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Monday, November 28, 2022

Trumpet With Certain Sound

Still, We Rise!

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By Chudi Okoye
(Tribute to Maya Angelou: “Still I Rise”)

You may slight us with your mockeries
Or spite us with your hateful forgeries
You may grind us into the very muck
And even bind us to the rueful murk
In which you and your brood are stuck
But still, like air, we rise.

You have cornered most of the easy riches
In this nation formed in hesitant stitches
From colonial caprice and cynical speeches;
You use state might to mask your laziness
And punish us who have vibrant business
Secured through grit and sheer hardiness
But still, like the morning sun, we rise.

Are you unsettled by our Igbo boldness?
Or perhaps nettled by our pesky brashness?
Which you invoke to vent your ritual vileness;
You steal the oil wealth from our deep South
By making yourselves Masters of the Scout
But look now at the foams in your mouth!
You got everything sewn up by sheer trickery
Yet you have nothing under your rich livery
And so you blame us for your endless misery
Still, unperturbed like the eagle, we rise.

Did you want us to be totally broken?
And suffer your lies with pain unspoken?
You exploit our compatriots who are unwoken
Using wads of dirty currency as your token
You corrupt their consciences, those lost Igbos
The Roaches, Ozodimgbas, Okpeazus, Omaghis
Their wonted greed feeds your vaunted need
And they grasp while their kin gasp and bleed
Still, like a waft of sapid fragrance, we rise.

Out of the hurts of our own miserable history
Pounded at the pediment of Nigeria’s ‘victory’
We rise
We Igbos rise!
We rise as the Sun rises from the East
Imbuing sheer possibility onto human life
We rise
We Igbos of the East
Breathing plausibility and, yes, even sensibility
Into this geographical expression
Into this historical depression
Sometimes known as Nigeria
We rise
We rise
We Igbos rise!

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