Trendy Report: A Tribute to Renowned Poet Kofi Awoonor

 

An exerpt from Kofi Awoonor’s poem – This Earth, My Brother

Within the airwaves we carry

Our hutted entrails; and we pray

Shrieks abandoned by lonely road-sides

as the gunmen’s boots tramp.

I lift up the chalice of hyssop and tears

to touch the lips of the thirsty

sky-wailing in a million spires

of hate and death; we pray

bearing the single hope to shine

burnishing in the destiny of my race

that glinting sword of salvation

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The ongoing chaos crippling Nairobi and captivating the world is a tragic affair that has presented a roster of victims, each with a litany of accomplishments and badges of selfless service that spans the global realm.

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Each story tugs at the heart with even force but the loss of Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor is astonishingly debilitating because he was a literary giant who was murdered in cold blood while he was in the middle of another generous trek.

He was 78 years old, and Africans have always revered our elders because with age comes invaluable wisdom.

Awoonor had spent a lifetime nourishing eager minds with his particular brand of genius and penchant for expressive linguistics.

His engaging armor took him from his native domain of Ghana to the studious halls of State University of New York on Long Island where he dazzled his students with a potpourri of medleys systematically delivered with cultural indulgence and scholarly magnetism. He was also able to elevate his career to diplomatic status by serving as the ambassador to the United Nations from 1990 to 1994.

And just like so many of his fiercely vocal compatriots, he served time in prison in defense of his astute political views as it pertained to the allowance of basic human rights.

His death signifies his life long mission to fuel the flames of enlightenment. He was in Nairobi that fateful weekend to fulfill his obligations as an honoree  at a literary festival and he was also basking in the glow of a new book that was just about to make its debut.

Life was good…until that fateful Saturday afternoon when he nonchalantly accompanied his son to the Westgate Mall.

Recruited loyalists of a terrorist sect known as Al-Shabab unceremoniously gunned him down without hesitation and went on to wreck even more havoc.  The hectic bloodbath is presently unfolding without an end in sight.

All that is left is his furnished legacy and the unhinged possibility that in a perfect world the person who pulled the trigger could have been a recipient of his scheduled attendance at a session reading he was planning to attend later that day.

It is never easy to internalize the senseless acts of misguided indigenes, but we can celebrate the fallen and vow to uphold their dignified state.

Kofi Awoonor did not deserve to die the way he did and I have constructed my own words to express my inconceivable grief and dismay on behalf of him and all the victims of the Westgate Mall Massacre.

 

The Day the Town Died – By Ezinne Ukoha

The blue skies and yellow sun antiquated the resounding

vibes of chaos that plummeted the serene tendons that bound

the incessant souls clamoring to drink in the evidence of vibrant incubation.

The heavens devoured the chaotic temperament as uneven traffic shuffled

relentlessly without direction or astute forbearance.

The figures silently populated the stealthy soil and emitted their opulent fragrance

with capturing finesse.

The admiring platelets provided the echoes of screaming alarms

and trumpets of calamity.

The adverse renaissance instituted by sleeves of biblical abhorrence has finally

plagued the unremorseful divide.

It is time to collect but riddles of time did not prepare us

for the ultimate sacrifice.