Sunday, August 14, 2011


A poetic reflection of me, my origins and the realities of my society

- Brought into the world as a result of the marital union between a Hausa mother and Yoruba father;

- The blood cruising through my veins, a mixture of conservative Hausa values and a liberal Yoruba heritage;

- Achieving an internal balance was always a continual internal struggle;

- Unable to cling on to one part and thus reject the other, so I went through my journeys of life;

- Always stuck in the middle, I was;

- Accepted by both sides who still haven’t reached the depths of being able to fully accept one another as compatriots in the Nigerian;

- Many an inner tear I shed, hearing misconceptions exchanged about the two noble races whose blood flow through my veins;

- When lucky, I am able to quell potential outbreaks of violence among the two;

- But may times, I simply have to stand aside and watch misguided hardliners from both camps call for blood;

- My blood stirs internally! Both are calling for blood I am related to!;

- Stuck in the middle, I watch powerlessly as blood from both sides are shed unnecessarily. every blood shed, a direct relation of mine!;

- Peace maker, Crises manager, pacifier, I always became, trying to prevent my two cultures from bloodshed;

- ‘cos, every blood shed is related to me!;

- As if this internal conflict weren’t enough, I slowly grew up to awaken to the realities of discriminative deprivations in my society;

- The oppressive ruling class scheming and acting vigorously to keep the oppressed ruled in perpectual servitude;

- Lucky me (am I really lucky?), I was privilegded to be blessed by the Lord of all knowledge;

- Yes, Knowledge – the only potent weapon against tyranny which no oppressor can take away;

- I became aware of the systematic structural violence deeply imbedded into the fabric of my society;

- Another conflict ensued in me, to keep quiet and be part of the oppressors thereby keeping the status quo, or stand aside and speak out and face the battering inflicted on the oppressed;

- Use my skils and knowledge to help prop up the oppression in the land or become a lone voice in a desert valley of deafened oppressed;

- The reality was simply a struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed!;

- But the unfortunate oppressed had been blindfolded and hoodwinked to look towards ethnic/religious discriminations for their problems;

- I made my choice, I’d speak out and alas, many rightful opportunities my stance denied me;

- The oppressors portraying my shouts of oppression as cries of an impoverished idiot;

- The oppressed, deafened by propaganda, refusing to see through the misguided ethnic / religious half-truths fed them by the oppressed;

- Stuck in the middle I remain, using my classrooms as my media to guide the youth to see the light;

- Using ICT tools to say it as it really is;

- How far my efforts will go, I don’t know; but I find it fulfilling to have a place in the middle of it all;

- Able to understand the truth about both parts of my heritage;

- Able to see through the deceptions of the ruling oppressors;

- Able to guide my students to attempt achieving enlightenment;

- Stuck in the middle, I’d go on speaking and reaching out;

- Always having the conviction that someday, some of these kids who pass through me, will grow up with some parts of the concepts of peace deeply ingrained into their lives;

- Someday, ……………..

1 comment:

  1. Ibrahim,

    Though I'm sure there have been many times that you have wished for a "single" origin, I think that your experience has actually put you in a unique position of increased understanding and compassion for both sides of Nigerian society.

    It is really great that you are using your experiences in a way that will benefit others.



Creative Commons License
This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.