I am a young girl of 19 and the eldest of four siblings. I have been writing ever since I started reasoning. As an undergraduate student studying science, I have a flair for the arts. I write poems, stories and essays. I love Africa and our customs, our beautiful traditions, our clothing, and our style are like no other. We shouldn’t let our style die nor allow it to be blown with the wind because it is richer than all the Gold in the world put together.

Poems by Anita Omoiataman Ihaza

Lagbaja

Anita Omoiataman IhazaThe face that is never seen
Deed that is always done
Yet done by nobody
Littered streets

Dead corpses lying on the roads
And pathways
Everyone covers his nose
Avoiding the smell
Face writhed in disgust
Women and children
Spitting as they pass by
Corruption eating at the heart of the rock
From the home itself
One man, two men
A woman with child?
Who?
A question without an answer
Like the first babble of a new born
But who did that deed?
Lagbaja
That’s his name.
For all the broken lights
The potholed roads
The hands that take money
From behind
Dark faces at midnight

The ink that draws millions
All bear one name
That name is lagbaja
Everyone abuses him
He is cursed

And he bears all the faults
For the torn flag

He has all the curses
Life could ever bequeath on a person
The old generations cursed him
Even my grandfather called sango
For him
Who threw the stone at the marketplace?
He is lost
But found in a lagbaja
That resides in all of us
The masked one
Has been unmasked in us all.

The Covenant

The tie
The spilled blood
Each sucked the others
And the die was cast!
A covenant that was to bind
Seeds of generations
Generations yet to see moonlight
And play under it
Like sand poured on the palm
Blown with the breath from
The nostril
That could become binding for life
Made by the head
All its branches are tied into it.
The covenant
He stood and watched
Tendering the young seeds
For a reward at harvest time
A reward of spilled blood
Of a virgin goat
That will keep him up
For another season
Season after season
He sucked more spilled blood
A time came he got none
The goats and lambs were spared
The head sacrificed his own head
His own blood had to be shared

But unlike the cross
That stood at Calvary
Where blood was to be spilled once

Unto life
This blood
Was spilled unto death
To take soul after soul
Of young branches

Innocent souls!
Sucked and ravaged
Like young virgins
Torn into shreds
Just like the orange’s back
They suffered.
Bad omen!
My friend, bad omen
A bond tied to bondage
A covenant into confusion
Of bloodshed
He who was to be protected
Has been slaughtered by his
Guard
Bad omen, my friend
Bad omen.

The Chapel and the Shrine

He strolls in
Muttering short prayers to himself
Fully clothe in white cassock
As the altar boy burns incense
To meet the incantations in Latin
Presenting it to the
God of highest heavens
And from the land of red soils
Where sun lives in every house
The sage stands dressed in same white attire

Incantations in same way
To a different god
In same way
Yet
There are differences
Blood was spilled once
Shed no more
But
In the other
Blood is continuously shared
The sacrifice is continuously paid
One feeds his god
His God feeds the other
It is time
They have come to the crossroads
You move either right or left

Which do you choose?
Right to the chapel?
Left to the shrine?
He is confused
Yes, he is confused
Because
One drinks water in the shrine
In the chapel
One takes water there
That will be drank
He swallows spit
Good thought
He will marry them both
The young and the old
To create
A unique and stylish taste
He will marry them both.

In Between My Teeth

Sand in my mouth will not melt
Neither will it chew
But stays in between my teeth.
It won’t go with water
Yet my mouth will be filled with it
And I would fill my gold bones with it
The earth would never get depressed
Neither will it form a hollow
Pack and store some
Tomorrow it will grow
Taller than the mahogany
It eats and continues eating
For as you take
It refills itself twofold
The earth is always hungry
And its food are from the most
Succulent and most cherished
It eats the apples of the kings
And the juiciest of oranges
It sips
The earth makes me hungry too
Hunger of a different kind
For my hunger
Brings tears to my eyes
And would drop on tombstones
On sands by the graveyard
Thence
A root sprouts
Up a tree grows
With new fruits
And many more in its branches
Flowers in its buds
And pollen grains on its bag
New life is out
Yet
Birds would not sit on its branches
For there is yet another gong
The crown is going to the earth.

In the Mind of an Artist

In the mind of an artist
The world is a beauty
And those that live in it are beautiful
Every face is an interesting drive
Into the unknown

The eyes
A gleaming mirror
Mirroring the soul
A pathway of mysteries
That can only be
Interpreted with a beauty eye

The lips
An inviting kissing feature
Full, thin, coming in various styles
With running lines
Designed just as the designer desires

Some brown with the
Color of nature
Others pink as springing roses
Flattered with arranged white enamel plates

That shows
Just as the lips thin out
And the mouth curves

To reveal the stones of nature
That cannot be picked
As the diamonds
Priceless though it seems
But

Much more highly priced
Than the richest jewels

A bright smile
That forms curves
As the mouth forms a smile
Laugh lines and dimples sprawled
Across the face
Sending messages
Only an artist can read
And sending a glimmer

To the eyes
That can be explained
Only by Solomon
Heightening the cheekbones
That holds a grip on the face
This is the world of an artist
A world where everyone is a beauty queen
Every face a new book
Catching interests of wise minds
Telling stories

To both young and old
Stories of experience
That grows with every cockcrow
That cannot be heard by deaf ears
Nor seen by blind eyes
Who refuse to see
The beauty in every work of art

By the unfathomable designer
Gaze steadily now
At a face
You’ve always known

Over the years
Now
With the eye of an artist
And
You would realize deep down
That over the years
You have been too blind to certain
Intricate things
For even the
The slight arch of the eyebrow
Reads a message.