to the street to observe the euphoria.
For the first time, I freely with so much confidence and pride walked through the alleys of my city.
Then, I sighed,
“Now this is a home, not a dungeon.”
I paused for a while and approached a group of onlookers who were deeply engaged in recalling the memories of the painful past.
One of them turned to me and laughed aloud.
“Thank God”, he muttered, and smiled. “There’s hope.”
The whole universe converged and stood on the soil of a neo-nation. They came to witness the ceremonious exodus of the John Bulls, and the birth and christening of a Negro-Giant, born to rise and become the Pride of Africa.
The neo-nation was called “Niger-ia”.
As we seceded from Great Britain in 1960, October 1, our first Emperor acceded to office.
I noticed unity et peace out of our outstanding diversity, such are our residuum of our colonization.
It was a day of high joie de vivre; we were like men that dreamed, perhaps hallucinated. Several people never stopped asking themselves the question,
“Is this true?”
“Is it really real?”
Right there at the level of Tafawa Balewa Square, on the platform of unity, in the spirit of truth and patriotic brotherhood, and wearing an appearance or a countenance of faith; everyone chanted the anthemic songs of freedom and change.
(With sync voices) “See a change that will accentuate progress and development; a change that radiates an abiding illumination to our future.”
The atmosphere was filled with so much love; love for one another, love for our sovereign country…after the declaration…
I pondered,
“If love really means forgiveness, only God will tell if we can truly love by forgiving our Taskmasters.”
(…Love is not which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken…  Sonnet 1156, William Shakespeare).

11 thoughts on “Rhapsody of Freedom” by Oyelakin Gbolahan (@voiceoftruth)

  1. Too many descriptions…too many distracting details…I like tho.

    Well done.

    1. Exactly. Too many distractions. I really tried to find the story here, but I couldn’t.

  2. I echo Seun. Felt I was reading poetry in some places. The descriptions and comparisms overshadowed the whole idea.

  3. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    I agree with Seun; but I was also impressed with the way the punctuations were used in the right places.

  4. Had Mixed feelings reading this. But I like.
    well done.

  5. Have to agree with the other comments. The flowery words distracted from the story. No doubt you are more of a poet. A good one.

  6. Thanks for your comments…I wish to implore everyone to kindly read this piece and drop your comments and votes here. Thanks you so much…Luv!

  7. This is ‘using other person’s voice before you find your own’ in creating writing. Oyelakin, you may be talking about the Independence Day in Nigeria, but your descriptions of places and scenes were not at all Nigerian, in my opinion, anyway. I thought I was reading something that I would see in children’s literature. God, someone even compared what I wrote to Charles Dickens in the last thing I posted here. I know that the first kind of books we encounter when we are on the verge of discovering ourselves in writing are the foreign ones, and most definitely we tend to write like those foreigners for a long time e.g. Christopher Okigbo (he even ‘stole’ blatantly and there’s evidence to prove it). All I’m saying is that self-discovery is the ultimate thing when writing and ‘honest stealing’ is allowed. I would advise you to re-look this piece carefully and also read more of African literary books so that you would have the knack of craftily penning down African settings. I hope you’re not writing this just for the prize.

    Well, I guess you were ‘Rhapsodising’ :). Still, it’s not an excuse. And I concur with some of the commentaries mentioned here, concerning the detailing, etc. Your tenses, spellings and punctuations were ok, near-perfect, but this was not your voice, somehow I know it.

  8. Thanks for your view Emmanuella…I was wondering what you inferred from the piece that made you feel my description is foreign to Naija…is it the meadow (grassland) in the Eastern Nigeria or the Hills and Plateaux stretching from the central North to the North-East of the country you are disproving? To be candid, I have traveled round Nigeria and in fact just returned from the North…Naija’s scenery is perfectly reflected in my description.

    1. Let me re-say this: “Your ‘description’ of places and scenes were not at all Nigerian,” not the places and scenes themselves. Another thing is that the atmosphere created is, well, odd. There was no proper paragraphing I as a reader got a bit confused. Please, em, Gbolahan, don’t be in a hurry to vote yourself until you’re sure, ok. I didn’t see a significant theme here. And don’t write because you yearn to win a prize, too. Good luck! :)

  9. I think all’s been said about all there is to be said a la the paragraphing, too many descriptions and distracting details.
    Well done still!

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