​AT THE BRINK


I see the hollow hole

At all sides

How even this air turned mole

And the earth dug all my sides

Makes me feel like one who stole

From Satan’s slides


II

The mouth of defeat sings piercingly

Being cheered on by the drums of fear

The laughter of failure resonates across the dept of doom

If only I can see a ray of cheer

From a sky of sympathy

If only I can feel a stray air

Blowing in smile from these unfriendly breezes

If only I could get wings of a fowl to hang in mid air

To find an outer space

If only…

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 30, 2018

​IN THIS POEM (CRAZY STANZAS)


On this dead branch

Carried by water, I thread

Each step, a shocking surprise

Interlaced with fear

But like a blessed cat with nine lives

The soul carries this body in moving on


II

My only cocoon is you

This poem, where my bed of peace is laid

My only home is you

This poem, where my cool waters pamper for a swim

My only shade is you

This poem, which arrests the murderous sun

And serves a breathing seat amidst all the dying

My only shelter is you

This poem, in the midst of perilous snakes

Which hide in trousers of life to defile my happiness

My only saviour is you

This poem, which baptizes to cleanse my soul

From the daily dirty stones pelted by life’s criminal side

My only hope is you

This poem, you, a perfect diary keeping my mind in

In you


III

I am so far from home

Carrying a load which directs my path

Directing dusty even when tarred roads beg for a drive

Yet I live in you, this poem

You who promise to take me back

Back to the perfect place I belong

That perfect place, where moths can’t pimp me

For the pleasure of the earth

Masking my life into a walking ghostship

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 29, 2018

​WHAT YOU DON’T SEE


A star that annoyingly glitters

With just a 26 alphabetical order

One whose words are like blows

One whose words are like lightning

Striking bad clouds and digging goosebumps

One whose words can draw beauty in minds

One who has arrived in many towns of the nation

And continues to charm

That may be the words on your mind

But what about those you don’t see?


II

A skeletal build

With veins of neglect

Blood of stress and thirst

Meat of hate and pure hunger

Skin of punches of cold in a harmattan visit 

And bowl of heat in sunny days

Nails which have tasted the hammer of many quarries

Eyes which have joined the run against death

Legs which have collapsed and been whipped by need to a wake

Why do I see them so well?


III

In every glitter lies a story

A story that can reflexively call for your sorry

And may even unchain your worry

To get on your sympathy lorry

So clap not in jealousy

Bite no tongue in a revenge challenge

Think of the worry within the glitter

And applaud its shine

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan 27, 2018

IF I HAD LISTENED TO MAAME (CRAZY STANZAS)

If I had listened to maame

I won’t be stuck in the middle of this road of life

Carrying a burden that my shoulder breaks

One that has taken over my sanes

Farming bloody rains around my once starred eyes


II

She did tell me not all that glitters are metalsmithable

And adviced I cleaned, bit into, burned

To verify authenticity before singing the Hallelujah of worship

No matter the wings and shine of my find

Did I listen?


III

The sun preyed on my fancy

And connived with all the garbage in shinning stones

Winking in blinking into my sinking

So I picked what was not

Thinking it was what was

Now I stink so bad

On a heavenly road whose scent mask me out


IV

How can youth so blind

Making this head turn behind 

Even when legs pull?

How can age not be shed

Like skins which outlive their time

To fetch rightness in the past?

How can perfection so wrinkle

In time’s deadly exploration

In giving surprised heart attacks?

How can remorse not be a magician

To right all wrong in all that is strong?

How could I have been deaf to youthful exuberance

Letting maame’s voice go

With the deadly winds of the past?


V

If I had

If only I had

If only I had listened to maame

If only I had honoured the words of my vehicular womb

Earth would certainly have been kinder

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 26, 2018

​IF MY TOMORROW NEVER COMES

If my tomorrow never comes

And my end’s vehicle lands

Will I, like a legless eagle with broken wings, soldier across

To my ancestral land with a smile

Or throw tantrums and be dragged there like a prisoner?


II

If my tomorrow never comes

What will I be on tongues of others?

A chewing gum whose sweetness would be sucked in few seconds

And spat out after I reach earth’s mouth?

Or bile, which would for sometime stay 

In tongues of some unfortunates?


III

If my tomorrow never comes

Would a kind heart take my crippled chick

And hen it despite its current hopelessness

Would it be fed like it needs to?

Given warmth as it needs to?

Tended to as it always needs to

Even when hungry hawks chase?


IV

If my tomorrow never comes

Whose intestines would thunder in pain?

Whose eyes would swim in a bloody sea?

Whose mind would be stirred by a ladle of sadness?

Mouth would call for an explanation train from the quarters of God?


V

If my tomorrow never comes

I wonder the teeth that would open its shop of happiness

The spirits that would pick up my soul in gladness

My deeds that would sum up my fate in the court of death

Above all the hearts that would break into million pieces

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 25, 2018

Meet One of the Youngest Social Entrepreneurs in Africa: Mirabelle Morah

Today our guest post is one of the youngest social entrepreneurs I know. She has used social media to tell untold stories, emboldened so many young lives and healed people from their nightmares. Let’s welcome the bubbly and beautiful Mirabelle Morah

AMOAFOWAA: You’re welcome to amoafowaa.com

MIRA: (Laughs) Thank you so much Her Royal Majesty, Amoafowaa!

AMOAFOWAA: Briefly tell us about Mira, from childbirth to now.

MIRA: I came into this world one beautiful Monday in April, during the late 90’s and I grew up in a family where the reading culture was very much encouraged so I developed a healthy love for literature while young. In between studying English & Literary Studies at the University right now, I also volunteer for different youth or societal based organizations whenever possible. I also am the chief editor of Blankpaperz.Com, a digital platform I founded for promoting and amplifying the stories of young African writers who are using words to address societal issues. Stories and written words are really powerful tools for raising awareness, changing paradigms and even for advocacy, hence I want to encourage and support as many young writers as I can by publishing stories on Blankpaperz and organizing events or workshops for bloggers and writers. I also studied Social Entrepreneurship at California State University, Chico as a SUSI student leader and I’m also a 2018 Global Teen Leader.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Who did you grow up reading?

MIRA: Interestingly, I think I grew up reading Cyprian Ekwensi, Chukwuemeka Ike, Zaynab Alkali, some other Nigerian authors and even some Harlequin and Silhouette novels. Chimamanda Adichie came into my life during my early teenage years and she was really a huge influence. AMOAFOWAA: Favourite food?

MIRA: (Laughs) Anything African that tastes really good!

AMOAFOWAA: Blankpaperz. What motivated your inspiring venture?

MIRA: I just wanted an online website where I could post my stories and also post the stories of some of my friends, and maybe their friends too because I knew really amazing writers who just wrote and didn’t put up their stories or poems any where so people could read them and be inspired. I started a little bit afraid and unsure, but the idea of publishing my friends’ stories online grew. Blankpaperz is growing past online activities into bloggers & writers meet up and writing workshops. I look forward to working on more ideas and partnerships to encourage and support more teenage or young writers, and to also cover deeper stories and articles from people who are afraid to speak up. 

AMOAFOWAA: How noble. How old is your venture?

MIRA: I started Blankpaperz in April 2016.

AMOAFOWAA: Has Blankpaperz met your expectations since you started?

MIRA: Just like a baby grows everyday, Blankpaperz is growing and the expectations are growing alongside. My expectations overtime have been met and exceeded but for the goals I have right now, no, my current expectations have not been met yet and they’re still growing.

AMOAFOWAA: Any role models?

MIRA: Jesus because He’s tagged as one of the most influential persons who have ever lived. Nelson Mandela because of his selflessness, his great big heart, his love, his humanity— how did he do it?! Chimamanda Adichie because she writes about societal issues in such sublime ways.

AMOAFOWAA: Won any awards?

MIRA: Yes, a medal of honour from Street Priests foundation in their work to reduce the population of street children, being honoured as a YALI RLC West Africa Alumni, awarded the Study of the U.S Institutes for Student Leaders scholarship by the U.S Department of State, being tagged an Ashoka Changemaker, etc. I can say those are awards too, right?

AMOAFOWAA: Of course. What is your dream occupation and why the choice if any?

MIRA: Haha! Dreams grow! One time I wanted to be a professional roller skater, then the best female guitarist in West Africa. Then the best singer. Then another time the best paint artist and even a missionary (laughs). Currently? It’s hard to paint everything into the picture of “an occupation.” But being human, lending much ink, lending my voice to the voiceless and amplifying the stories and plights of people that need to be heard across borders is what impassions me the most. I will like to work with IDPs and help them. I will like to hug young boys and girls, make them laugh and tell them everything will be alright.

AMOAFOWAA: An inspiration you are. Between power and failure, where would you put social media on the scale of 10 to 0?

MIRA: Okay this is tricky! I will say 8 for power and 2 for failure on a scale of 0-10. 8 for power because social media is so powerful! You can reach out to all the people you never expected to reach out to beyond borders. You can get people to fund your cause, you can use it to raise awareness and advocate for a cause, you now know what’s happening in different parts of the world and so much more! It’s also powerful for negative reasons like the nasty things you put on social media can come back to haunt you years later.  For failure also because we connect less with people physically now. We are always on our phones, missing out on the real time and real life conversations we could be having with people and all the beautiful moments we could be taking into our memories. We also spend time online admiring people’s —too often ingenuine online — lives more than we build our lives.

AMOAFOWAA: Who are your favourite singers and athletes of all time and why?

MIRA: For musicians I’m a fan of both Hillsongs and Bethel Music because they move my soul to worship. I like Falana music too and Alicia Keys because they sing about the society often. My favorite athletes are Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga the Nigerian Bobsled team and Usain Bolt because these are people who worked hard despite limitations and looked beyond their circumstances.

AMOAFOWAA: What is the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?

MIRA: Me? Don’t I look like an Angel? (Laughs). 

AMOAFOWAA: (Laughs) Well… If you were made president of Nigeria presently, what are the things you’ll change to transform your country?

MIRA: Being the head of a small group or a large country is never easy! There are always things that will work for and against you! But for your question, I will pay better attention to Nigeria’s failing educational system by allocating better and adequate funds, enforce stricter national security actions to stop all the mass killings, improve Nigeria’s electricity and infrastructure, encourage #MadeInNigeria products by making systems much more entrepreneur friendly, enforce stricter laws and actions on rapists and sexual predators, etc.

AMOAFOWAA: May you live to be a president of Nigeria. What do you think are the underlining problems of Africa?

MIRA: Greed of leaders

AMOAFOWAA: What would you look out for in choosing your future husband?

MIRA: (Laughs!) Oh my God! This is such an interrogation, Amoafowaa don’t you think?! Someone who has God at his core. Someone with vision and is kind hearted towards the needs of those around him even though unconnected to him. Someone optimistic too! 

AMOAFOWAA: Sorry for the interrogation, I am a mind harvestor. Are women at par with men in enjoying rights of humans in Africa in this 20th century? Justify your answer.

MIRA: Africa is such a huge continent so I cannot make a conclusive statement for an entirely diverse group of people. In certain places women do enjoy basic human rights as men do but it’s not everywhere! So to the best of my knowledge and effort at generalism anyway, no! Africa as a continent is not yet at the point where women and men are both at par in enjoying basic human rights. Many African communities and families still do not see the essence of female education. In the work place there is still disparity between the wages of women and men as well as the uneven and low percentage of women in positions of power — but this is actually improving. 

And also, girls mostly in rural communities are still being (sometimes secretly) subjected to Female Genital Mutilation and even when they have the rights to say no to FGM, it goes against deaf ears because their families want to “prepare” them for their husbands and “reduce their promiscuity.” Wow! 

AMOAFOWAA: Hmmm. What in this world do you think we need to check in order to maintain the earth? 

MIRA: We need to check the rate at which we trash mother nature with our dirt! We need to be more aware about recycling! Stop dumping plastics in the rivers! Stop deforestation! Even after drinking a sachet of water, I usually put my wrap in my bag or hold it until I get to the nearest trash can and I put it in there. I don’t enjoy littering. 

AMOAFOWAA: What is your favourite line in Nigeria’s National Anthem?

MIRA: Every single line in the second stanza of the anthem which we don’t sing too often. 

“Oh God of creation

Direct our noble cause

Guide our leaders right

Help our youth the truth to know

In love and honesty to grow

And living just and true

Great lofty heights attain

To build a nation where peace

And justice shall reign”

AMOAFOWAA: Powerful stanza. Your dream for Nigeria in fifty years?
MIRA: Selfless leaders and individuals at every level — including myself — with conscience and genuine care for the growth of the country and people.

AMOAFOWAA: Advice your followers and followers of amoafowaa.com

MIRA: Keep being creative, ask questions, work hard, have integrity and remember to always TRY!

AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time here.

MIRA: You’re awesome! Thank you so much.

AMOAFOWAA: You’re “awesomer”. Her inspiration came in this form:

 FOR MIMI MORAH

A young flower blossoms

In beauty, plastering care in many bosoms

Her nicely scented nectar of rightness

Healing stems of broken flowers without tiredness

With a huge future to share

She starts uprooting many a nightmare

From weedy minds 

Breaking chains of suppression of power blinds

Her hopes of a world with no fault

Making her a rich and blessed vault

Though her road be long

She waves always with a smiling song

You lotus flower in muddy grooves

I cheer as your power moves 

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 21, 2018

​ANGEL OF HIDDEN GOOSEBUMPS


There is a summer hut

On the roof of the moon

Which all prying eyes cut

Waiting for us to swoon

So do those problems shut


II

We need our hands threaded in symphony

Our feet running in a perfect dance

To tickling sounds of harmony

Our eyes writing our thoughts in each other at any chance

Making our tongue’s pools our sweet and ever tasteful honey


III

Let our laughter rise from our souls

To massage our feet

And strengthen our soles

As happy songs follow through our street

Through our glowing hollow holes


IV

Oh gracious holes, where jumpy songs metamorphose into cool

Only to our fluttery hearts soothe

Who cares if we merge into a fool

With a heartbeat oh so smooth

As long as we end as each’s perfect loving stool?


V

After tickling ourselves silly

Like magical eagles, let’s fly to moon’s roof

You in me and I in you, even better in the chilly

As we each laugh at our many a goof

Climbing through the hardened even through the hilly

You are after all the angel of all my hidden goosebumps!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 20, 2018

WHEN HIS PANTS ARE DOWN

Worms wriggle

Dogs bark

Cats mew

So be careful of birthed promises

When his pants are down

II

I know of flowers who have lived on clouds

With plucked stars and moons

Bedding in chariots of all their fantasies

Dancing to the tune of Cupid’s best

Only to fall as rains

Into a hell of fire whose ashes flew

With airs of regrets

Into deserted forests of disappointments

So careful of dishes of promises

When his pants are down

III

They build believable mansions with words

For their tongues are the pencils of architects

Whose sheets need crumpling sizzles

And tails need your wet wiggle

In their burning passion

Whose lifespan is as short as the shine of fireworks in the sky

So oh beware

Of the sound of holes of deceit

When his pants are down

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 19, 2018

DEAD CANES IN KUKUBALI

Sitting in the past with the wrinkled

As my time’s stars stood in the greenest twinkle

I heard of eyes, potent in closure

Even in most secluded holes

Seeing hectic moles who fates stole

In the near tomorrow

The near tomorrow which garnishes my feet today

Yet I laughed like a wise soul hearing the voice of the foolish


II

Running in the past with the “cruel”

A cane spoke of love with corrective scars

In gift of a future with no blemishes

Maame nodded and applauded her brother

Papa got another to join in

All eyes sparkled 

Hands clapped

I felt like a Jesus never welcomed in his own home

The present now looks at the past with glee

Gifting its long gone hands unmeaningful late handshakes 


III

I dined with the past whose children had ears

Soft ears

The past whose children had no mouths 

In elderly presence

I dined with the past where young ones vanished

Like myths in elderly visitations

And did feed respect on plates of good upbringing

Nana would cry in happenings of today

Watching through spectacles of ancestorhood

Glad I have no lenses to see his countenance


IV

I wonder where all the magic canes of path direction went?

I marvel at the hard ears with sharp mouths

Which toddlers clutch as blessings

I wonder how words put together to protect

Handcuff wills to correct

I wonder

I do wonder how far this belly’s fruit would go with its generation

In madness of rights

What I see in closed eyes of the future

Hell fire so heatedly hazy

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 17, 2018

BE THE LIGHT

In this cave of pain

Where insanity is in rain

Planting needless disdain

Like that felt by Cane

Be the light in my train


II

You know thoughts which sit in the main

Driving me insane

Oh God of my brain!

Break these haunting chain

Which my good waters drain

Can’t you see I am in pain?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 14, 2018

AT THIS CROSSROADS

At this crossroads

Where good leads to bad

And bad leads to good

Stands the whip of fear

At all ends


II

At this crossroads

Righteousness begets pain

While cruelty begets peace

Yet conscience acts judge

With a gavel of suffering


III

The lioness in me battles the sheep I am

The tears in me drowns the heart I have

Weakened nerves promise electrocution

Of wits and sanes and love and suns

Yet this crossroads have no pointers


IV

Is there an ultimate judge

For an afterlife trial in a life’s dilemma?

Is there a hell fire for a righteous crime?

Is there a punishment for a sin of love?

Life’s rhetorics butcher like a savage, at these crossroads

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 12, 2018

​THIS GLOBAL VILLAGE


In the wake of this breaking

Where the world lives a touch away

There is no need for a shaking

Of wits and hurts and hate to stray

For the world goes round and round


II

Today the best sit in an earthquake of disagreement

Tomorrow a small island

Might hold the reigns of power

Riding a great fallen like a horse

In a rough road of gravels,  broken glasses and piercy metals

So there is no need to dig out supremacy

On plates of subduing many

In a championship hunt


III

Oh what beauty will show

If all fingers of nations hold! 

Oh what beauty will show

If genuine hands of nations extend to each other

In a festival of diplomacy

Oh what love will bind

If unbeneficial power’s throat is slit

In a farming of togetherness

We are what we choose to be

In what we choose to do

In this global village

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c)  Dec.  5, 2018

​INSECT TOWN


There is an insect town

On this beautiful living lawn

But all passersby see

Is the beautiful grass and its fee

Yet night planes their insecti-flight

And day takes them from sight

It is like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool


II

What is seen may not be

Once roots are brought to be washed on the head of a plain sea

In the ground many bites abound

On land much pretense surrounds

Even though our hearts know in capital letters

We wear our hypocritical matters

Acting in dancing even when we’re being bitten like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool


III

My teeth line up

Even when my voice shuts up

When I see eyes turn red

In a covetousness hidden in singing and begging to be heard

What can a hiding ant say

In a convention of hunting lizards on a pay?

Human bodies is mostly like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool

Shinning royalty, feeling pains

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 4, 2018