Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

tumblr_npn8ztkxMX1qagn9ao1_1280

She clutched me in her clay coloured arms
Frail and thin
Bruised from the warring earth.
She suckled me from her fallen breasts
Beaten of life.
She laid me on her chest
Her heart thumping like a steady drumbeat.
She told me
You will not be catfish
Point and kill.
They will not choose you like they chose me.

You came with an entrance
Umbilical cord wound so tight around your neck
Like hands pressing against your throat I feared you would brake
Your silence was deafening
The longest I had ever heard
The air was stiff
And my world stood still
But you came
This thing starry eyed with a head adorned in a kinky bouquet
From dancing ekonmbi in my womb
Summersaulting to praise songs
You came with an entrance
Shrugging those shoulders
Believing you had arrived
You barely listened
Hear me when I say
You will not be catfish
Point and kill
Wriggling like a worm
Devoured as prey
Licked to the bone
You my dear are royal
You came with an entrance
You must tell your daughters this tale
That they will not be catfish
Point and kill
They will not choose them like they chose me

***************

Post image by Antonio Prats Ventos via Manufactoriel

About the Author:

Portrait - UdobangWana Udobang is a journalist, writer, poet and gender activist living in Nigeria. She currently works as a radio presenter/producer at 92.3 Inspiration FM in Lagos. Visit www.wanawana.net for more her work. Follower her on Twitter: @misswanawana and on Instagram: @mswanawana

Tags: , , ,

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.

One Response to “Catfish | by Wana Udobang | An African Poem” Subscribe

  1. Celestine Chimmumunefenwuanya Victorson July 14, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Suffuses an infectious wit and candour and plunging the mind to the space of deepest mental reflection. The poem’s simplicity drove me. And i enjoyed the ride. I swear!. A poem must not flow with complex puzzling words before it is called ‘a good poem’ and the poet opined and affirmed just that here. Love you ‘darlin’. you’ve got the talent strech it out k?

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Bernardine Evaristo: Your Guide to All Eight Books by the Booker Prize Winner

bernardine evaristo by jennie scott - graph

While better known in the African literary scene as the founder of the massively influential Brunel International African Poetry Prize, […]

TJ Benson’s Forthcoming Novel, The Madhouse, Follows a Troubled Family Across Four Decades

tj benson - graph

The Nigerian writer TJ Benson has a new novel set to be published by Masobe Books in 2020. A new […]

The Guardian UK Criticized for Headline Calling Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning Novel Obscure

bernardine evaristo - girl, woman, other - somethingbookish

Right after Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood were announced joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction, the UK’s […]

Bernardine Evaristo’s Joint Win of the Booker Prize, with Margaret Atwood, Makes Her the First Black Woman & Second Nigerian to Receive the Honour

bernardine evaristo by jennie scott - graph

The Nigerian-British novelist Bernardine Evaristo has been awarded the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction, for her novel Girl, Woman, Other, […]

The Queen of Dahomey: Episode Three | The Witches of Auchi Series | Anthony Azekwoh

5F1614B1-66B7-4191-94D8-30BD62A651A9

There was an old woman with a ragged scar on her cheek who lived alone on the outskirts of Dahomey. […]

Befeqadu Hailu, Ethiopian Writer-Activist & Co-founder of Zone 9 Blog, Named 2019 International Writer of Courage

Befeqadu Hailu with Lemn Sissay at PEN Pinter Prize ceremony Photo credit to George Torode

Befeqadu Hailu, the Ethiopian writer, activist, and co-founder of the Amharic-language human rights platform Zone 9 Blogging Collective, has been […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.