Monday, 9 December 2013


My dearest friend, Nuella wrote this poem which I love and think is quite true of the "big man" on our streets.

Agbada; the flowing side weaved robe,
usually embroidered, draped on strong shoulders
like majesty
worn throughout Nigeria by important men
and each fiber says ceremony.
Agbada, yours is pure white with
gold embroidery. You are pot bellied and
yellow eyed, the signs of a chief,
the signs of one who has consumed beer
and gin for a lifetime; the signs of age.
You roll off white bed sheets that have
been soiled with the scent and sweat of
another woman, the one whose generator fuel
and rent you pay for. The one whose legs part open
for wealthy living. The one who is a validation of
your ‘African masculinity’.  The one whose plan is to marry
you and change her fortunes.
Husband snatcher”,it will roll off women’s tongues like acid
when they see her with you
wearing her matching iro and buba.
After the weekly deed, you put on your
crisp agbada again, then step into the streets
oozing importance, and prosperity;
Agbada, the cloth of a big man,
oga oooo!” they hail you exuberantly on the outside
but at home you make your wife feel small,
aren’t you then small for it?
For more of Nuella's poems visit her blog