Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Segun Lee French

Featured Poem:

Fela

Enlarge poem

Spliff like a log, yr head in a halo,
ancestors hang around yr shoulders
like smoke, a bushman agbada.
Fela! The barbwire heart of Afrika
in skintight gold lame.
No animal wears that skin.
Akuba (Oranyan)
O egungun in straw expanding infinite heads,
unmasking liars & cheats & snakes & crocodiles,
putting the funk into zombies & slave dictators
animals in human skin, animals in human skin
Run from Fela, run!
He who carries death in his pocket/
who hides smoke in his shit/
who lifts millions in his underpants/
Akuba (Oranyan)
Ride the organ under yr fingers
preaches truth.
Yr sax blurts & farts & screeches truth.
The buzz saw zzzzzzzzzz in yr throat tears lies from the air
& teaches truth.
Phat & fresh green smoking truth.
No animals in yr skin.
You taught us how to be a man
when all around are beasts of burden,
slaves to the riddim of the petrol
cancan:
dash me something
dash me naira
dash me sterling
dash me contracts I go never complete
you taught us how to say no to a million dollars,
because the spirits told you so.
Akuba (Oranyan)
Sweat balls yr forehead & you stamp
down demons in armoured limousines,
never tire of baiting with yr words.
Yab dem Fela yab dem!
Never sell out! Never a saint!
What use to people a man without sin?
Better yr flawed arrogance,
the flayed beauty of truth,
a goldleaf icon torn & used as roach,
a purple plastic cup with yr face stenciled black
president.
Akuba (Oranyan)

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Biography

Nigerian-Mancunian Segun is a singer, poet, producer/composer, playwright, film-maker & club promoter, founder member of Manchester’s Speakeasy People poetry collective. As singer for cult triphop band, Earthling, Segun has performed on MTV, BBC1, VH1 & Canal 5.

As a poet and playwright, Segun’s work has been commissioned for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and RadioManchester. Segun’s debut solo show, Bro 9 at Contact Theatre, won Best Fringe Performer & Best Design in the prestigious Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards. In autumn 2005, Segun was nominated for the Arts Foundation Performance Poetry award. Segun’s first poetry collection, Praise Songs for Aliens was published by Suitcase Press in October 2009.

Segun Lee French

Biography

Nigerian-Mancunian Segun is a singer, poet, producer/composer, playwright, film-maker & club promoter, founder member of Manchester’s Speakeasy People poetry collective. As singer for cult triphop band, Earthling, Segun has performed on MTV, BBC1, VH1 & Canal 5.

As a poet and playwright, Segun’s work has been commissioned for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and RadioManchester. Segun’s debut solo show, Bro 9 at Contact Theatre, won Best Fringe Performer & Best Design in the prestigious Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards. In autumn 2005, Segun was nominated for the Arts Foundation Performance Poetry award. Segun’s first poetry collection, Praise Songs for Aliens was published by Suitcase Press in October 2009.

Featured Poem:

Fela

Enlarge poem

Spliff like a log, yr head in a halo,
ancestors hang around yr shoulders
like smoke, a bushman agbada.
Fela! The barbwire heart of Afrika
in skintight gold lame.
No animal wears that skin.
Akuba (Oranyan)
O egungun in straw expanding infinite heads,
unmasking liars & cheats & snakes & crocodiles,
putting the funk into zombies & slave dictators
animals in human skin, animals in human skin
Run from Fela, run!
He who carries death in his pocket/
who hides smoke in his shit/
who lifts millions in his underpants/
Akuba (Oranyan)
Ride the organ under yr fingers
preaches truth.
Yr sax blurts & farts & screeches truth.
The buzz saw zzzzzzzzzz in yr throat tears lies from the air
& teaches truth.
Phat & fresh green smoking truth.
No animals in yr skin.
You taught us how to be a man
when all around are beasts of burden,
slaves to the riddim of the petrol
cancan:
dash me something
dash me naira
dash me sterling
dash me contracts I go never complete
you taught us how to say no to a million dollars,
because the spirits told you so.
Akuba (Oranyan)
Sweat balls yr forehead & you stamp
down demons in armoured limousines,
never tire of baiting with yr words.
Yab dem Fela yab dem!
Never sell out! Never a saint!
What use to people a man without sin?
Better yr flawed arrogance,
the flayed beauty of truth,
a goldleaf icon torn & used as roach,
a purple plastic cup with yr face stenciled black
president.
Akuba (Oranyan)

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

Your email address will not be published.