Benign Grilling

A hill in Middle Belt part of Nigeria      Photo Credit: African Press Club

Hello readers. In response to my article last week titled “The Burden of a Single Narrative” the writer below decided to pen this poem. I hope you savour it. Do have a wonderful week.

By Oseloka H. Obaze

A sojourner’s ordeal,

Stranded by choice, or

Wanderlust in new climes,

Strangers in these parts,

We get interrogated,

These irksome, yet benign grilling,

Not for us by us, but by

Detached newbies, far removed,

Their bailiwick steered by bizarre illation.

Is it about optics or beaten narratives?

If angered, we rebuff or assail the unschooled,

Such intolerance only mimic their crass ignorance,

So shunning reticence, and out of compassion,

For their blighted ignorance, we yield;

Keep the questions coming!

Answer and educate the world,

Being literate isn’t being educated,

The new world’s a new school,

We aliens the fluky teachers,

Of rich cultures; unknown norms,

We are duty bound to tell stories,

Offer illuminating answers,

About us, and yes;

Of who we are,

Africans.

——
*Obaze, a Nigerian writer, poet and diplomat, is author of Regarscent PastA Collection of Poems (2015). He is working on his second anthology

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