(Review of CONSTIMOCRAZY: Malafricanising Democracy By Nsah Mala)
Title: CONSTIMOCRAZY: Malafricanising Democracy By Nsah Mala
Author: Nsah Mala
Publisher: Pski’s Porch
Reviewer: Tola Ijalusi
I sometimes live in darkness,
but never do I fear anything.
Through all odds, I see greatness. Page 13
These are the opening lines of the opening poem “The Touch Ahead” of this poetry collection from a demographic author who has diligently pressed out mastery. These lines are assurance of hope from a poet who has praises and revile for Africa and her political systems. Here, Africa would be the dwelling place where darkness suffices but he, an African would fear zilch and despite all odds, his eyes are open to greatness - Optimism full of light.
Nsah Mala new collection of poems is artistically and creatively impressive – an extraordinary feat despite the fact that the poems were written in different locations from Mbankolo, Perpignan, Bayreuth, St Andrews, Njinagwa, Bambili, Messa-Si, to Dakar yet the poems work together so well having accomplished every lines and stanzas making a whole strong and edifying collection. Nsah Mala groups the poem into two sections of thematic choice – Ragtag: Back and Forth and Constimocracy: In and Out taking the liberty to speak in writing, printing his voice on the state of Democracy in Africa. The result is a tensed evocative collection that expresses the heartfelt of the author.
In CONSTIMOCRAZY: Malafricanising Democracy, Nsah Mala swung a pendulum that goes back and forth, In and Out in the state of poetic lines. One of such cases is giving remembrance of Slavery and how the to uplift Africa from the dungeons of stagnation and retrogression
who alone know how many
African slaves crossed the oceans,
how many were pushed into water,
how many died and were food to fish,
how many were raped and thrashed,
how many were killed and thrown off. Page 14
Nsah Mala did not fail to give engaging narratives that glorifies the beauty of Africa, and Women as he recount an African Dance in Darkar
I watched an electrifying dance.
Dancers toyed with fire,
swallowing and spitting it,
passing it through dancing apparel.
They vibrated and turned their buttocks,
conjugating footsteps and body movements
with ancestral drums in hands chiselled
by years of eternal drumming
and responding to sounds of
African cultures droning in their blood veins. Page 16
He confessed it was a ‘Spellbound African Dance’ and continued his appreciation in ‘The Magic of Female Buttocks’
African women have magnetic buttocks
which rise and fall like
erupting mountains when they dance.
Everyone is charmed by
heavy buttocks when they vibrate
to makoussa and bikutsi rhythms
like remote-controlled robots. Page 41
A campaign perspective was employed and the message was also conveyed in ‘Safety Kiss page 42’.
But who knows?
Naked eyes cannot see HIV/AIDS
when these buttocks play their magic. Page 41
since HIV/AIDS isn’t hung
on faces but turns into dung.
I would flee naked intercourse
until we take the right course. Page 42
Democracy is objected to crazy demonstrations of our African Leaders, It’s constitutional modification democracy! Napkins of demoncrazy.
If you tear or burn a piece of cloth: treason.
Swindle sums, mutilate constitutions: reason.
In Africa, power dodges ballot boxes;
but is transferred from fathers to sons.
They own nations like private boxes
and throw all who raise brows in prisons.
African Democracy Page 100
How do we read constimocrazic thermometers?
In any constimocrazy,
there is a drought of democracy:
electoral fraud, personality cults, endemic amendments,
limitless mandates, repression of opposition, imprisonments.
Executions and torture top dictatorship speedometers.
Constimocrazic Thermometers Page 102
In CONSTIMOCRAZY: Malafricanising Democracy, Nsah Mala diction was soft and comprehensive for anyone and everyone to read and understand, he simply chose a choice of word in which is tone of language can be received and message conveyed. He employed figures of speeches such as rhetorical questions in Sonnets for ‘Dictators and ‘Interests’
Such are desirable; let’s call them fertile dictators.
They’re so rare! Rare like gold! You need examples?
Don’t ask why we’re still in black, mourning Gaddafi.
Economically barren dictators are worst; bloody parasites!
They flood our continent. Slogan machines. Want some?
Hmm! Hmm! No me oh! Better ask the Monetary Fund!
Sonnets for Dictators Page 104
You remember Libya? You remember Syria?
No interests no wars? No wars no interests? Interests.
No interests no allies? No allies no interests? Interests.
No interest no killings? No killings no interests? Interests.
No interests no action? No action no interests? Interests.
No interests no world? No world no interests? Interests.
Interests Page 106
From poems such as ‘The Refugees’, ‘Against Extremists’, ‘Wedding in Prison’, ‘From Chief to Thief’, ‘To Those Sent Against Their Own Blood’, ‘Orphans with Parents’ etc the poets unarguably raised an unrestrained exuberance through poetry going back and forth in recognition of the essence of historical standpoint and in and out of the present day reality towards a change in the African society.
Nsah Mala ‘CONSTIMOCRAZY: Malafricanising Democracy’, a poetry collection beyond the ordinary that speaks of the relevance in today concerns. The Cameroon-born writer is no doubt a fine contemporary African poet who has written the political essence of his generation.
Tola Ijalusi is a Nigerian Creative Writer, Poet, and Reviewer. His works appears on various online journals and magazine such as Kalahari Review, Dissident Voice, Indian Periodical, New Ink Review, BlackBoy Magazine and elsewhere. His poems have been published in anthologies such as Peace Is Possible, Muse For World Peace II, Muse For World Peace III, The Sun Will Rise Again, Best New African Poets Anthology 2016 and Best New African Poets Anthology 2017. He is a recipient of PIN Excellence Award 2016. He is the Managing Editor of PAROUSIA Magazine, An Online Christian Arts and Literary Magazine. He tweets @Ijalusi234 and blogs at mrijalusi.wordpress.com.