A child was born about 6 decades ago
Into the hands of a waiting white suitor
She got nurtured and grew by the day
She crawled, leapt and walked in it time
She became a woman and then her crown left
From her, came thirty six offspring
Which she protected and fed unto maturity
A time came when she needed another crown
Suitors came from the north, east and south
She takes turn on each for at most eight years
Each one causing her miscarriages and agony
Who will bring her peace and joy?
Who will put a smile to her face?
The young clamours, the old clamours too
Who is the right suitor for this woman in agony?
Could it be you?
The poem “The Right Suitor” written by Akinjise Daniel in year 2018 is a free verse poem which has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains. It is themed or finds it thematic structure on the current situation in Nigeria, an African country. In stanza one, the poet talked about Nigeria, a country that got her independence some decades ago from the British Government (Britain). The poet chooses to describe the country as a feminine gendered character (a woman). The poet consciously made use of metaphoric words like woman, crown, suitor, offspring, and miscarriage, to mention a few in order to suggest a resemblance to the exact point.
In stanza two, the poet talked about a child that grew into womanhood, going through the different phases of human life-cycle to a point where she gave birth to about 36 offspring; which she took care of till the stage of maturity, after which she losses her crown (post-independence).
(Crown in this context means husband. In the African culture, a woman’s husband is regarded as her crown, without which she is incomplete). In stanza three, the poet talked about her (the woman) supposedly suitable suitors (suitors in this context mean politicians/presidential aspirants) coming from the different regions domiciled in the country; Nigeria, that is the Northern region (Hausa), the Eastern region (Igbo) and the Western region (Yoruba). The poet says that each of these aspirants after being voted into power remains in that post for a maximum of eight years without having something to show for it other than miscarriages. The poet intentionally uses the word “miscarriages” meaning bloodshed which comes from the Fulani herdsmen killing, Boko haram terrorist attacks which is evident in the occurrences happening in northern part of the country (Taraba, Plateau and Adamawa). The question then is who will bring that peace back to Nigeria; the peace that once existed.
In stanza four, the poet asked again a question:’ who will put a smile to her face?” the young clamor, the old clamors too. Not quite long, the young Nigerians requested that a bill: NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN be passed. But they forgot that a young person was once given a chance and he messed it up. The old ones (Adult) too claims that power should remain with them with the notion that with adulthood comes experience. But there haven’t been reasonable changes since the power has been with them. The woman (Nigeria) then is thrown into a dilemma of who is capable of being her suitor.
In conclusion, the poet throws a question” who is the right suitor for this woman in agony?” Could it be you? The poet advises that both the young and old be given a chance and should make the right use of the chance given, even in the forth-coming general election.
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