Thursday, February 5, 2009


Feature Poem

There is this great name
Associated with so much fame
To pronounce one needs not stammer
The name is Barack Obama

Though educated in America
He has his roots in Africa
A product of the black clan
And a complete black man

The black man was hardly seen
Because of the colour of his skin
The black man was hardly heard
He was treated like the dead

This used to be the norm
But now change has come
The dark days are now history
The black man has his victory

Martin Luther King had a dream
Long before some loser shot him
He stood by his conviction
And fought back every deception

He saw a world without racism
A world devoid of every evil whim
Where all that would ever matter
Is not colour but simply character

That world is here today
And change is here to stay
The people have spoken
The black man has been chosen

Gbenga Olowosile (2008)
The poem above celebrates not just the election of a black man (Barack Obama) to the most exalted seat in the world. Indeed, the office of the President of United States of America is the most powerful office in the world regardless of what anyone might say to dispel this fact. Yes, America is going through its tough times at the moment, with the global financial crisis and ailing economy but still, America has not at all lost its footing as the world’s most respected nation and the recent election of Barack Obama is a notable icing on the cake. Where is this article driving at? Let me lay emphasis that the poem you’ve just read not only celebrates the achievement of a feat never thought possible less than half a decade ago. It is a celebration of black victory. It is a celebration of the final liberation of the black race. It is a fulfillment of prophecy. That is what this poem celebrates.

When one thinks about the history of the black race, you can’t help but sigh and wonder how and why on earth a class of people was so mistreated and easily classified with animals and beasts of burden. The slave trade is a major issue that still hurts and haunts the black race today and hardly has this race recovered from the shock of such abuse centuries after. However, in spite of all precedence, some people chose to believe in a future and place their hope in the seeming inevitable. Martin Luther King is cited in the poem above and his convictions over forty years ago have been finally proven right.

Barack Obama’s story is arguably the most popular story in the world at the moment. Here is a young man who was relatively unknown in most parts of the world less than three years ago. He had the worst childhood and past anyone could think of. The odds were totally against him; talk about being a seed sown by two people who ended apart; talk about stuck between two worlds; talk about having to be raised by struggling grandparents and finally a single mom; talk about so many other negativities. The young man could have easily turned out to be another passer-by who had nothing to contribute to his world and of course no one would blame him. It would easily be said that his foundation destroyed him but alas, the man said ‘No.’ He determined that he would never allow his foundation or his past determine his future. He decided to take his destiny in his hands and even in the face of persecutions, ridicule and a strong tendency to fail, he pushed on and look at where he is today. So what is your story?

We have a lot to learn from this story. We learn lessons on hope in seemingly hopeless situations. We learn lessons on how to have faith even when there seems no reason to have faith. WE learn a lesson on endurance and perseverance amidst unending afflictions and we finally learn a lesson on how to stay courageous and speak out even in the face of persecution and death. It is not a crime to dream. You can afford to dream and believe it. Sometimes, our dreams could take longer than necessary but nonetheless, dream. Martin Luther King’s dream took forty years to become fulfilled but it all began with the dream. What is your dream? What is that thing you long for? What is that hopeless situation you are tired of? If you can dream it, you can believe it and if you can believe it, you can achieve it. The time of change has indeed come. Nigerians, it is time to arise and make that change. You don’t necessarily have to be President to make that change. The change starts right from this moment as you read this material in your hands. The ball is in your court. What would you do?

ARTICLE: Poem Exposition by Gbenga Olowosile

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