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.