Tuesday, 2 August 2016

I AM WARRI — A Progressively Working Project!* By Bard Malik O.

Warri is my name: Africa is where I'm from! Just as the jowl,
the fingerprint and the voice*2 of each man: I am unique
in all my ways ... with dispositions like no other!
My patois is not farfetched—a pidgin which
qualifies me: A language pedagogue.

Oft-times, I get misconstrued; and smacked
down, like Uzzah,*3 whose right intent left dead!
What cross-purpose! I thus, refuse to be adulterated;
and will not pride in pomp with the psychedelic prances and
struts of the noble gaits—Lekki of Lagos*4 and Asokoro of Abuja*5.
But, assert still, the relish of freedom in the bliss of
primitive ignorance; and saunter in my natural swagger. I
pledge though to ace my class, wherein Ojuelegba*6 also is placed!

This depressive impression is one that urgently calls for recreation: I
am the engine room of Niger-Delta; the heart of southern Nigeria;
and our nation's economic core. My belly worms*7 are bold,
not arrogant; dogged, not malignant! My face is graced
with three tribal marks:* 8 T'obura; Ara-ede; Maavuo,
whose individual differences, work in synergy to
make hospitable the incisions, carved for homely
niches of strangers, visitors ... and passers-by alike.

Photo Credit : Solomon Abe, Virtuosity
I am Warri, who no one, worries.... O, hapless waif, wary of
deprivations—nude and raw.... Raw as unrefined crude: Crude
drilled for explorative exploitations; now tears run down my cheek.
Sorry, I beg your pardon: Spills run down my streets!
I am that pearl, deserving polish, so as to merit the palace;
to adorn Queen Nigeria's neck,*9 and then display my innate lustre:
Take me hence, to the furnace; for a hot bath, as I yearn to be gold bold!

I am that age long lot with room, good to grow.... Craftwork*10 in the making
that attracts artisans to come mould in sense; etch out decadence; and
paint on, moral essence: Oh! The creation of a high-priced piece de
résistance, which will keep to ride the bench: Leonardo da Vinci's
endearing priceless portrait of Mona Lisa*11 in Paris—Louvre!*12
I am Warri.... A Progressively Working Project!

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