Mfie Apem Nipatitire
Ofiraa n’ani wɔ n’anisoadehunu nti na obubuu n’aprɛ wɔ n’anamɔntuo mu na ɔhwan n’ase akonwa wɔ berɛ a ɔtiaa ne nan akyi na ɔsan nso kaa ne ntanban fam sɛnea ɔrentumi ntu nkɔsunsan ntɛnkyea ne nkoasom mu ntoma a na wɔde afira abibiman. Na ɔpam n’ano sɛnea ɛbɛyɛ na ɔrentumi ɛne abibiman nkaeɛ no ntumi nto kɛsɛ maa no wui wɔ asaase pradaa bi so a ɔkɔɔ wɔn mmoa wɔ berɛ bi a atwam. Na wɔhunuu sɛ na ɔkuta adwene kɛseɛ a na ɛboro ne ti ketewa kwankoraa soɔ nanso wɔantumi anka n’abodin anhyɛ: “abibirem barima kokoɔdurufoɔ”. Na saa berɛyi ne saman gyina atweneɛ a ɔretwɛn na ɔrehwɛ nneɛma berɛ a ne nsa ano nnwuma abɛyɛ ahonini a ɛrehunahuna nea ɔnni anisoadehunu.
Man of the Millennium
They blinded him For his vision And crippled him For his movement They removed his chair When he stood up And clipped his wings from flying high To tear through the cloak Of injustice and oppression. They sealed his mouth From sending brotherly messages of unity And made him die in a barren land Where he once sprinkled some seeds of hope. They saw his brain too big To be housed in his smallish skull But could not deny him a place of honor: “African’s man of the millennium” And now his ghost stands on guard Humbly watching and waiting As his mighty works Have become hunters Haunting the visionless!
Listen to the poem in Twi
Listen to the poem in English
About the Poem
“This poem was written as a eulogy for Kwame Nkrumah, the revolutionary leader of Ghanaian independence and visionary advocate of the Pan-African movement. As President, Nkrumah oversaw Ghana’s rapid industrial development and invested in national educational facilities. He played a key role in the development of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union). However, the establishment of a one party state and his opposition to tribal loyalties triggered violent reactions from various factions and Nkrumah survived at least five assassination attempts before being ousted in a military coup on 24th February 1966” (“Man of the Millennium”).
Adjei Agyei-Baah is a lecturer, poet, editor and translator at the University of Ghana School of Continuing and Distance Education, Kumasi Campus who teaches Academic Writing and Literature in English related courses. He is the co-founder of the Africa Haiku Network and Poetry Foundation Ghana, and currently serves as the managing co-editor of The Mamba, Africa’s first international haiku journal. He is widely anthologized and won several international awards. Adjei is an author of four haiku/senryu poetry collections: Afriku (2016), Ghana 21 Haiku (2018), Piece of My Fart (2018) and Trio of Windows (co-published, JUNPA, 2018). Adjei is currently PhD student at the University of Waikato, New Zealand researching into teachers experiences of teaching Literature in English in Ghana” (“Man of the Millennium”)
“Man of the Millennium.” Africanpoems.net, Apr. 2021, africanpoems.net/praise/man-of-the-millennium/. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.