Excerpt from an upcoming collection by Obiageli A. Iloakasia titled Kàmbíl
mother cries on days I challenge you.
she says that my rants are bad songs
that never pleases the king’s ears
and my stone face,
a scarecrow that sends men away.
when I cry out for freedom,
she says my freedom songs
remind her of the Mau Mau Uprising
and sometimes, Mandela’s quest
for freedom in South Africa.
one day, I took my bags
and left home to find a better haven
or something like it.
before I walked out of the door,
mother looked into my eyes
and screamed in fright.
in my eyes, she saw her shadow
and feared that this fate would forever
be mine and that of many others, unborn.
Obiageli A. Iloakasia is a Nigerian Poet, Storyteller, Literary/Social Critic, and Freelance Editor, amongst other things. She explores diverse aesthetic forms in her writings as she attempts to capture contemporary issues in Africa and beyond. Her short book, "Twitter Street," was unveiled in January 2021 and was well accepted by readers. Obiageli's poems and short stories have also appeared on several platforms, gaining her series of commendations from her audience. Her debut poetry collection titled "October Blues" delves into the heart of the EndSARS protest. In addition, it examines other aspects of the Nigerian reality from the post-civil war era to modern socio-political events.
Obiageli's earlier years of writing poetry were greatly inspired by Okot p'Bitek. She credits her best African poem to be "The woman with whom I share my husband" by Okot p'Bitek. She enjoys poems by Henry Barlow and often talks about his poem titled "Building the Nation." In general, she enjoys reading from Contemporary Nigerian Writers like Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Nosakhare Collins, Chimamanda Adichie, Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Sefi Atta, Tolu Akinyemi, Roseline Mgbodichinma Anya Okorie, Kehinde Badiru, Dami Ajayi, Elnathan John, Helon Habila, Nnamdi Oguike, Oyindamola Shoola, amongst others
She believes that literature is a powerful tool that can be used to change the world. As such, she never resists the impulse to speak with her voice. She is very intentional about leadership, teaching, and learning.
Obiageli currently writes from Nigeria.
Udeigwe Chioma Daniella
2/5/2022 09:03:12 pm
This is a beautiful piece. Her choice of words are artistic
Makolo Ojogbene Rosalyn
24/5/2022 07:59:51 pm
I love this
2/5/2022 09:30:33 pm
The poem truly depicts the fear that many of our mothers have when we rebel or try to be outliers… Obiageli sabi write sha!
Kalu Siza Amah
2/5/2022 09:34:49 pm
I love this piece; a reflection.
3/5/2022 08:17:55 am
An almost emotional piece; beautifully analysed.
Madamedon Oritsemuoyowa Merit
6/5/2022 02:31:10 pm
This is a very nice piece I love her artistic work and how she writes she really focused on the main point without any faults
Ihekwereme Ezekiel Favour
6/5/2022 04:48:22 pm
An emotional piece.
Mohammed Abubakar Usman
6/5/2022 06:21:58 pm
This is remarkable and beautiful
6/5/2022 07:05:17 pm
Mothers are always the architect of our characters.
Emmanuel Esther Kuje
7/5/2022 09:22:12 am
7/5/2022 11:48:51 am
This is a thought provoking piece
7/5/2022 04:53:28 pm
It’s a very beautiful piece
7/5/2022 06:35:31 pm
I love your choice of words. It was wonderful how you manage to put the whole thing together
Izang Alexander Haruna
8/5/2022 03:06:01 pm
With homely imagery, Obiageli tells not the joys of motherhood but the inescapable burden a mother bears in the face of a rebellious child; but this rebellion of the poet persona is borne of another inescapable existential tension, the search for freedom. The persona resonates with maxim that freedom is not given but demanded (taken). It remains to be argues the morality of the action but what the poem focuses on is inevitable reaction from a loved one, the pain that comes with separation especially in circumstances that leave much to be desired.
8/5/2022 09:15:37 pm
This show how a mother is in her little girl so she doesn't have to be too uptight when she goes naughty because mum could have acted that way while she was her daughter age.... Good job
9/5/2022 11:09:50 pm
The poet's choice of words is articulate and artistic. The historic references - Mau Mau uprising and Mandela’s quest for freedom are right on too.
9/5/2022 11:58:30 pm
10/5/2022 12:57:19 pm
This is such a beautiful piece. It is one I resonate with as I relate to my mother's disapproval for my sheer doggedness and rebellion.
10/5/2022 11:16:20 pm
This is a truly beautiful one.
Racheal Abu-ara Ogbulu
11/5/2022 11:04:38 pm
A brief but nice piece of how our mothers feel
12/5/2022 04:50:54 pm
I love how she catches the attention of her readers
It is a beautiful piece and I think it tilts towards confessional.
13/5/2022 12:20:54 pm
Obiageli's language did well to paint how most children perceive their mothers to be bothersome, control freaks.
Excel Chinagorom Michael
14/5/2022 12:26:30 pm
I love her choice of language; very simple. The imagery in that poem painted out the boredom and unfazed condition she found herself, the annoying part of her mother.
17/5/2022 04:05:30 pm
This piece is relatable, because every female child has in some way or the other been cultures to act in certain ways and do certain things! It reminded me of when my mum told me to ‘sneeze like a lady’😂. It seems so small but even bigger things have happened to other girls.
18/5/2022 01:12:02 pm
Such a beautiful way with words. I read it more than once and each time it felt like I was fining new meanings to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. Well done!
18/5/2022 03:09:13 pm
Mother's love for a feminist daughter...
19/5/2022 03:12:33 pm
I love this poem in particular
19/5/2022 03:46:26 pm
This is such an emotional piece that screams the love between a mother and child. It tells us that though a mother and child may not always see eye to eye everytime, a mother wouldn't want anything bad to happen their child. I wished the message the author was trying to pass across was more explicitly written as I had to read the poem more than twice to fully understand. Regardless, it's a beautiful piece. Well done Obiageli🙌🙌👏👏
20/5/2022 02:33:54 pm
Made me so emotional
20/5/2022 08:44:47 pm
Wonderful work talking about a hound lady who seeks freedom and decides to leave home to find freedom. But her mother feared that it will be a continuous thing as she herself might have also hleft her home in the past
20/5/2022 08:50:54 pm
It's a very entriging poem, well articulated.
Mamman Emmanuel Sokoga
21/5/2022 02:05:03 pm
This is such an emotional poem!!!
21/5/2022 03:21:23 pm
I think the writer did her best in doing her bit. But I'm most assured that she really has more to offer. The piece is short yet captivating. But it feels like she wrote in haste, hence the reason why I feel she could do better relaxed. In the final analysis she's best for every credit showered on her.
Olaoye Damilola Rebecca
23/5/2022 01:44:59 am
A great poem indeed
Akeredolu Eniola Zion
27/5/2022 04:53:04 pm
This poem is a beautiful one with a lot of themes.
27/5/2022 08:15:58 pm
Obiageli did an amazing job writing this short but expressive piece. This is a piece that's somewhat relatable especially amongst folks like me with African mothers who might seem overbearing. The young girl depicted wants her freeedom, she seeks to delve into new territory and see what it holds without her mother's stern gaze or correction. But in actuality, the strict nature of our mother's instill discipline in us and sometimes help in right decision making.
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