Olalekan Joseph Ajayi
Biography of Olalekan Joseph Ajayi
Olalekan Joseph Ajayi discovered his talents during his days at the then Edo State University (now Ambrose Alli University) , Ekpoma, Nigeria, under the tutelage of a certain Frank Uche Mowah (1954-1998) and a host of other dedicated lecturers. In those days of military rule in Nigeria, Mowah inspired Ajayi and his peers in the Honours Class of 1997 to search their literary souls for their own voices. He motivated Ajayi, and his contemporaries to defamiliarize language and preserve the beauty that the Masters of the Art had carved for poetry and indeed literature.
At various times during his undergraduate days, Ajayi served as President, Poetry Club and Editor of the Enibokun literary journal. His poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as Enibokun journal, Ivie journal, The Observer and an anthology of poetry entitled Awakening the Troubadours edited by Taye Anavhe.
The themes of his poems are diverse. He draws his inspiration from the world around him but admits the works of Pablo Neruda, Garcia Marquez and Olu Oguibe have influenced him a great deal. Based on the evident anger in his works at the time, his colleagues fondly called him Meshuggenah the Poet.
Ajayi holds a Masters degree in International History and Diplomacy from the University of Benin and is an alumnus of the New York Film Academy, New York, where he studied scriptwriting.
He has practised as a journalist and was the News Editor as well as a columnist with The Nigerian Observer.
Olalekan Joseph Ajayi currently works for the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Researcher and Speech Writer.
He believes in God and is married to Osasumwen Christabel Ajayi. Together, they are blessed with a daughter and a set of male twins.
Olalekan Joseph Ajayi Poems
Her ancient red soil clings to my feet And her white chalk my lips Her rivers flow gently Bearing tales unknown to historians
My ink had dried up and my feather caked But her voice bade me …write! They named me after a dreamer
Where set night does wed And insects chirp freedom songs Amidst the glory of constellation; Where February winds
The kernel is split Kola drowns the voice Stifled limbs on drums We do no' but spit
Knocks of crystals upon rusty pans Snakes flurry through craggy scapes Ungerminated seeds disentombed Twisted hoses direct our blood-sweat
The Poet's Dream
A thin flesh over sockets… Lion-hearted soldier ants Invoked the Lord of the wild
Before the burning flares We knew no boundaries Now you erect barriers Ours are hymns of peace
Staring at her on the couch Her face illumed by the moon I stand in awe of the Craftsman Who made my virgin bride
Tears that mine eyes will not shed Rain perpetually in my heart And guilt, like the sun Rises and sets daily within me
(For Frank Uche Mowah) Here lies he that untied our chords Called home one November
What father brought forth these little ones Daily fending off dogs and flies as they Cheerfully rummage waste from our yard?
Son Of The Soil
You may call me the son of a slave Because my forebears Bore a Whiteman's name But I know who I am
Beginning between sunrise and sunset Let our old hearts again embrace peace And odium cease from our eyeballs Let us invite the spirits to bear us witness
I knew men Many silver and golden rings Sought after my finger But I accepted your copper ring
What Mother Told Me
My hands on her bosom
And eyes on the virgin statue
She made me swear
I will lock my thighs until the price has been paid
Once paid for I will open my thighs for my husband
And wriggle my waist even when it hurts
I will bear children until my husband tires