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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Niyi Osundare’s Dedication to Frank Kokori

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(For   Frank   Kokori)

Frankly speaking……

 

So he has gone the way of ancestors     Not in a chariot of fireNot in a golden carriage     Not on the wings of the eagle

He strode back home     On a path cleared by our common prayersHe swung his hands by his side     As he swayed to our songs of honour

Rare brand in this clime of caviling compromise     True in his word, true in his deedHe knew what part of the sky begat the sun     So he walked all his life in perpetual Light

When darkness seized the land     And gun-toting despots assailed our FreedomHe risked life and job and pitched his tent     On the side of those who labored for a chainless future

For he was a Leader who knew how to follow     Scion of our devastated DeltaHe knew the perilous particularities     Of the politics of oil

Truth over tribe, science beyond superstition      He was there when a foul AnnullerImperiled our Liberty, and he stood forefront     In the army which challenged his gun

Sleep well, worthy Compatriot     You remain a Hero in a land stillIn desperate search for lasting values      Frankly speaking……

Niyi Osundare, one of Africa’s foremost poets and academics, is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English, University of New Orleans. 

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