Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

When the revolution spoke

Enlarge poem

Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

I was born to black Nigerian parents of lowly means
Poverty, lack and squalor, I know very well what they mean
I was born into the crowd, an insignificant statistic amongst the masses
watching the economy dwindle, eroding the middle class
observing my folks choose between the upper or lower classes
I was raised up on these streets
so I’m privy to its sorrows, its pains and its tears
I’m privy to the retired sergeant in a one room shack crowded with kids,
awaiting pension, a symbol of wasted years
I’m privy to disillusioned youths,
in pursuit of loot
brandishing rebellion, holding distorted perceptions of life and truth
On the streets I see the apprentice mechanic, the street hawker, the tout
kids only in their teens
all hopes of an education are now ghosts,
languishing in the graveyard of dead dreams
I see the petty trader and oh yes she looks distressed
she’s the mother of five barely spaced kids and she can’t handle the stress
Her man is a danfo driver
but the routes are filled with police and area boys so each day he comes back with less
Can somebody please tell me where to find opportunity!
Because he’s hardly seen or recognized amongst the masses, where I’m from
Where
misery is sung
by the tongue of the old and the young
John couldn’t gain employment with his first degree
so he killed his conscience and employed a gun
Here
greed and lust conspire against the poor
to convert their daughters into shameless whores
These things I saw
These pains I bore
In fellowship with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Growing up on these ghetto streets I’ve seen it all
I remember friends who thought school ‘un-cool’
plus they couldn’t afford it, so they chose to gamble on football
But many games have since been played
many years gone by and I still can’t find them
I guess they never made…
I guess they never made it
Just like their folks and the others I remember growing with
on these ghetto streets
No!
these ghetto graveyards
where lives are wasted and dreams are buried
my wife says, “Honey don’t be worried,
our generation will change it
we’ll right the wrongs of our fathers, shake off the inertia of our mothers
we won’t recycle the same sh*t”
Excuse my language
but I’m still trying to believe her
I’m still hoping we deliver
still hoping we sober enough to do it
still hoping we wise and clever enough to go through it
still hoping we realize we need much more than entertainers
‘cos when oil meets its nemesis in alternative fuel
we’ll need much more than booty shaking videos and meaningless songs to sustain us
Friends the onus rests upon us
so let our talking and our doings
rebuild the old ruins
for that is what the task is
And I’m still hoping my kids don’t get to see
These things I saw
don’t get to bear these pains I bore
In fellowship, with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Efe Paul Azino

Featured Poem:

Words

Enlarge poem

In the beginning it was
in the beginning of the world
and in the beginning of my world
Words
have always been there
i fell in love with them as a little boy
that little skinny kid
the other boys thought strange cos he easily got bored
when they played with toys
i found joy rather in
Words
i pondered, tasted, wrestled, cherished
Words
truly words have been faithful to me
when i found her and desperately needed to express my love
Words
came to the rescue
i read them them when i fear
i speak them in despair
i take them with me everywhere
and so when i urged to speak a poem, i couldn’t help but share
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
armies have mustered on the strength of ’em
Words
wielded by dictators have made bombs drop
guns pop
and forced the ground to swallow innocent blood
Words
spoken by saints and diplomats have caused warring parties to sheath their swords
Words
my long lost love
my new found ‘i can never do without you’
Words keep my bills paid so to words i’ll always be true
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
how often we despise the strength of ’em
by faith we understand that the worlds
were framed by
Words
so if words create, and indeed they do
then take them with you and create a better union between your spouse and you
use them rightly on your kids
and watch them sprout like well watered seeds
Let them
convey respect to everyone you meet
Let them
serve as a conduit
to pass encouragement to the poor and the needy
Let them
inspire insurrection against political highway men the corrupt and the greedy
Words
are colorless, without gender or race
so take them with you
and make the world a better place
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
this poem is an ode to the strength of ’em

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (6)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

  1. I met Efe Paul Azino at Aké-Festival: I liked his poem:
    “This is not a political poem” and I would like to read it again!!!!

    Vera Botterbusch

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Born and raised on the sub-urban streets of Lagos, Efe Paul Azino has evolved a poetry uniquely his own. His poems are welcomed in the realm of academia and acclaimed on the streets.

Widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many of the nation’s premier performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. For over a decade, Efe has continued to deliver Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally, gracing platforms at seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, community development fora, as well as churches.

Reflecting the sufferings evident in numerous African societies and the hope that keeps them going, Efe Paul’s poems resonate with the high and the low, cutting across social and religious boundaries. His poems are centered on socio-economic and political themes and are enhanced by a strong voice, keeping his audiences entranced for the full length of his performances.

A one-time member of the Editorial Board of The Effective Manager Monthly, pioneer Editor of Mageuzi Magazine and Next Generation, a monthly Newspaper dedicated to raising youth awareness on socio-economic and political issues, Efe Paul is a vital contributor to national discourse and his essays are featured in national and international dailies and journals. A curious student of life, his readings and learning span various disciplines.

The voice of a generation, a seeker and speaker of truth, an entertaining poet and performer, Efe Paul leads a generation of poets in successfully lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and making it accessible to the people.

Efe Paul Azino

Biography

Born and raised on the sub-urban streets of Lagos, Efe Paul Azino has evolved a poetry uniquely his own. His poems are welcomed in the realm of academia and acclaimed on the streets.

Widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many of the nation’s premier performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. For over a decade, Efe has continued to deliver Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally, gracing platforms at seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, community development fora, as well as churches.

Reflecting the sufferings evident in numerous African societies and the hope that keeps them going, Efe Paul’s poems resonate with the high and the low, cutting across social and religious boundaries. His poems are centered on socio-economic and political themes and are enhanced by a strong voice, keeping his audiences entranced for the full length of his performances.

A one-time member of the Editorial Board of The Effective Manager Monthly, pioneer Editor of Mageuzi Magazine and Next Generation, a monthly Newspaper dedicated to raising youth awareness on socio-economic and political issues, Efe Paul is a vital contributor to national discourse and his essays are featured in national and international dailies and journals. A curious student of life, his readings and learning span various disciplines.

The voice of a generation, a seeker and speaker of truth, an entertaining poet and performer, Efe Paul leads a generation of poets in successfully lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and making it accessible to the people.

When the revolution spoke

Enlarge poem

Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

I was born to black Nigerian parents of lowly means
Poverty, lack and squalor, I know very well what they mean
I was born into the crowd, an insignificant statistic amongst the masses
watching the economy dwindle, eroding the middle class
observing my folks choose between the upper or lower classes
I was raised up on these streets
so I’m privy to its sorrows, its pains and its tears
I’m privy to the retired sergeant in a one room shack crowded with kids,
awaiting pension, a symbol of wasted years
I’m privy to disillusioned youths,
in pursuit of loot
brandishing rebellion, holding distorted perceptions of life and truth
On the streets I see the apprentice mechanic, the street hawker, the tout
kids only in their teens
all hopes of an education are now ghosts,
languishing in the graveyard of dead dreams
I see the petty trader and oh yes she looks distressed
she’s the mother of five barely spaced kids and she can’t handle the stress
Her man is a danfo driver
but the routes are filled with police and area boys so each day he comes back with less
Can somebody please tell me where to find opportunity!
Because he’s hardly seen or recognized amongst the masses, where I’m from
Where
misery is sung
by the tongue of the old and the young
John couldn’t gain employment with his first degree
so he killed his conscience and employed a gun
Here
greed and lust conspire against the poor
to convert their daughters into shameless whores
These things I saw
These pains I bore
In fellowship with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Growing up on these ghetto streets I’ve seen it all
I remember friends who thought school ‘un-cool’
plus they couldn’t afford it, so they chose to gamble on football
But many games have since been played
many years gone by and I still can’t find them
I guess they never made…
I guess they never made it
Just like their folks and the others I remember growing with
on these ghetto streets
No!
these ghetto graveyards
where lives are wasted and dreams are buried
my wife says, “Honey don’t be worried,
our generation will change it
we’ll right the wrongs of our fathers, shake off the inertia of our mothers
we won’t recycle the same sh*t”
Excuse my language
but I’m still trying to believe her
I’m still hoping we deliver
still hoping we sober enough to do it
still hoping we wise and clever enough to go through it
still hoping we realize we need much more than entertainers
‘cos when oil meets its nemesis in alternative fuel
we’ll need much more than booty shaking videos and meaningless songs to sustain us
Friends the onus rests upon us
so let our talking and our doings
rebuild the old ruins
for that is what the task is
And I’m still hoping my kids don’t get to see
These things I saw
don’t get to bear these pains I bore
In fellowship, with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Featured Poem:

Words

Enlarge poem

In the beginning it was
in the beginning of the world
and in the beginning of my world
Words
have always been there
i fell in love with them as a little boy
that little skinny kid
the other boys thought strange cos he easily got bored
when they played with toys
i found joy rather in
Words
i pondered, tasted, wrestled, cherished
Words
truly words have been faithful to me
when i found her and desperately needed to express my love
Words
came to the rescue
i read them them when i fear
i speak them in despair
i take them with me everywhere
and so when i urged to speak a poem, i couldn’t help but share
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
armies have mustered on the strength of ’em
Words
wielded by dictators have made bombs drop
guns pop
and forced the ground to swallow innocent blood
Words
spoken by saints and diplomats have caused warring parties to sheath their swords
Words
my long lost love
my new found ‘i can never do without you’
Words keep my bills paid so to words i’ll always be true
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
how often we despise the strength of ’em
by faith we understand that the worlds
were framed by
Words
so if words create, and indeed they do
then take them with you and create a better union between your spouse and you
use them rightly on your kids
and watch them sprout like well watered seeds
Let them
convey respect to everyone you meet
Let them
serve as a conduit
to pass encouragement to the poor and the needy
Let them
inspire insurrection against political highway men the corrupt and the greedy
Words
are colorless, without gender or race
so take them with you
and make the world a better place
Words
the power, the depth, the length of ’em
this poem is an ode to the strength of ’em

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (6)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

When the revolution spoke

Enlarge poem

Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

I was born to black Nigerian parents of lowly means
Poverty, lack and squalor, I know very well what they mean
I was born into the crowd, an insignificant statistic amongst the masses
watching the economy dwindle, eroding the middle class
observing my folks choose between the upper or lower classes
I was raised up on these streets
so I’m privy to its sorrows, its pains and its tears
I’m privy to the retired sergeant in a one room shack crowded with kids,
awaiting pension, a symbol of wasted years
I’m privy to disillusioned youths,
in pursuit of loot
brandishing rebellion, holding distorted perceptions of life and truth
On the streets I see the apprentice mechanic, the street hawker, the tout
kids only in their teens
all hopes of an education are now ghosts,
languishing in the graveyard of dead dreams
I see the petty trader and oh yes she looks distressed
she’s the mother of five barely spaced kids and she can’t handle the stress
Her man is a danfo driver
but the routes are filled with police and area boys so each day he comes back with less
Can somebody please tell me where to find opportunity!
Because he’s hardly seen or recognized amongst the masses, where I’m from
Where
misery is sung
by the tongue of the old and the young
John couldn’t gain employment with his first degree
so he killed his conscience and employed a gun
Here
greed and lust conspire against the poor
to convert their daughters into shameless whores
These things I saw
These pains I bore
In fellowship with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Growing up on these ghetto streets I’ve seen it all
I remember friends who thought school ‘un-cool’
plus they couldn’t afford it, so they chose to gamble on football
But many games have since been played
many years gone by and I still can’t find them
I guess they never made…
I guess they never made it
Just like their folks and the others I remember growing with
on these ghetto streets
No!
these ghetto graveyards
where lives are wasted and dreams are buried
my wife says, “Honey don’t be worried,
our generation will change it
we’ll right the wrongs of our fathers, shake off the inertia of our mothers
we won’t recycle the same sh*t”
Excuse my language
but I’m still trying to believe her
I’m still hoping we deliver
still hoping we sober enough to do it
still hoping we wise and clever enough to go through it
still hoping we realize we need much more than entertainers
‘cos when oil meets its nemesis in alternative fuel
we’ll need much more than booty shaking videos and meaningless songs to sustain us
Friends the onus rests upon us
so let our talking and our doings
rebuild the old ruins
for that is what the task is
And I’m still hoping my kids don’t get to see
These things I saw
don’t get to bear these pains I bore
In fellowship, with the masses

When the revolution spoke
Blind minds open
You can’t stop the word being spoken
When the revolution spoke
The comedians couldn’t joke, even the rich felt broke
When the revolution spoke
They said it was treason
But couldn’t jail the rhyme without a reason
When the revolution spoke
One million youths marching
All in their path they’re smashing

Comments

  1. I met Efe Paul Azino at Aké-Festival: I liked his poem:
    “This is not a political poem” and I would like to read it again!!!!

    Vera Botterbusch

Your email address will not be published.