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This post was written by Tee Akindele on November 3, 2010
Posted Under: Random

Poem: 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, poem by Tee Akindele

Reader Comments

Yu culdn’t av put dis beta brov, I bless God 4 ur gift, and God bless yu lots too sir!

Written By Akinlabi Zacchaeus on November 8th, 2010 @ 10:17 am

Amen! and thanks so much brother. God bless you too!

Written By Tee Akindele on November 9th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

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