Slowly and quietly,
The wheel of patriotism
Is rolling out of Africanism.

Slowly and quietly,
The wheels of corruption,
The wheels of selfishness,
All, loftily and grandly roll in.

Slowly and quietly,
The people are indifferent,
The leaders are different,
Untied are our aspirations-
Preach Yes and live No.

Slowly and quietly,
The angry winds of modernity
Is hurriedly sweeping our hard won freedom
Back into colonising civilisation-
A disguised form of colonisation.

Slowly and quietly,
Patriotism thrives in our history
And more citizens want to be characters
Yet our sweats are now tears,
Unwiped still.

Quickly and loudly,
Slowly and quietly
The winds of change blows
From a distant land,
Unsought for in this land.

Quickly and slowly
Loudly and quietly
Let change tumble and rumble from our Obonu*,
And our leaders dance our identity
Like AkƆm*, possessed
and Kete*, royally beautiful
And the people follow suite.
Quickly and loudly!


Obonu- a Ga drum

AkƆm- a ritual dance

Kete- an Asante royal dance.



Image by ~W~ via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - TettehWriting under his indigenous name—Nene Tetteh Adusu—Tetteh, a Poet, Performer and dramatist, hails from Ghana and currently lives in Accra. His poems have been featured in various magazines, literary shows in and out of Ghana like Tuck Magazine, the Beautiful Africa poetry anthology, Writers’s Project on Citi Fm and has also performed at Alewa Poetry Show, Verbs Café, Love is a Two Letter Word, Monday Night with POETS on Yfm to mention a few. He opines that – just as words were used in creating this world, so can the world be transformed by words. Mirroring life and crashing them when necessary to fit the pieces in life’s dazzling puzzle- his philosophy. He was the “Order of the Village” awardee at The Village Thinkers Poetry Honorary Awards.

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Africa: SLOWLY and QUIETLY | by Nene Tetteh Adusu | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Chiziterem 2015/11/11 at 11:56 am #

    I relate to this poem very well. And, of course, agree with everything it says. It’s just as if it is the sung version of a short story I wrote recently. And if I may add, things aren’t only shifting slowly and quietly, but under all our noses as well. And that is the sad thing.

    Excellent poem.

  2. chinenye 2015/11/12 at 10:54 am #

    Love this poem. Reflects Africa aptly

  3. Akintola 2015/11/14 at 12:48 pm #

    A nice poem. Written simply with seven stanzas of uneven lines, all describing African societies from dawn of the independence to contemporary times. Gold work.

  4. Coby Daniels 2015/11/25 at 4:34 pm #

    Beautiful Pa, deep, reflective.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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