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Biafra: “In Biafra Africa Died” – A Poem by Dan Akusobi

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BiafraBiafra, a State of the Mind for the Igbos 

A concept that nearly became a world,

Became rather a synonym for war –

A war and about the only new war Nigeria would know 

A war we could not refuse and 

A country that could have been 

The only world Africa needed to dine with the 8.

Here I come again, oh dear lost land

And now a state of the mind and still boils the hands that could not let us be

And yet feels they are dead without the Igbos. 

They are Nigeria, The rest of us envious of Igbo alterity and hunting us with the wrong rungs we took that rubbed us Biafra, now a State of the mind.

I hurts when they say we, the Igbos , blew it and heals as soon as they would say  the Brits gave them back Biafra. They could not have been able to do us in on their own but still feel we should know we lost and deserve no new bridge to Ore.

Do please stop rubbing it in more on us, the Igbos, on our falls and missteps in that war we did not buy.

They were misses that caused us Biafra

And in the death of Biafra, Africa died.

They were last steps on our destined short ladders to eminence that now looks like fathoms with no boundaries and in those Igbo missteps and falls and fades that caused us Biafra, Africa died.

We needed to live and prove we could   be all Africa needed for life and 

We faced steep and rough rungs on a long journey on a ladder we thought to be short and one and food for the state of Biafra, and  

In such wrong takes on superiorly guarded steps on a long pole

The rungs in us we failed to take to the war we could not refuse to buy, 

We made missteps that once again caused us Biafra and in such a sudden death of “Biafra, Africa died”.

In our otherness – the Brits feared and 

The braveness that set the world rocking and Nigeria sweating, we set a pace no other tribes in Nigeria can ever try.

We caused them some night sleep and we made them sweep their sweats at dawns too. 

And in those wills, they in turn caused us Biafra and Africa died.

We spared some hope and held on some bolts on wills that later became limp,

And ladders holding on feathers short of winds and 

Atop the remains of who would be next Igbos, our arms got short and hopes faded and could no more keep our big hearts alive, we left the scene and Africa died.

Dan Akusobi

Note: The title to this poem is also a title to a book “In Biafra, Africa died” by Emefiena Ezeani.


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