All posts by Chinwe

Chinwe Azubuike, is a contemporary African Poet regarded as a strong female contemporary voice from Africa, born in Nigeria. An indegene of Imo State, she is the daughter of the late Wisdom Azubuike who served in the Biafran War, and Mary Azubuike, her mother. Chinwe's humble beginnings were a far cry from the literary educated class of poets- born into a relatively poor family. Over the past decade she has gradually crafted her own powerful voice and found a unique style of no-nonsense writing that comes directly from her heart- seeing herself as a spokeswoman for Nigeria's deprived underclass. The bulk of her work, which is reflected in her poetry and writings, focuses on female issues; of love, life and torture with specific references to ethnic family traditions in Nigeria and West Africa. Her meteoric rise in African literary circles came about following a talk she was invited to give on female circumcision for the BBC World Service in 2004. Since then, she has given various readings and spoken candidly on various radio stations in the capital. Her work, which includes a worldwide campaign for women, against the victimization and deprivation of human rights of "the Widow" in Nigeria- an issue borne out of her own bitter experience when her father sadly passed away, has been published in various online publications and offline magazines in London and throughout the world.

#16Days – Onwu Di

 

She dies and…

‘Oh! Take heart’

‘May God comfort you’

‘It’s one of those things’

 

He dies and it’s…

‘Aahh!!!’ ‘She has done her worst!’

Ajoo Nwanyi!

Amuusu!

 

On sick bed,

On wheels,

Beneath the sea,

In the air,

‘She was the cause!!!’

They always say.

 

The other people lament

‘What rubbish!’

‘Such injustice!!’

But to deaf ears they fall.

 

They come in troops

Lazy bones in disguise

To reap where they sowed not

in the name of kinship.

Day by day they saunter in, to cast your lot

And at times, battle over the remnants

Like vultures to the carcass.

 

Di,

Stand up!

Get up from your eternal slumber

and show us your slayer

For your home is falling apart.

Your kinsmen have ravaged your house.

 

Your wife has become a barbarian

Made to drink the juice of your corpse

Stripped of her beauty by her skinned head

Ruffled and tossed like a culprit.

 

They have sentenced her

to a dozen months imprisonment

In the confines of your ancestral home.

They gave her white this time

to cover her nakedness.

A change from the black

that used to be the uniform

 

And until she completes her days,

The light of the sun she dares not see again

Nor witness the joys of the world.

And when that happens,

A second wife we fear she may become.

 

The other people lament again,

‘What rubbish!’

‘Such injustice!!’

Yet to deaf ears they still fall.

 

Your children, we know not their fate

Chased away from your cocoon

Scattered like sheep

Destitute we fear they shall become.

 

Di,

If you do not arise

and prove the innocence of your wife,

Then your home we fear,

is doomed forever.

 

 

 

©  Chinwe Azubuike 2004

Ada

In the Igbo language, Ada is the name given to the first born daughter. Often a suffix is included in the name such as Adanna, Adaaku, Adaeze, Adanma, Adaure. This poem gives praises to the first daughter and the position she plays within the Igbo family and community.

Ada

All over the earth she exists

In every home of the Ibo tribe

And where she is not, she is desired.

The apple of every father’s eye

The pride of every mother

The first daughter.

Looked up to with respect

Precious as gold

Valued like diamond

Cherished like a treasure.

A female! We may lament,

But an epitome of pride.

In the African heritage,

In the Ibo culture.

Addressed with a variety of names

Adanna

Adaaku

Adaeze

Adanma
Adaure

Adaugo

Adaora

Appearance matters not to her

Beautiful or not she is greatly admired.

Tall or short, she stands elegant.

Even if small, she is mighty

Due respect is accorded her.

In a family chagrined with chaos and anarchy,

When all effort to make peace seems futile,

She is sought.

Whether across the seas or in the neighbourhood,

Her presence is hurriedly summoned.

A female warrior!

A commander of respect!

When she speaks amongst her kinsmen,

All is quiet as her voice is heard

And her words of wisdom sink in.

An instrument of peace, to warring parents

And guardian, to erring brethrens

Her words, usually final

She who bears the burden of her siblings

And carries a load often too heavy for her shoulders.

Ever smiling in her sufferings,

And always open-armed to her brethrens.

Always the part, if not full bearer of the family’s brunt

Yet on her wedding day, all benefit from her bounty.

At the death of a father, she is expected

Even when a son exists.

At the death of a mother, ayayah!!! The more interesting

Her presence is demanded at all cost.

No burial takes place except she is seen.

What a wonder!

All is suspended until she arrives and plays her part.

A fascinating scene to be witnessed by alien tribes.

A female! We may lament again.

Yes! A female child

But none measures up to her.

I tell you,

An Ada without these marks is no Ada at all

And should be ashamed of herself.

To you parents who do not value her,

Shame on you!

And you brethrens, who do not know her worth,

Turn over a new leaf!

For no other is like her

None is like her, in your life.

© Chinwe Azubuike

Technorati:

Why? O Val

Why? O Val

That your virtuous immortal celebration

Should be viciously celebrated by mortals.

That this day, revered for kindness, love and joy

Should be tainted with infidelity, deceit and sadness

Why? O Valentine

Should men become philanderers overnight

And infidel spouses?

Engage in unlawful rendezvous with concubines

In the pretext of “being rooted in the line of duty”

All in your name?

Why? O Valentine

Should lovers seize this day

To seek new love

To quench their lustful desires

With new found loves?

Leaving old loves “history”

All in your name?

Why? O Valentine

Should daughters of Eve use this day

To covet all bounties that can be acquired

By tagging LOVE for sale

All in your name?

This day O Valentine

That should be filled with happiness,

Kindness unto strangers,

Joy unto the needy,

Budding love strengthened amore by lovers,

Vowed love toned up by spouses,

Doted love reassured by parents to children.

Yet the reverse seems to be.

All loose on morals,

Uncaring of the consequences.

“I love you” fills the air this day,

“It’s over,” claims the morrow.

A love savoured in lust today,

Has broken a waiting heart somewhere.

O Valentine

Did you live your tenure this way on earth?

Surely your legend portrays not

These immorals that I see

Adultery, Infidelity, Incest

Has usurped your reign.

A lover has grown a false tongue

And betrayed a faithful love.

A spouse, an infidel,

And broken a thriving home.

This day of humanity, love

Genuine love O Valentine,

Now polluted with these

To kill your honour.

“Love is in the air” is always the slogan.

Yet if men were gods,

To see the vices,

That lay beneath this virtue.

Why? O Valentine

Should your feast

Spring forth melancholy

This day of merriment?

Why? O Valentine

New Year musing(s)

New Year, Same Dawn
 
At the stroke of midnight
the shouts of jubilation reach a crescendo
Glasses clink, lips cheer, hands clap
mortals rejoice to bear witness
to the onset of another sequence of time on earth
yet somewhere, at the exact minute, a life departs.
So the new year meets the eyes of waiting hearts.
 
Eventually, day heaves a sigh of tiredness,
shuts her eyes and opens them to a new dawn
Dawn starts the tick of the clock
the clock that counts the figures that sum up,
figures that remind us of our ascent or descent in life
 
Resolutions- never kept, are made
made on spontaneous wishes of our fantasies
fantasies that blind our eyes
to those special sides of us-
that only need attention to blossom
still, dawn stays the same,
but it’s a new year.
 
************************************************************
 
Happy New Year to you all, and wish you all that you desire.
 
PS:  Being happy does not mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections of life.
 

Violence Against Women

An opportunity to say NO!!!

Women, whereever they are, irrespective of race, culture and religion encounter violence.
According to the United Nations, Violence Against Women can be defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

As a follow up, a variety of programs was set up by governments and organizations to actively work to combat violence against women. Then, a UN resolution designated November 25th as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Yet, inspite of all the campaigns and struggles to eliminate this offensive act against women- even when modern laws exist to prevent these abuses, ignorance of the law, or cultural habits, impede access.

Having being subjected to a terrible form of violence with my mother and family, I strongly encourage you all to contribute as much as you can with your blogs on this topic from today onwards.

This is our chance to say No!!!

No! to Victimization
No! to sexual assault
No! to denial of human rights
No! to discrimination

NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN !!!