THE VILLAGE THINKERS POETRY HONORARY AWARDS
After a hurdling task of fishing out the best poets(eases) and poetry ‘manufacturers’ of pure African poetry writing, THE VILLAGE THINKERS, presents to you the honorary awadees for the maiden edition of its Honorary Poetry Awards for year 2015.
WINNERS AND WINNING POEMS
Winner: Ehizogie Iyeomoan
(A brilliant Nigerian Poet)
Poem: “Fulani Boy”
In a manger he was born,
in the midst of endangered peace,
in the season of turban-faced boy
shiding under stained napkins of religion.
By a single-mom he was raised
after papa’s blood soaked the earth.
”He was hit by a blind bomb”so said a frightened eye witness.
“I didn’t see the shrapnel,
just his head lying next to his frame
after the blast that blanked stares
and blurred the sense of reason.
”He was raised out of inheritance-a herd of cattle, a mud castle
and a bag full of pebbles
picked from papa’s death bed.
He soon became a manat a green age of fourteen
when he fought intruders
with his mosquito-like hands off mummy’s weak frame.
They wanted to get into her vanlike they ride onothers.No one is safe. Not even safety!After the fight, he lost his sightand life’s blanket became thin.
He asked for a flute to blow away his sorrow,
rather than stay muteto the new forms, shapes and figures.
He is now seen in markets,
without a cow; without a mud castle,
but with a bamboo flute,
piping soluble songs from his heavy heart
to fill the void of a lifetime.
**Best speaking poem
Winner: Abelumkemah Berthrand
(A Ghanaian poetry seed)
Hear the howling hiccups of the forests,
And wake to the weeping wails of souls
That sway our souls to muting solos;
The longing cries for motherhood,
The calling voices of sister captives in bondage.
Cain had his day in the fields so that the funerals of humanity will be held in the bush;
Jungle apes will hum and hum our dirges.
Who will fight for the feminine?
Who will bring home our daughters?
The secret of virginity is leaked by bandits,
The pride of womanhood is mocked in the wilderness, and
The sacred bead of humanity seen by a beaver!
O Mandela Mandiba!
The things you said have been unsaid and the peace preached pierced in pieces, and feed the blazing flames!
O goddess, o sea, o sky,
Sanctity is soiled
Earth is eerie
The pride of womanhood…
© Abelumkemah Bertrand
**Identity inclined poet
Winner: Kofi Acquah Nelson Eduful
(A young poet from Ghana)
Poem: “And so they came”
And so they came
Fumbling at the sea shore
Though we held the sword
When the red birds were seen
Evolving through the horizon that sat on the sea
Cannons with cannon balls
Intact for her shots_____
Far away from the breeze!——-
Birds split and dodged!
These birds came in
To throw dust into our eyes
Yes! The indigene weavers of our own ”kɛntsɛn”
Yes, The indigene walkers of our own miles
Yes, the indigene interpreters of our own verse
Oh yes, the indigene viewers of our own night
They sang lullubies to beat our ear drums
So it overtook
The ignorance of the native innocent hunter
And sack’d the rat from her own hole
To run whiles Fo hot sunshine
And took the ”akofena” by the teeth.
To count their number,
These dynamite filled red birds that
Ate almost all the rice in the farm on the Endowed land by ”ɔboadze”
Would mount to seeding gravels in ones throat.
Ah, anna sɛ yeyim a—–
Nkyɛ yɛrenfa egudzi yi nyina nkɛgye itur na paanoo na nkyen
ɔnye dza ɔkeka ho!
But as I pour the water from the ”ɛhina”,
I could see the white teeth of the land
For at least,
hɛn asaase yi
Could now read many of that encoded messages of these red birds!
© Kofi Acquah
**Africa’s eyes of poetry
Winner: Agyei Sarpong Kumankoma
(A young poet from Ghana)
In those days..
White faced–yet faceless
Monsters sat behind
The evil walls of their
Their eyes flamed red
In envy to char
the beauty Of Africa—-
Their lips carved
An ugly image of Africa
And their hearts
Swell painfully with
Hateful air to trumpet
Demeaning anthems for Africa—–
Africa’s conflicts to
Blaze wilder and devour
And called her
The land of undying wars
Africa of her wealth
And built their cities of gold
The location of hell
And nicknamed her the land
Of eternal torments
The beauty of
The Sahara and the Kalahari
And her Savannahs
Their fathers married her Safari
The reason why they
Called her the land of drought
Whiles her rainforests
Drank a million million
Gallons of rains
In a second—-
They saw her villages
Dance in the heart of
Apes and Monkeys
Inhabiting tree tops
But none called
Africans eat wisely their
And never got obese
So they called them
Over her wasted womb—-
O her children–blinded—
Bound by deceitful chains
In a dark dungeon
They knew her not……
(The voice of the African Child)
Woka ntam gu amenam
A woto ne barima
Mama your tears
Travelled to the dungeon
To eat away my
In it I have swam to you
Your tears have
Broken down their walls
exposed to daylight
I have come to dry your tears
To sing your goodness
Which the aliens
Knew but uttered it altered
To every liver
There is attached
Bitingly bitter bile—-
O children of Africa
No more shall
Africa’s plenty be called famine
No longer shall
Our peace be called war
We shall no more
See the poverty in our riches
To every liver
There is attached
Taste killing bile
O children of Africa
Shall our souls
Be held captive by their lies
No longer shall
we see disease as our
We shall forever sing
I have come to dry your
Cry no more
To every liver
Mama I shall
Make the delight
In your liver conquer
The atmosphere of
(This poem can
Never be ended
Let me leave it abandoned)
© Sarpong Kumankoma
**Order of the village
Winner: Nene Tetteh Adusu–Tetteh~d~Muse
Poem: “Scattered reflections on a land”
Scattered reflections on a land
Akɛɛ tsina baashi ekpeɔ jwɛi shi kɛji tsina bashi ekpe tɛ pɛ
Na ole ak3 no ko kaaa gbɛ.
that grows my umbilical cord,
Hear me pour words to you as libation.
Hear me raise billows of rains
Wavering in the storm
like palm fonds on the ancestral land.
O’ land of my mother, my motherland
Hear me sing my tears in this Lalawiemɔ.
yet I’m reminded of my blessings and fortunes.
The blessing of peace
and the fortunes of freedom and justice,
where is the freedom and justice
When the truth is argued and shot and not what it is.
I’m sick in my stomach!
I have no peace in my stomach!
Hunger frays my being,
The war of starvation kills than the sword
For a peaceful stomach swings the sword well.
My head is sick
It lacks the peace of mind
When the sun fires my head
And evaporates the little i grasp in school.
I’m fortunate to sit on the ground
And write in the earth, the mind
Of my dropped out student teacher.
My society is sick!
Self has won the war with community,
Thrown the communal philosophy,
I am because we are, out
Out through the window
To a mountain below
So on we march on Obetsebi’s skin like its 28 February
On we march to the reassurance of nothing!
My country is sick!
My leaders don’t serve the populace
They think they just favouring us
With every initiative they take
For yesterday’s administration did nothing about it
So i should hail their trial.
My people have no peace!
Street lights are edifices in the day
And robbery accomplices at night.
Its all about self!
Police barriers are set solely for collection
As though they preach the word on the street
And our security is for the wind to tell.
The starved poor steals food,
The filled rich steals millions,
Justice drinks with the latter…
We have trespassed the land of the sacred
And here we sit, unflustered,
With our hands between our thighs,
Waiting for Sacredness to show its face
Whereas our brains do not forbear its presence.
We tickle ourselves and laugh,
We do not know
That it’s a test given by the Sacred
For us to test the Sacred?
It’s a test given by the Sacred for you to test it-
And you failed!
Ni afliŋ kome egbɛɛɛ,
A single bead does not juggle!
Before “then” becomes “Now”,
Lift that grouchy self up
Before the foul corn you have sown
is picked up by the ancestral hen.
One Black Sir opined-
i have freedom of speech
But do i have freedom after speech?
I pray i have that
If a Mayor does not pick me up
For speaking these words,
Its faith in Faith that keeps the faithful…
My people just obey their Maker, and
HE has made humility and patience their family,
We are Graced in Disgrace!
© Nene Tetteh Adusu
**Bearer of the sword of truth
Winner: Oswald George Okaitei
Poem: “Oath of a sailor”
Oath of a sailor
The roars of the constellations,
I shall walk
My feet to the shores of my sovereignty…
Ride the staggering billows
In the shadows
Of death amid the tempest toss to my dream:
Not know wane nor weakness
Nor fall at the feet
Of their slaying buccals raised to ‘dagger’ my dream…
Not seek the consoling arms of idleness
Or of procrastination
Nor fall at the blow of the storm…
Not betray my king though;
Stay by his side into the arms of death…
Death has come near in the day—
During the reign
Of the sun—
I shall not retreat;
I shall still persevere to the acme of the plot…
I shall prefer to die on my feet—
Not crawl on my knees in servitude
© Oswald Okaitei
**Honorary conferment (distinguished elders)
Winners: For supporting this dream
(A distinguished poetess from the USA)
(A distinguished poet from Nigeria)
–Isaac Adjei Boateng–IkeBoatThePoet
(A distinguished poet from Ghana)
**Voice of old
Winner: Koo Kumi William DuBois
(A poetic seed from Ghana)
Poem: “Lost foot prints”
Lost foot prints
A warrior returns
Like a shameful dog I walk
Like a hungry angry weak lion I roar
Standing at the cross roads to home
Time have rubbed mud in the face of sun
So a true son blinded in exile suffers his way home
Am standing at the cross roads of home
A warrior returns home to drink from the breast of his mother’s calabash
The way home has chameleon(ed)
Its been long since I eat from the womb of my mother
The lost traveler is backHe forgot his flute
When one forgets the songs that walks him
off the evil forest
The dwarfs dances to his silence for a stay
“Akwantu mu nsɛm sɛm
Me kopɛ brebi a bɛ de…”
As the animal kingdom has no talebearer,
the tales of hunting will forever praise the hunter
© Koo Kumi William
**Soul of Asaase Yaa
Winner: Bilobi Jentina Delphina–Asaase Yaa–
(A brilliant cultural poetess from Ghana)
Poem: “Meyɛ Asanteni”
From the lineage of Osei Tutu the first
Truimph over the shades of night
Dayspring from on high be near
Daystar in my heart appear whenever l hear your voice so dear
And this is you Osei Tutu the first.
ɔsebɔ hoɔdenfoɔ a ɔde tete nyansahoma nwene me hyɛbrɛ ne nkrabea hyɛɛ atanfo aniwuo san ma wɔn tirim pɔ dane faa wɔn so
Yei nti, ɔyoko abusua bɛkɔso adi ahurisi wɔn apakan mu
Na wɔn a wɔtɔnn wɔn nkyiri animuonyam b3kɔso ada ahwe pimpim atikɔ
Pimpim a ɔfaa wɔn asaase sesa maa wɔn bereɛ takra twerɛɛ wɔn abakɔsɛm berɛa waboboro sei twom
Wɔwoo me da Asaase Yaa rehim nesisi wɔ Bosomtwe sɛ ɛdɛ ahyɛ ne ma Anokye ho
Wɔ Denkyirafoɔ twatiatwa ho sɛ wɔkaa nnanaasɛm sɛ nkoa, adɔnkɔ ne nfena na ɛyi Sikadwa ɛfiri soro de nkabom ne baakoyɛ baa yɛn akoma mu ho apayɛ
Forth in thy name O Asante l go
Thee…only thee result to known in all l think or speak or do
Ayan! Mekyerɛ tweneka ɛbobom nso a dinn kwan so te sɛ ahum ne aham bɔ dwa frɛ ahemfo nkron no hyia Nana Osei tutu a ɔdikan nan ase pro wɔn dwɛɛdwɛɛwa ka wɔn nkatedeɛ mu ka bɔrebɔre a nni awieɛ wɔ afihwam.
I am the one Okomfo Anokye commanded the Golden Stool for
Oh yes! l am the one
And it is my land that he lived on
Okomfo anokye was my friend
Mesita di asa ber3 a wɔregoro asafo s3de3 wɔto yampea no na 3ne s3de3 wɔto tuoaboba firi y3n akyi mmɔ abira
Fredrick Mitchelle Hugdson a ɔgyidi sɛ mmoa nnwan bɛtumi adi oguama anim akɔ adidibea owuo damoa hu kotɔkɔ akofoɔ a ne ho po kyekyɛkyekyɛ
ɛyɛna nkorɔfoɔse mekyerɛ me ho
Nanso menkyerɛ me ho mabodin nti
Tie nnoɔma a me wɔ no bi
Me wɔ Sikafuturo, Sikadwa Kofi nso wɔ me
**Outstanding Poetry Personality
Winner: Michael Kwaku Somuah
(World Poetry Ambassador to Ghana)
Poem: “Dreams of a village boy”
Dreams of a village boy
When our feet befriend the ground
We shall touch the earth
and mark our foreheads with the sand of our prints
When our feet have learned to walk
we shall not perch as the Eagle
to meet untimely wounds
and strikes from the heavy rains
We shall fly above the clouds
to run our feathers from the cold strife
of deaths trial
When our might marries the strength of the wind
We shall defeat the Trojans
with the will power of the gods
so as to tame their existence
from the hymns of the living
We shall be called Conquerors
by the mother of history
should our eyes see beyond the distant farmhouse
when all is said and done.
© Michael Kwaku Somuah
**Most impressive poem
Winner: Nanabayin Assam –The Haymaker–
(An exceptional young poet from Ghana)
Poem: “So they say”
So they say
In my lonely walk I glanced
On barefoot I watched
As I walked clothed but unclothed
For my heritage fades away
The treasure of my fathers I’ve lost
For it seems not needed
So they say—
Weeping within I looked
In sight, all coloured seems to turn black.
Or is it the skin colour
I guess not cos red blood flows within
Black is evil so they say
In the name of ancestral remembrance
We avail our naivity
Throwing away our sense of belonging
Disposing our true culture
As maidens dress to honour nudity
Only for men to emulate madness
A moment of true joy
So they say—-
With a land plagued with unmature parents
Is there no godmother to train our virgins
As we sell ourselves into the evil of modernity?
Seeking pastures where the old starved for
The new tradition unveiled
So they say—-
On I go on my lonely walk
Hoping to get where my soul wills
A place to plant the seed
The seed of Sankɔfa
With which all values reside
That which is outdated
So they say—-
© The Haymaker
CONGRATULATIONS to all winning poets and their fans for the nominations. To all those who didn’t win, more power to your elbows and better luck next time. All ardent readers of every work of The Village Thinkers we say keep supporting this dream with all you can for the world’s eye lies in the oracle of the African Poet.
Note: The presentation of the awards shall be held online. Then details of how each poet(ess) can receive their awards shall be arranged for retrieval of certificates and other packages.
Nana Arhin Tsiwah
(Village Lingiust/Awensemist/Cultural Ideologist)
—Inspiring the next generation of African poets—
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