Bring Back Yesterday – Poem by Babatunde Raimi

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“Ojo n ro”
“Se re ninu ile”
As HE opened the windows of heaven
To pour us showers
It took me to memory lane

Dancing and playing in the rain
With multi-coloured and patched knickers
Those days were awesome
When boys were boys

The girls engaged in “Tente” and “Suwe”
Sometimes we played Mummy and Daddy
We retired to the nearest house
To recharge with a plate of “Eba”

Then we had houses without walls
My mother was your mother
My father your father
Now, you are wearing a smile

Walk with me through memory lane
The evenings were for adults
As they enjoyed “Behind The Cloud”
Village Headmaster was their favourite

Theatrically, Chief Elehinmi was dexterous
Not forgetting The New Masquerade
Zebrudaya and Ovuleria were a case
Clarus and Giringory played the clown
While Jegede Shokoya ices the cake

Those times were precious
Memorable and fun-filed
If you missed “Things Fall Apart”
You have missed our past

Written by Africa’s finest literary icon
A story that chronicles our culture
Long before colonial distruptions
Thank you Chinua Achebe

How could Okonkwo sacrifice Ikemefuna
Why did HE not provide a lamb?
As HE did in the place of Joseph
Does the innocent have to die
For the good of the entire land

I pen this piece because i am sad
Desirous to lead a good centred life
Old fashioned behind time
Maybe it will help connect the dots
As to why love is lost

Born close to four decades ago?
You sure should feel the pain in my heart
Then we leanrt moral instructions
Our history was a core in our curriculum

We upheld our religious tenents
We stood up for elders in “Molue”
We prostrated as a sign of obeisance
We used slates and not pads

We did arithmetic without calculators
We preached peace and not division
Divorce was not an option
Suicidal instincts were non-existent

Today, the story is changed
Because we forgot history
The bedrock of our future
We silenced Biafra
Tranquilized the struggles of heroes past

What are we afraid of?
Fear of the unknown?
Harboured by the selfish twenty percent
Lording over helpless eighty percent

But wait!
We are close to the wall
Just like Hezekiah was
And his prayers were answered

A new Army is rising
We will not go conventional
For a pen is mightier than the sword
We will crusade our cause
And if it takes our life
We would die as Martyrs

Martyrs against nepotism
Corruption and self aggrandizement
With or voice we will engage
Engaging in line with acceptable standards

As the rain falls
Should it not bring goodness?
In a continent flowing with opportunities
Instead it grows thorns

My people have been subjugated
Conquered and oppressed
Repressed and intimidated
But not anymore

Join me in this crusade
Vote out corruption
Stamp out poverty on our continent
Give our generation a voice

All you need is to stand right
And the next person stands right
That others see you and stand right
Only then can we reclaim Africa

It may cost you your valuable
It could lead to your transition
But watch and do nothing
And see how our generation is wiped out

If you feign indifference
You are a part of the problem
We will not wait for history
We will rewrite it
That our legacies lives forever

I miss the good old days
When integrity and excellence were core
I miss yesterday
I miss tales by moonlight

Each time i remember my father
A just and upright man
Who died for a cause he believed in
He reminds me of who i am

The time is now
The batton is passed
Let us reclaim Africa
That our glorious future
Be not determined by charlatans

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