You cannot find the voice of a nation
In your television screens
— Chrissie Chinebuah


This history book, that’s supposed to be ours,
opens, dedication to men who once trampled
upon it, not every white grandfather is a slave
holder, owner,
but my history, my grandfather’s heart, things
he preserved with toothless vigor & narrated

under bamboo trees can not be held under
this crushing weight of hopes, after this
book that wants to crumple the meaning of
my name, Ola-Juwon into ten years of
“sacrificed mosquito bites” talks about
his love for African roots, a silent way
of apologising is teaching us what
we already know, in a finer language

It hurts my tongue to memorize
English names for an African history exam,
& every single time, confused
Whether to thank Mungo Park
for discovering an unused River Niger,
& calling my fathers to free water.


Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels