Owambe and the city

Owambe and the city

Lagos is the land of bustle
Melting-crackpot of a metropolis
Our weather, business and temper mostly is hot
And our spirit always just manages to bubble
Between hitting humid roads and hitting sweaty sacks
Lagos life is one long traffic jam
From Monday to Friday, sunshine is our traffic light
But all roads will lead to where the party’s at
Come weekend, come the owambe nights.
Now, “It’s a Friday sunset” reads the traffic signs
So there ‘ll be gigs in Ikorodu, Mushin and Ikeja
And where else it happens on the mainland
But I’d hint on where the fave parties are at;
Ikoyi, Obalende, Lafiaji, through Isale-Eko is round up
We’d block the streets – no drive-throughs!
The bottom of the Lagos lagoon has been stirred
The original spirits of revelry are near at hand
All the owambe people of the Island are set to be baptised.
Till men see other men like bottles come Sunday nite.

We’ve known no partying like these all-nights
Right in the streets of our dear Lagos Island!
Under heaven’s dim night light,
Under the surfing moon in all it’s amorous hue and
Sparkling stars that make us all the more dreamy
As Fuji, Juju or Afrobeats echo back loudly from the skies.
Pick a seat and name your demon, everyone is said to have one
Bottled green, brown or black, otherwise, they’ll say it’s jedi-jedi.
For yourself, you may fresh air redefine
Whether by the fumes of freshly tapped palm wine
– Imported from Ibeju, Badagry or Otta
Or by the aroma of roasted ogufe (goat meat).
Tasty Delicacies are quickly going down, down… down
And all the hostesses uniformed in their color of ankara
Will be looking much prettier at the bottom end of the bottle.
The spotlight is right on the floor
Where the players are the shakers and rain-makers
The former with dancing shoes, the later with fat wallets
Hey! lagosians are no farmers, who talked about rain-water?
Shakers pick their step with popular dances
As rain-makers make it worth their while
By spurts of paper currency to litter the floor,
Like showers of multicolored smiles,
Some party-gods actually cause good old Uncle Sam dollars to rain!

These parties complete the balance of the cities life-force cycle
Before the ebbing highlife blues rock it to reluctant slumber
And the lagoon spirits are receded.
The stench of booze from littered streets
Slowly will dissipate with the darkness
Until the traffic signs all-round read once more:
Not “ready!”, not “go!”, not “stop!”, just a steady “go slow!”
[Translated: “Monday sunrise”];
Dormant larvae will be full blown stingers
As Lagos becomes a tossed beehive again.

© 2010, Tee Akindele (http://www.facebook.com/EverydayPoetry)

15 thoughts on “Owambe and the city” by Tee Akindele (@teez)

  1. Sweet, this was really good.

    1. Thanks Adeyinka, I’m glad you think so

  2. No romance? Oh no! Lol, Just kidding. Lovely poem

    1. Am I always about romance? LOL… Thanks for reading, I’m glad you think it’s lovely anyway

  3. This is a good description of the cycle we go through as lagosians.

    This is really good Tee, as you’ve made us gotten used to. I saw you attempted at rhyming in some line. would just suggest that you let it flow as it comes, so as not to appear forced.

    Well done!!!

    1. I really appreciate the remark Ope, Nagode

  4. This is a very good poem. Like very very good. There are lotta sweet powerful lines. Felt like watching a good yoruba film. Keep it up man. Wish you were female.

    1. LOL Jaywriter, Thanks very much for the compliments anyway.

  5. Had some other crazy stuff running through me mind before you mentioned cow. Ditto shope on the last line somehow. It was more philosophical than wowing. Enjoyed the read.

  6. it gives the african tone i love i n poetry, nice 1

  7. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    You really did capture it properly..
    I now miss Owambe parties.. Lol!

  8. when i lived in Ibadan and Ife, owambe no be small thing at all. i miss it to0

  9. Owambe! hehehe. Nice one.

  10. Nice.
    Another ode to the city.

  11. Lets get the party on…

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