I AM NOT NIGERIAN (2)

When the talking drum throws up

Sounds like:

Doh re mi

mi re mi

doh mi mi

re mi

re mi re

Do not pretend to understand

It does not speak your language

It speaks only 

to the one that bears the identity

the one whose feet shuffle gleefully

with abandon when the drum speaks

that one whose waist wriggles

in rhythm to the highs and lows

of “awo oju ilu”*

as every intense touch

calls you home

Omo onIle Alayan*

It is to you that this call is made

Rise up!

Take charge

Claim your identity

Pick up your drum and listen

Send a message to the one whose skin changes

In the fierceness of the sun

Tell him to release my lover

Tell him chant to my lover:

Make your feet come back the way they went, make your legs come back the way they went, plant your feet and your legs below and find your way to Akanke..”

Omo Ayan*

Do not fail in your duty

Let your drum thud in rhythm to my name

That my lover may know

“Oluwakemi…Re mi re mi re

Akanke…doh doh mi

Is the one making the call

Let your drum continue to speak

Until my lover is home again!

Kemibon

*Ayan –god of drums/name of tree used for constructing talking drum shells/wood that talks

*Awo Oju Ilu- goat skin/skin on the face of the drum

*Omo Ayan –The initiated drummers belonging to an Ayan lineage/children of Ayan

Kemibon


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