He wrote to Set the Continent Free – A song for Chinua Achebe


He Wrote to set the Continent Free (For Chinua Achebe)

By Akeem Lasisi

Show me the ageless king
With a wealth of diamonds and infinite swords
That has held the throne for a donkey’s years

Show the poet the beauty queen
That has ruled the stage for a decade more.
But at the feet of an African bard

The world has worshipped for fifty moons;
On the breast of his African tale
The world is sucking till kingdom come

When the angels came from across the sea
They said they saw in our innocent clan
A world that walked atop its head

Conrad was excellent in the art of the tale
Saw our ancestors abandon their huts
Abandon their huts to live on trees

Instead of heeding beckons of untainted girls
They wedded monkeys
In public glare.

But when they said unlike in London the land of lilies,
Where heaven glowed with a million moons,
That the sky in our village bore charcoal and blood

Eagle on the giant Iroko,
He composed his anger into a sacred tale
He wrote to set the continent free.

History itself was a racial fraud
Until he wrote our way into post-modernist light
When they said the earth was round in Ireland

But an oblong contraption in Efikland
He awakened our idioms,
Raised the pedigrees of our proverbs

When he discovered our name was missing
In their book of life
He wrote to set the continent free.

Composed when THINGS FALL APART clocked 50