Chinedu Dike

Gold Star - 184,209 Points (Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State; Nigeria.)

Nightmares Of Slumbering Africa - Poem by Chinedu Dike

Colonialism in its last moments
is pushed to the centre stage -
The recoiling phenomenon intensely illuminated
by The Flame Of Liberty.
Roused by the prospect of Emancipatory Freedom,
From the shadows of Servitude
Nations rise.
Their demand for a dawn long on hold,
brings an end to the colonial yoke.

Her soul refreshed with breath of new life,
Africa thrills
at the sight of the expanding horizons -
Euphoria that veiled 'Danger Signs'.
She's been bequeathed dreadful webs of intrigue:
Uneasy amalgams
of multicultural colonial territories,
hitherto upheld through coercive mechanisms.

With price tags of 'patriots' hanging on won Liberty,
they bicker over the vacated Seat Of Power.
In their snobbery of Honour in favour of Greed,
crucial realignments of comrades produce
The Strongman: A tyrant
backed by 'jackals'
and supported by gullible public.

In a cruel twist of fate
hopeful assertion of self-rule,
soon becomes the anticipation of a gaudy illusion.
The exit of Foreign Powers
has delivered the people
into the grasps of Democratic Mobs:
Cabals
fueled by putrid sludge of Kleptocracy,
devoid of political visions to transform into realities.

With no intent of restructuring imposed alien models,
cabals pursue joint criminal enterprises:
Good citizens are sieved out of the system,
party loyalists take over their place.
Key positions go to ruthless operators,
who translate decisions into actions.

Vast network of political jobbers across tribes
are bought;
Political parties become private estates;
Police remains agent of The State;
Legislative bodies are subdued;
With the Judiciary effectively hijacked,
the oppressed has no where to seek redress.
Ultimately The Liberators Turn Into Oppressors.

Haven subverted Power Of The People
which has raised them to unfair dominion;
In frenzied torrents of greed without care,
Opportunistic Banditry
is institutionalized.
In a matter of months
raging economic crises follow.
Attempts to curb budget deficits upset lives,
sending already violated citizenry
on a sad voyage into poverty.

In their scheme for hegemony,
struggle credentials
with membership of the ruling party,
are made prerequisites
for political and economic ascendancy.
Their capitalist tendency reinvents imperialism.
With nepotism and sectionalism proclivity,
parochial appointments skewed towards
specific groups are made.

Ethnic rivalry is promoted as one tribe
is favoured above the others.
Serious conflicts are provoked
with diverse interest groups.
The Freedom Party once the pride of the nation
has turned public enemy number one.
With the powder keg too close to the naked flames,
BANG!
It explodes.
And the fire burns with a vengeance.

Turmoils of Democratic Anarchy usher in The Military:
Demagogues with perfect sets of iron teeth -
Whose stern miens wore the semblance of an undertaker.
They bait on sentiments of the masses to legitimize regime;
They promise to steer The Ship Of State
to berth on a safe harbour;
They pay lip service to their anti-corruption crusade.
They're the raiders of public treasuries!
They're the violators of Integrity Of The State!
They're the embodiments of rot!

Strategic alliance is built with oligarchs of crafty pretense.
The marriage of convenience symbiotic in its nature -
'You Rub My Back I'll Rub Yours.'
The wooed spiders
with keen knowledge of the web
assume the oversight of junta -
reinforcing its hold on power.
Their administrative tasks keep
the wheels of government-owned enterprises turning,
thereby maintaining brazen squandering of resources.

In the quest for total control,
with the delusions that match their effronteries,
They unleash an assemblage of horrors:
Prison cells are packed with innocent citizens
picked on the flimsiest of excuses;
Rendition of dissidents tagged 'terrorists' becomes normal.
Curfews are enforced;
Checkpoints are mounted;
Visible policing is achieved;
With free speech punished,
displeasures are carefully altered in whispers;
And brutality is sold
as pragmatic response to increased crime.

The cowardly populace
petrified in its sullen expression,
in degrading submission blindly accepts Slavery.
Assets of nations are then plundered with impunity;
Ill-gotten moneys
are laundered to different offshore heavens;
Treacherously,
patrimonies are secretly being transferred abroad
and governments turn around to ask for loans
on the very funds illicitly moved.

Post-colonial Africa
is a continent marred with endemic conflicts;
Human Rights abuses of monumental proportions;
Shameful history of nationalized thefts;
Quests for Power at all costs -
with Heads Of States holding on to Power
even when circumstances dictate otherwise.
Since Independence,
Africa has continued to drop every hurdle
in its political and economic race.
But she ought to be thriving well!

She has an unrivaled wild life
conducive to tourism;
Pristine ecosystem
with endless stretches of fertile lands;
Rare incidences of natural disasters;
Resilient hardworking population;
Her prospects for hydroelectric supply
is second to none.

She is blessed
with uranium, iron ore, crude oil, and natural gas;
She has
diamond, gold, silver, chromium, zinc, copper,
tin, platinum, bauxite, limestone et cetera -
All in commercial quantities.
No Other Continent Is Endowed With As Much.
Yet,
notoriously Africa with such fortunes and potentials,
relentlessly wallows in the throes of economic woes.

Topic(s) of this poem: africa

Form: Prose Poem


Comments about Nightmares Of Slumbering Africa by Chinedu Dike

  • Valsa George (4/14/2019 2:27:00 AM)

    A country with immense wealth of natural resources and manpower is having a head on plunge into poverty.... all because of the corruption, the brazen squandering of resources, endemic conflicts and the degrading submission of people to authority. This is an eye opener to any nation! A powerful poem with an amazing diction and an incisive probing into the veiled political malaise, disregarded by a slumbering nation! Top marks (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(4/16/2019 11:33:00 AM)

    Beautiful comment, Prof. Thanks for your insightful appraisal of the piece. Remain blessed.

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  • Valsa George (4/14/2019 2:14:00 AM)

    This poem gives an amazing insight into the depleting political and social structure of the Post colonial Africa! A continent that has been slogging under the colonial rule when freed from the clutches of foreign rule, there was excitement and great jubilation! But this euphoria veiled 'Danger Signs'! People who came into the helm of authority blasted democratic values and grew into autocrats and there started Africa's slow and steady move into doom. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(4/16/2019 11:31:00 AM)

    Hi Prof, thanks for your insightful appraisal of the piece. Remain blessed.

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  • Nancy Chambers (3/8/2019 10:10:00 AM)

    Unbelievable poem with such powerful words " snobbery of honor in favour of greed" Democratic Mobs cabals" " kleptocracy" " Opportunity bandits" absolutely amazing words! (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(3/9/2019 8:13:00 AM)

    Thanks Nancy, for your insightful comment. remain enriched.

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  • Prabir Gayen (12/22/2018 12:35:00 AM)

    Cadence of artless melody.... (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(12/23/2018 4:27:00 PM)

    Thanks for the comment, Gayen. Remain enriched.

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  • Bulent Karaalioglu (12/10/2018 8:32:00 AM)

    Mandela is our tribute to Mustafa kemal. We need to tell a historical personality. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(12/11/2018 9:58:00 PM)

    Hi Bulent, that's for your comment. Remain blessed.

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  • (11/15/2018 10:26:00 PM)

    A brilliantly created poem full of divine patriotism.SIR, Your poems enrich me with knowledge. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(11/16/2018 4:54:00 PM)

    Hi Srijani, thanks for your insightful appraisal of the poem. Remain enriched.

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  • Chinedu Dike (11/3/2018 6:40:00 PM)

    Thanks for your comment Edward, and do remain enriched. (Report)Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/3/2018 4:08:00 PM)

    With such fortunes and potentials! !

    In Africa! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (5/1/2018 11:08:00 AM)

    This poem never loses one iota of its power.10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(5/2/2018 9:28:00 AM)

    Thanks for the beautiful comment Susan, and do remain blessed.

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  • Malabika Ray (3/4/2018 5:32:00 PM)

    Such a thoughtful poem penned by you. Your heartfelt love and concerns about the continent are evident in every word chosen by you for this masterpiece! The little picture is priceless - says it all! I am comparatively new to PM, hoping if you would like to visit my poems - I have translated a poem from R. Tagore, you might be interested in his work. Congratulations for this work and thank you for sharing. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(3/4/2018 9:45:00 PM)

    Hi Malabika, thanks for your beautiful and insightful appraisal of the poem. I'll go through your poems. Remain enriched.

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  • Dr Dillip K Swain (2/22/2018 1:38:00 AM)

    Through this poem you have expressed the voice of your beloved continent, desperately wanted to awaken its slumbering soul! ....Yet, notoriously Africa with such fortunes and potentials, relentlessly wallows in the throes of economic woes....A work of substance and value! Let your great pieces be read by many readers! (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(2/22/2018 12:28:00 PM)

    Beautiful and insightful appraisal of the poem Dillip. Thanks and remain enriched.

    2 person liked.
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  • Frank Adie (1/5/2018 2:50:00 PM)

    What a 'literary marksman', Your choice of words are on point. You can mesmerized any reader with you spellbinding style of writing. You are conversant with the problem of Africa, and you have perfectly captured it in as few words as possible. More grease to your elbows. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(1/6/2018 6:28:00 AM)

    Hi Frank, I'm very pleased with your kind words of encouragement. Thanks and stay enriched.

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  • Dr Dillip K Swain (12/29/2017 6:11:00 PM)

    You must have put your heart and soul into this great piece of work! It requires a lot of skills, character and courage. I whole heartedly agree with the poet’s comments below. Moreover, the candid expression, ” Political parties become private estates; Police remains agent of The State; Legislative bodies are subdued; With the Judiciary effectively hijacked” is pulsating! Very aptly written! Many congratulations Chinedu! ! (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(12/30/2017 2:41:00 PM)

    Thanks a million times Dillip, I'm very pleased with your insightful appraisal of my poems. Forever grateful I'm for your kind words of encouragement. Remain blessed.

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  • Susan Williams (11/17/2017 4:22:00 PM)

    There is so much hard-earned wisdom in this poem. I come back and reread it and I keep finding more thoughts, more tears, more courage than I saw before. Thank you for writing this and posting it and leaving it up for everyone to read and ponder and learn from. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(11/17/2017 5:50:00 PM)

    Always kind and thoughtful. Thanks a million times Susan, and remain blessed.

    1 person liked.
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  • Nivy Sochi (10/23/2017 8:32:00 AM)

    Sacred piece: a lamp held high to lead to the secret old truth. Your bank of knowledge from which we extract these thoughts must be filled to the brim and a-spilling. Libations to the gods of the soil.

    Much kudos, great poet.
    (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(10/23/2017 9:46:00 AM)

    Hi Chukwuma, thanks a million times for your awesome comment. Always remain blessed.

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  • (10/14/2017 3:42:00 AM)

    Wow. A poem that explains the problems, joy, greatness and everything about Africa. Africans has suffered so much. Both in the hands of the colonial masters and in the hands of her own begets who today are leaders of her people. I see the love you have for this continent. Your wish that all would be well. Great poem Chinedu. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(10/14/2017 9:28:00 AM)

    Hi Obiora, thank you very much for your kind words of encouragement and objective appraisal of the piece. Always remain blessed.

    1 person liked.
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  • Don Bukana (10/13/2017 9:28:00 AM)

    wow, this is extremely powerful. I was blown away by the entire write-so well done-Man (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(10/13/2017 10:36:00 AM)

    Hi Don, thanks a million times for your beautiful comment. Always remain blessed.

    1 person liked.
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  • Susan Williams (9/26/2017 1:08:00 AM)

    Here I am again and I must tell you something- -I normally shy away from political or social poetry but I hear such a hurting heart pulsing behind your lines, such a yearning love for Africa in its words, and such a well-delivered message.that I revisit this poem every so often to think about important things (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(9/27/2017 4:45:00 PM)

    Beautiful comment Susan, thanks and do remain blessed.

    1 person liked.
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  • (6/30/2017 8:46:00 AM)

    How remarkably profound and intelligent, this takes my breath away! Your use of detail in description is unparalleled, as is your command of language, and the meaning of the poem is deeply significant. Ultimately The Liberators Turn Into Oppressors. Well said! You really captured the bleakness of the circumstances and the irony of having such a rich natural endowment as well as an oppressive and dysfunctional atmosphere. This is one of the most clever and poignant poems I have read. Thank you for writing it. (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(6/30/2017 10:44:00 AM)

    Hi Ella, thanks a million times for your beautiful and insightful comment. Always remain blessed.

    2 person liked.
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  • Glen Kappy (4/14/2017 8:47:00 AM)

    chinedu,

    i just read this for the first time. though i myself tend towards brevity, i read it through. i recognized that passion for the continent of your birth and injustices committed there animated it.

    also, since i'm not from nor have ever been to africa, the parallels to other countries and my own came to mind.
    strongman brings to mind franco of spain and tito of yugoslavia. and i'm guessing you are aware of what's happening here in america with donald trump as president now.

    here in the u.s. it has been true for a long time, perhaps since our beginnings, that the police are the arm of the wealthy. but today it's more obvious. and since slavery technically is not allowed, we have the slavery of inmates in our prisons- many of them cash cows for private owners and overcrowded.

    rich as africa is in minerals, i wonder if that is a gift or a curse. the extractive industries are a blight on the environment and uglify the land. - as i type it comes to me i use and appreciate the technology of computers but am aware of the rare metals that are used for chips, the electric power that is produced by dirty means, and the superfund sites that are left when the chip producers, their factories paid for by tax payers for the promise of jobs, decide to move on. what price will we pay? what is it we really need?

    this line caught my attention when i read it:

    Good citizens are sieved out of the system

    what a good image! what a good verb!

    that all of us may have enough.
    for the beauty God endowed our earth.

    glen
    (Report)Reply

    Chinedu Dike(4/18/2017 10:04:00 PM)

    A very insightful appraisal of the poem. Thanks a million times Glen and do remain blessed.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 11, 2016

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 28, 2018


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