by Ikeoluwa Rickett
I thought you were synonymous with humility and wisdom,
Because your fruit bear semblance with them,
They told me you were healthy to have as part of life,
But now I know it’s all a lie.
You are known everywhere,
People call you different names to make you sound sweet,
But then, I know it’s all but a trick,
Fear, part with you I will.
You teach me to be quiet when I should speak,
To cringe and accept what ought not to be taken,
In hope that one day things will change,
False hope you bring me,
Telling me to depend on others to act for me,
Yet, you never thought me to act or take a stand.
O fear, I have had enough.
You capitalize on my weaknesses,
As if there is no good in me,
You underestimate my capacities and I believed you,
I exchanged my dignity for bread,
I let down my guards and principles thanks to you,
You teach me to lie because I’m scared,
Subtly you hold sway over my life,
Telling me it is wisdom to hide and be overridden,
You always give me a reason to lay low- for the sake
Of my children, family, life, the future
But at the end of the day, you rob me of it all,
I become empty and spent of all things,
Eru, grip me no more!
Yes, that is what you are- a weight,
My fathers made no mistake when they gave you that name,
I should have known- you and your kindred,
Eru (fear), eru (slave), and eru (weight) – give one a chance,
And you all come in,
My life has been an abode for you for so long,
But not again! It’s been too long- your hold.
My fathers also thought me ekun l’omo ekun jo,
I wonder why you have been so magnified these days,
Perhaps the pride of ekun has been destroyed,
Because of bread, ekun (lion) failed to protect his wives and cubs,
For even now, those before us, and the privileged ones put us to fear
The so called ekun today give their children away,
Amass all the wealth to protect themselves,
And the whole pride is lost.
I know you have always feared for this day,
You know I’ve always been stronger,
That is why you tried to hold me down,
And now I will arise, may be not as omo ekun (cub),
But the day the horned animal finds courage to stand against ekun,
Then, will it realize the strength of its horn.
I shall take hold of what rightfully belongs to me,
Fight you with every sweat and blood in me,
For now I know you are a foe and not for me,
I will put aside your cloak of misery,
Burn every trace of you in me to ashes,
Confront every situation with every ounce of strength in me,
Yes, my strength went nowhere; it was always in me,
And I will rather die than have you hold me again.
It is when we all confront our fears,
That we find the power to change our state,
And only then are we ready for the long awaited change.
This article was first published on Paarapo.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.