From Lasisi, a song for Jahman

Phenomenal
4 Min Read

YOU ARE QUICK TO SEE THE SUN IN A BUDDING VOICE (For Jahman Anikulapo)
By Akeem Lasisi

Since Olosunta has crowned you the most committed priest
What else can I sing
Other than take the litotes to history bank,
Since the gods have attested to your devotion to the dignity of the arts
What else can I chant
Other than tap anointing from your durable faith?

When the sophomore painter had no canvas
You said he should sketch his dream upon your palms.
Because nothing moves you like the nectar of a tender talent
You love to see a Grammys grow from the nails of a guitar boy
From iconic Nwelue to Nubia and a thousand more
You are quick to see the sun in a budding voice

Nurtured by conscience,
Nurtured by your dissidence
The Guardian covered my nascent tongue
But for Labaf my pen might have been a star in a terminal dark
It wasn’t until iRep gave the green horn a rainbow space
That I moved my story onto the docu screen.

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At a time they ganged up against the clay
You put the potter on the cover page
When they moved to nullify our ritual steps
You splashed the dance on the centrespread
The ears of the throne are deaf against grants
But you are never tired of salivating for endowment rites

No matter how long the long list
You say a robust reading must harbinger the Nigeria Prize
When Cona fails you
You seek an ally for Cora tunes
Where AWON flounders in the marathon race
You rally advocates for caucus moves

Mentor of the green, disciple of the grey
Bonding with galleries, romancing the stage
Battling the ticks and thorny pirates
You stood with Nollywood since the Rattling days
From MUSON to O’jez to Freedom Park
Custodian of the Vision of the Child, ebullient parrot at the Elders’ Nights

Whoever needs in you a violent foe
Let him soil the Eyo’s snow-white mask,
Break a finger of Amadioha’s statue
Or de-leaf the tiniest tree in the heritage vineyard
Whoever wants to smell his burning hair
Should tear the garment of the drummer boy

When they wanted to sell the General’s Cap
You were the first to call the gods to a stampede
You said if the ghouls had their way too cheaply with the FESTAC testament
Whatever befell the Theatre would befall the museum
You said if we allowed the buffalos to swallow the Jabi lake
The Lagoon might turn a delicacy for their mega throats

Now since Olosunta has crowned you the most committed priest
What else can I sing
Other than take the litotes to history bank,
Since the gods have attested to your devotion to the dignity of the arts, Jahman
What else can I chant
Other than tap anointing from your durable faith?

WATCH: Lasisi’s ORI AGBE, for Wole Soyinka

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