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Poetry: The Word According to Osita

Osita Akwah

Osita was a poet based in Abuja and a friend to Taruwa and a lot of Art societies.

He died in October of 2012.

We honour him on our platform.

see some of his poems from his last work ‘The Word according to Osita’.


When the nights become long, as you know they will;

When the tears fall fast, and time stands still;

Will you wait with me, will you stand with me

Against the night?


When that sore-needed miracle is unexplainably delayed;

When Patience is worn that thin, she’s practically disappeared;

Will you be with me, keep the faith with me

Against the night?


Will you cry with me, as I cry?

Will you laugh with me when I try?

Will you rage with me, stand shoulder-to-shoulder tall with me

Against the night?


Against the fading of the light;

Against all comers, with power and with might;

Stand to dare that dance so beautiful and right;

To dance and dance, to dance away the night?


For I’m not so strong as at times I appear,

In spite of my courage, sometimes I’m full of fear,

And I would be glad to have you here

With me, against the night.




I survived the war

And I live to tell the tale

Of that black holocaust

Swept the land like a gale


From that crimson harmattan season, when

The trailers from up north wept blood

It grew and grew, in leaps and bounds

And the trickle begat a flood


We valiantly fought, and we died

Guns and machetes, sticks and stones

We profusely bled, and we cried

Sweat and blood, living flesh and raw bones


Thirty months that felt like decades

Three years that were more a lifetime

To Us: our independence

To Them: a dastardly crime


I survived that genocide

But at what a terrible cost

For each of me that survived

How many thousands more were lost!




‘No props!’ says the master

And his heart stops.

He can hear it start again

But its position has shifted

Into his throat, just under his ears.


‘No props!’ shouts the master

And he lets the chair drop

And with it, drop the lines he crammed,

All sitting there, crammed on the chair

Just short of being visible.


‘No props!’ was all that it took

And he had lost the battle

He knew it had been long lost

But still took his failing courage in hand

And marched out in front of the people.


‘No props!’



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