African Guest posting Poetry


Happiest outside in the garden
Written by Eridwana


(For Nkechi Kunle-Komolafe and International Girls’ Day)

There are gods,
there are genies,
there are spirits,
there are women
and there was Oro
and Egungun.
And last night,
I casted a pebble of question
unto a dying man,
“why are women excluded from Oro cult ?”
Awo Egungun ni obinrin le se,
bi obinrin ba foju kan Oro,
Oro aa gbe.

Oro and Egungun,
they are men from beyond,
what distinguish them from a common man
is that mask
that signifies mystic elements,
they are men not gods
but never common.
new yam were celebrated,
Sango was celebrated,
Obatala was celebrated,
and these friends sat under a lit fire
and picked a date
to celebrate themselves.
They are men not gods
but common men celebrates them, still.

Oro had a woman.
And she was a dazzling one,
her skin converting the beauty that lingers
in ebony
but what is beauty without brain ?
She planted money to spice
the camwood on her skin,
she grinded cowries
to adorn
her firm waists
with coral beads,
she laced wealth
that her hairdo
might reveal the best of enticement.

Egungun had a woman,
and she was one
whose ingenuity was envied by the earth
and beyond.
She placed her man’s robes
underneath the mat,
that it might be as smooth
as the skin of a deer.
She knitted blue silk with green wool,
that her man’s outfit might reflect as
the coat of many colors.
She laced Egungun’s shrine
with dry canines and dingy bones.

Days became weeks,
weeks became months.
Even the half crescent became a full moon,
then Egungun stepped upon
the public stage,
in his regalia that depicts
might and prowess,
a maestro that he still is.
Trumpets blown,
drums resounded,
gongs clanged,
emu oguro quenched the thirst of the public,
wraps of okele satisfied hunger
even of the covetous Ijapa.
Iya mi je n fe’legun o jare
Felegun !
To’dun ba de, maa k’egba dani
To’dun ba de,maa k’ero leyin o
Dance. Music. Blares.

Oro boomed into his home,
he who laugh last
laugh best
but Oro
might not get to laugh
for he was to be laughed at.
His wife was all dressed in her adornments,
but here was Oro
whose high hopes was now sinking.
Down casted. Furious. Flee.

Oro dropped his calabash,
command rooted from his tongue.
He booed his woman into the silent hut
and took an oath with the fireflies
to host his festival, when moon tales are told
and never shall a woman,
young or old
emerge at the spot.
Oro still mumbles,
a proof of his undying anger
and a message of tremble
to the women, indoors.

Black Woman is a Deity

The black woman is a deity,
there are women
and there are women.
The woman of Egungun has earned a respect,
for the secrets embedded in her plans
and a symbol of pedigree
that serves as the balance
for character.
The wisdom and conquest of our ancestors
overflow from the tap
of their women.
The black woman can make,
the black woman can mar.
She is a witch
that protects her offsprings
against evil plots
and still
covers her offspring
when they plot evil.
The black woman is a deity.
Behind every successful man,
is a woman whose gele touches the sky.
Nkechi is that woman,
Nkechi is that deity.
The black woman is a deity.


Sometimes in our bid to define the purpose of a woman, we take away the limiting lid the society has put on women, only to replace it with yet another self defined limiting lid. –Maureen Alikor.

About the author


Ridwan Adelaja is a news reporter and content curator on Quill Kastle. He has worked as a freelance reporter for NTA Ilorin, The Nation News and MC_REPORT in the past. He is a multiple award-winning Poet with a special interest in journalism.


  • I am a woman, but I do not think I wish to be called a deity. That title is for God alone. By the same token God created the woman in His image, not to be worshipped, but definitely to be respected and appreciated.

    • The Poet must be exaggerating respect here. He definitely will not mean worship. God Is God. Deity is an inclusive word.

      I must appreciate your contribution this time. Thanks for stopping by.

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