Iya Ologi – I Am Afraid

“Iya ologi”, I called out to her
“Ẹ kaaro sir” said she to me
The voice and greeting led me back to the days
Iya ologi would greet my father
Those days before he was bathed with dust

So, this greeting so familiar
Sermonizing and remindful
Today, I look so much like my father
I’m afraid, am I now a man?

Insooth, time has passed
The girl with a swollen chest calls me sir
And the broad-chested youth beckons at my call
Thirty kids on the streets call me Daddy
And to many, I have been ‘Uncle-d’

This grey of mine I pluck
My delusion, it solemnly laughs
How soon has the child become an elder
And the son, the father of the man

Winters have besieged my brow
And is set to dig trenches on my comeliness
How soon shall I be wrinkled
And how many winters more shall I count

I have been deceived by the sluggishness of time
Suffice to call time a snailed-horse
Yesterday, I was a boy in his father’s arms,
It is dawn, my beards have grown

As the days count, men get closer
And soon will man be bathed in dust
Delusion has no place and tomorrow in-non-existent
The child may have a thriftless hope in years to come
From whence comes the hope of the aged but foolery?

Iya Ologi has brought to me a reminder
Of the time gone and the age that has come
Where girls have become women
And men, now men of men

Shall we say time is a lightening
A flash or a mirage
All the treasure of our youthful days
Get laced on our own deep-sunken eyes

And the jester – African woman
We called and piped…
To our ‘sin’ she fumed
“Woman”, we had called…
Now, the tune is changed
“lady” we called…
And with us, she merried and laughed
Lady she wants to be called, not woman
Albeit wrinkled – 40 winters have besieged her brow

I am afraid…
Each second brings one closer to the grave
Soon, shall we be long forgotten
Oh! Beloved shroud – we would be bathed in dust
Of the grave I am afeared…
Iya Ologi calls to rememberance…


– Ogi/Akamu is called African corn pudding but Pizza is not oyinbo fufu

– Iya Ologi is a woman who sells Ogi

– Ẹ kaaro Sir (Yoruba language) means Good morning Sir

Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman


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