A tribute to late Ikeogu oke: Nigerian author, journalist and award-winning poet. In 2017, he won the Nigeria Prize for Literature for his first collection of poems titled “The Heresiad”
The black tiding came like the whooshing sound of a whirlwind squiggling by a bush path.
A million ears got off the dusty ground of Abuja like antelopes standing erect, eyes wide open, sensing danger, shrieking eeriely.
The newly enthroned chief priest of African poetry has horried by onto a desolate road towards his ancestors, in full regalia, waving frantically to the bewildered council of elders trying to catch their breathe.
“No, it can’t be true”, wailed the women flapping their black wrappers and swaying to and fro in grief.
But what the ogene said was unmistakable.
Ikeogu had taken the last flight at dusk to the great land of illuminating darkness.
The early stars twinkled a Lil and dimmed in honour of a great son of the land.
The rising Moon stumbled and fell back into the burning tail of a fleeing Sun.
In front of my hut, the night before, I sat, waiting for the jeweler of words.
“He will come and a portion of his prowess
shall be yours”, said the messenger.
But atlas, it rained as if the heavens were angry and the frightened skies rumbled leaving the busy road into the village empty, solemn.
Oh Death, you sneak around and squish the chieftains of our kingdom while the legendary wrestlers take their rest?
Fare thee well, Ikeogu Oke.