Beyond Xenophobic Rhetoric

By Odimegwu Onwumere

All over the world, condemnation has left the dictionary to refute the inimical act by South Africans against foreigners in their country christened xenophobia. Since a fortnight, Nigerians have been awash with retaliatory statements. Some say businesses owned by South Africans in Nigeria should be confiscated. Others say things similar to arbitrariness. These persons no doubt were entitled to their views, but do their views go with Democratic tenets?

Telling President Muhammadu Buhari to do this or that to South Africans tantamount to the same street mob urchins in South Africa have perfected. Giving Buhari such a blueprint means that these Nigerians are in support of the undemocratic features of the president recorded here and there in his cause of governance.

What happened in South Africa was too unfriendly, where about 10 persons were reportedly killed and billions of dollars businesses destroyed. Albeit, the Nigerian government should not be quick to anger without following diplomatic due process. The Nigerian government should avoid reducing itself to the level of what the blindfolded South Africans did. They knew nothing other than destruction, of which most of those involved in the act in pictures spreading around looked kwashiorkored and drug-ridden.

The in-thing should be the government here redressing the many internal squabbles here and there in Nigeria. One is the issue of Fulani herdsmen, Bandits and nepotism across the country. With these addressed, the Nigerian government would be sending a message out to the world that Nigerians value human lives and have respect for human dignity. These bad eggs in Nigeria can’t be having a field day in their killing expertise and Nigeria wants other countries to respect her nationals resident in their respective countries.

If Nigeria should bend to pressure to deal with South Africans and their businesses in Nigeria without first setting the Democratic compass very well, it means that Fulani cows that continue to damage people’s farms across the country upon public outcry against the impunity of the Fulani in the respective states across the country should be confiscated by such states. Let Nigeria get one thing right before the other. With that, she would be telling outside world that a section of her people have stopped destroying lives and property in Nigeria, like their uncivil counterparts in South Africa.


September 6 2019.


Xenophobia Within

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The recurring dislike-of-foreigners in South Africa by South Africans especially against Africans from other countries resident there is too bad an act. But if we look beyond this dastardly act, we could see through history a time there was Industrial Revolution, World Wars, Cold War, among others. While we condemn xenophobia in more than strong terms, these inhumane exercises, no matter the name given to them, are not alien even in Nigeria, other parts of the continent, among citizens in the same country; and it may drag beyond human comprehension.

For instance, there was a hate exercise in Rwanda between brothers that was globally characterized by genocide. The Germans once had a toll on Jews. There have been intermittent killings of people in their communities across the country by supposed Fulani militia. Just name them.

In many families in our clime today, siblings of the same parentage hate each other for some reasons that do not meet the eyes, or meet the eyes. There is acrimony everywhere. It all boils down to love for materialism.

Man has hated his spiritual self for bogus lifestyle and has eschewed his innate humanity. These killings are just a tip of the grip of nuisance against family ties and ethos we sheepishly lost. These killings started from the lost of our aboriginal self. The later was where and when the Laws of the Land were supreme to the Laws of Self. Today, the Laws of Self have taken over the Laws of the Land. People behave in ways fitting to them and humanity has headed to destruction.

The aberration is also found in religions. There is a clash of interest between people of the same faith; there is also the crisis of superiority between adherents of different religions and creeds against each other. The fight is also in economic and political interests between countries, political parties and sundry. The hate for humanity continues to escalate.

There was the Clash of Civilisation (CoC). What we have today is Clash Within Civilisation (CWC) – within the same home, country, siblings, and so on. Man no longer observes the Universal Law of Love One Another. This matrix transcends religion, even the existence of man.

Till man went back to his old self where he was in tandem with the dictates of nature in reverence to the Universal Subconscious Mind, he will not stop being animistic degenerating cannibalistic in his modern behaviours. Till man recognized that the best way to unite with the Subconscious Mind is to think WE, first. The idea of thinking ‘I’, first, has ruined the world and will continue to ruin man till this 5th Atlantis is over; this era when man has so immersed himself in material pursuits.

The era of awakening, when man will abreast his true self devoid of materialism is coming. That would be the 6th Atlantis. By the 7th Atlantis, man will retrace his ways back to the days of his forebears when they were in unanimity with nature and it dictated what they did.

However, the most important thing is for man to know himself. Sadly, many mouth of knowing GOD without knowing themselves. This is the bane. Too much politics in everything, even in spiritual matters. Too bad.

*Odimegwu Onwumere* is a Poet and Writer resident in Rivers State. Email:


I’m Burning {Poem}

Never have I been a bitter person just as I am right now.

A deed from a beloved brother causes me sleep.

My temper is right now beyond anger.

He did not care about the blood that mattered

While breaking, shattering my mind.

He has drawn tears down my dry face.

Is this how much he loves me?

I am in calm spirit but not quiet with myself.

My inner peace is gone as my world is upset.

But is a Sarah Dessen right? when she said:

“If someone is really close with you,

your getting upset or them getting upset is okay,

and they don’t change because of it.

It’s just part of the relationship. It happens. You deal with it.”

Is this right?

*© Odimegwu Onwumere; September 3 2019.*

Where Is My Ball?

By Odimegwu Onwumere
Brother Theodore returned from Cameroon that evening. My contemporaries and I were playing ball on the dusty entrance leading to the compound of our forebears otherwise called Ama. We were joyous to welcome our brother. We took his luggage and jumped on his tall body, ecstatic. He was tremendously happy.
Brother Theodore is my cousin. Well built. His frame is the size of an apprentice weightlifter. Fair in complexion, slightly stammers. He is all a man should be, bodily wise. As children, our eyes were on what he returned from Cameroon with. Different sweetening gifts, nicely perfumed soup and other items were in gift items he came back with. He gave us what he felt were due for us and we were thankful.
Often, Brother Theodore danced Mucosa (or was it called Makossa?) a brand of Cameroonian music that only one who was high with alcohol could dance. The dance step was alien to us in the village. We enjoyed it though, but saw such dance step as weird. But that always brought joy to his spirit. He would tell us how he was risking his life on the high sea through Oron to Cameroon. His expression of the turbulent waves on the sea, won’t appeal to any one who wanted to take on such adventure. Brother Theodore was all about stories such as the mien nature of Cameroonian Gendarme.
We were on the dusty entrance playing ball, the day he was leaving for Cameroon. There was a feeling we all had, a feeling like one who lost a beloved one. We would be missing his company, gifts and sundry. The few days he stayed were fun, in the boring village, where every minute was occupied with assorted errands programmed for us by our parents and guardians. We were awestruck, as if he should stay back, as if he should take us to Cameroon. We would be missing him, his rather weird dance steps, the music we only heard the lyrics, but were lost in the meaning.
During telling him bye, I entreated he buy me a ball, in his next visit. He obliged. This raised burning hope in me. At least, I would own a better ball, unlike the orange we played as ball, unlike the stone-like plastic ball we played, or the ball we moulded from gums we extracted from rubber trees. I was full of hope.
About a year, Brother Theodore was in the village. I rallied around him, inspected his bags with my eyes to see if there was any shape of ball in any. He didn’t know this. To my chagrin, there was no ball. There was none and I wanted to dive to the Ama and play the ball, lure my contemporaries to be envious of my new ball. But there was none. When he had rested, I reminded him of his promise of getting me a ball. He diplomatically shied away from telling me his position. I was aghast and downcast. Not happy with him. Although, I hadn’t the temerity to express my grievances for fear such behaviour could earn me his cane.
Not long, he left for Cameroon. When he came back, owning a ball was no longer a priority to me. As years passed, anytime I see Brother Theodore, it’s as if I should ask him, ‘where is my ball?’
😱😱😱 A True Life Story.


Odimegwu Onwumere and Mama Aunty. {Picture taken in May 2015, after the interment of Odimegwu’s dad}

It has been over a little weeks since I lost our Grandmother, Ezinne (Helena) Onwumere, popularly called Mama Aunty, to death. The enlarged Onwumere family has not been the same. Everyone has a vaccum to nurse because of her passage. The waiting trial is that we will be planting her to the soil by August 26-27, waiting when she will germinate again.

I will be missing Mama Aunty’s spices of Ofe Ukpo na Ede; some others garnished with utazi, uzuza, nchuawu, ugbogiri, oha soup, and others. Her demise keeps running in my head over and over again. Her transition is one of the million things that have given a new way and meaning to my reasoning. As I grow older and without some of our family members I started the journey of life with, a part of my world does not relish with comfort as it used to.

Some loss of beloved ones are hardest. This loss is one! My head has not been with me lately even though I do not sob hysterically. I would have sought for the support of our family members to overcome my grieve, but I would be disappointed because they are grieving as well. Well, I will take solace in the fact that there is someone out there who has my back and I am not into this alone.

August 19 2019.

{POEM} Love Letter

By Odimegwu Onwumere

I cannot remember when I wrote a love letter or received one,

in the sense of writing a love letter, but I do write

with my tongue and mouth often.

I was not taught of writing a love letter in school

but just like that, I developed writing my brand of love letter.

Some I write with fingers,

some I write with tongue,

some I write with phallus.

I never believed I can fall in love

by seeing a mere picture

till I saw hers’ on Social Media.

I’ve sent a text to her about her radiating smile,

wet lips, chubby face, romantic eyes, aesthetic black,

good neck, hairstyle, well-set dentition, plump cheeks.

These are glimmering sensations in me

and she blushed and thanked me so much.

I told her I will be writing her a love letter

and she said she cannot wait to read it.

I’m afraid which one she would enjoy more:

Love letter with my finger?

Love letter with my tongue?

Love letter with my phallus?

I know all are most therapeutic!

People are no longer patient with writing, let alone,

a long letter to a dearly one. Today, I wrote one, telling her

“I love you” is often how a relationship between

a man & a woman starts.

Looking at it, those words smooth our minds. Sometimes

we laugh at such words, in our closet, and radiate

with peace in our hearts.

The day we added each other as friends on Social Media,

I never knew that we would resign for a moment like this,

craving for each other.

I’m seeing our hearts open like it never did,

with intensive and deep feeling for each other.

I’m learning a lesson on this:

Denying affection can be the worst of crimes.

I’m not sure she is feeling the comfort I sense from here;

I’m not sure I matter to her, but she does to me.

She has given me assurance that there won’t be

any crack of this affair on her part. Her beauty crashes

into the world and blazes

and I am happy that I spotted it

and was not shy to tell her.

I’m thanking her for not had hidden herself

from me not to see her. I’m thanking her

for making me write this type of letter again,

because of her picture.

“Wow! You are such a wonderful being!

It is raining now and your words mesmerize my imagination,”

she responded.

“How I wish we are close, perhaps,

we would have sing a song together now in the closet,

with the tone, “Let the spirit of love come down…

I do not know how to sing this song,

but I know you will not shy away to teach me,” I said.

“Haha haha,” she laughed. “Will love to sing along.”

I thanked her for the compliment, but I have

a better way to tell ladies who compliment me ‘thanks’:

They respond just by moaning, tearing and screaming.

“LoL. You must be good then…” she told me.

“I wish you are around to taste this ‘goodness’.

Sadly, you reside in faraway land,” I responded.

I’m comfortable with the discomfort her picture created in me;

a testament that my blood is very much active.

I know that I’m not safe unless we sing the love song together,

hoping she would smile and tell me how good I can sing the song.

© Odimegwu Onwumere; August 17 2019.

{POEM} Relationship

Relationship is a serious business

be it serious or casual relationship.

Some persons are in serious relationships,

but are casual persons.

Some persons are in casual relationships,

but are serious persons.

Both persons are found

in both relationships.

Some persons take the other’s kindness

as loving too much, hence abuse love.

A serious fellow can invest in a relationship,

but is unserious to learn how to grow with the partner.

It is important to make sure

all the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted.

Some persons are unserious in a relationship,

even when they labour in a relationship.

(c) Odimegwu Onwumere; August 14 2019.