Who Am I?

I have sought a definition
A sentence that could give me full expression of who I actually am

Am I a girl?
Is my life best expressed in the gender
In the XX of my genotype
Or in the comely form of my phenotype?

Am I a youth?
The leader of tomorrow; the pillar of today,
Am I one of the millions of jolly fresh faced persons
Brewing with passion but lacking in knowledge,
Just hustling to make it?

Am I a Nigerian?
Do I get my identity from my southern roots
Trying to fit into the mold of societal stereotypes?

Am I a graduate?
Is that laminated certificate in my box my identity card
Such that I am quick to shove my titles in peoples faces
Using that as a basis for unhealthy comparison…
But deep down I know
I am not my profession and my profession is not me
So help me answer this question who am I?

Guys, it took a long time to realize who I was
To understand that I couldn’t find myself by looking inward
but looking outward
that I would only see my true reflection
when I look in His mirror
that my true life is wrapped in his death and glorious ascension
that my life is not about the external but the eternal

but that my real identity is in JESUS
not in gender or status or nationality or age or education or skill
so who am I?
I am a child of God, a joint heir with Christ
I am a spiritual, supernatural, extraordinary human being
Trust me,
I am not just a girl, I am not just a youth,
I am not just a Nigerian, I am not just a graduate, I am not just a poet…
I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

Damaris
© 2020

RACIAL RECONCILIATION: OUSTING RACISM WITH LOVE

” God created the human race, humans created racism.” -Jane Elliot

Racism. We all are somewhat scared of and responsible for this word. An upsurge in protests snowballing across many countries in the wake of George Floyd’s murder is shaming racism and racists. Topics that were once sacrosanct are now public discussions. The world is waking up to the damaging effects of institutionalized and systemic racism that has plagued “minority races” for decades. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, activists and protesters are stamping their feet down, pumping their fists in the air demanding equality for all races. These measures are certainly drawing attention to the issue but unless conscious steps are taken by every individual, it “may” be a waste of time. We may not be responsible for racism but we sure do have our work cut out in achieving its deconstruction.

Living in imperfect societies as Christians compels us to do the one thing we’ve been called to do – Love. The famous one-liner, “if you can’t beat them, join them” isn’t a Christian mantra, but rather debunking it is what we are called to do. We can’t stand up to racism by inciting hatred or shrinking into our holes but by loving people of all ethnicity and language like Christ did, unconditionally. Mike Todd in his sermon on racial reconciliation expatiates on a commandment God gave us; “love your neighbour – not your black neighbour, or white neighbour, or affluent neighbour”. The knowledge that in Christ, there are no divisions based on race or ethnicity would be more effective if it were truly practiced rather than stated.

Prejudice, discrimination, structural and institutionalized injustice can be demolished with racial reconciliation which upholds love, tolerance, inclusion and respect as its tenets. Recognizing the problem and actually believing it is a problem is a good place to starting the journey of racial reconciliation. We ought to have a level of self awareness rather than feign ignorance on the issue, only then will we see it as a social problem that needs to be tackled.

Racial reconciliation is not just the sermons but the conscious and consistent love for people, not because of the colour of their skin but because they are human. Love encompasses everything we need to fight racism. There is beauty in diversity, I mean the world will be so bland if everything existed in one shade. Accepting and embracing this draws us closer to the fulfilment of the revelation John had when he saw people of all race, language, nation and tribe worshipping God in harmony.

Reconciling races is possible when we’ve been reconciled to ourselves. No race is inferior to the other, therefore you are not inferior, the spirit in you is not the spirit of fear but of love and that eliminates all fear. We are all worthy of respect and equality and because this decades-long monster has eaten deep into our societies and institutions does not imply we have to settle for and expect less. We are to celebrate our ethnic identity and uniqueness, whether we be African, European, Asian, American, Australian, Biracial, Multiracial, we are God’s ingenious handiwork. We love God and by transforming into His image, we become love and in turn, we love others.

Self-examination reveals who we inherently are. There are social, religious and institutionalized constructs and biases inculcated in us from our childhood which may be discriminatory, this can unconsciously lead us to perpetrate the myths and stereotypes we grew up feeling were normal. Racial reconciliation means evaluating our beliefs and theories about people different from us and ultimately deconstructing the prejudiced, bigoted ones.

The one way racism can be ousted is through love, the God kind – agape. Sure activism raises awareness but treating everyone equally starts from an individual making the choice to love. And how best can we love except we have love in us? There is one who loved us all so much He gave His life for us and if we let Him in, then we too can love effortlessly, regardless of who it is, White, black, brown, red.

In a world where hatred and strife is growing, may we choose to be symbols of love.

IfiokAbasi Okop and Steven Kator Iorfa. ©2020

Prank

Look at me!
I’m not some frail human you can get rid of
I’m not as fragile as I seem
Let that sink in, it’s a decoy
I’m planning, making significant moves you don’t see here but somewhere
More trophies for every mark
Mark my words!
What do you see when you look at me?
Those blooded eyes you see are on a rampage
I don’t come in peace
I inspect the pieces good enough to pierce your mind
Hah!
I won’t give you the satisfaction you need
I intend to become indifferent with every of your whip
I’ll strip you off your carnal confidence
It’s either the plank or the rope, so you think
Hear me now, it’s eternal life on the skin

,

Azubike Hannah
© 2020

Smile

The only medicine that has no prescription
No unpleasant taste
And cost no vortex of energy
Is to always smile
A take with incredible equanimity
Your generosity comes in times of scarcity
Done brazen facedly
Am vaccinated by you against infection
Because you give me a sense of humour
To maintain Stoic indifferent
And also impervious to the chilly wind of scorn
You become an aid as to a good riddance to the poor
And as a scaffolding of hope to the hopeless
A charmed strewn of sunlit shard
To lovers in happy relationship
Within the dying ashes
You blow the sacred spark
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark
You send happiness and a million pleasant thrills to the heart
To parched souls thirsting for love
In the vast desert of human affairs
Playing aide of rhythm to
Encouragement in circumstances.
A therapy used regularly to heal
Persons with varied ailments
With wonderful tonic for life’s ills ..

David Darby
© 2019

INTIMACY OF TRUTH

He asks why I shrink
My mind conjures letters into words
Envelopes but unable to post it
The inefficiency of the post office may misplace it
Misplace it with reactions from cross-purposes
For avoidable protocol of tracing words to letters I shrink

He says I should try him
But I know the end from the beginning
I am expected to be saintly
With perhaps a pardonable trace of sinfulness
Because he supposedly understands I’m human
I can’t determine which of my sinfulness he considers pardonable
So I don’t try him

I quiver at my imaginations
My mind is a roller coaster of horror
The gate of Hades
For his safety, there is no access
No actual intimacy
Let it be closed to family and friends
Entertaining guests will be at the veranda

The explosion of bodies in hot passion is still not intimacy without truth
He could recognize the members of my body in the dark;
Be familiar with the turns, corners
Nooks, crannies, depths and heights of my body
We could surf through a tsunami with goose pimples as evidence
And still not achieve intimacy

My hunger for intimacy deepens
I search and find the one able
To hear my filthy and wretched truth
The one who sees past my truth
And introduced his truth which is grace
Alas, I give up my keys and let him in
I let out fires I shamefully quenched
The intimacy of truth cannot be afforded by humans
But the one already paid

– ChyD
© 2019

Sensei

Your voice elder brother
Reminds me of life without borders.
You live a virtue more than a cafila
Of the nine fruit a part of the triune is, like aqua
Shadows shift spot when you beam your light.
Goodness you exude without a need to fight
This titanosaur, flesh that engulfed men, bond to obey
One filled with wiles; the same that appears as an apostle of the day
You conquered my nightmares, horrible illusions I traded by peace to
Long before I understood that you never wished to
Have half-baked human, harangued into hellscape.
You took away my bugaboo
And made me whole

Simeon Chidi
© 2019

Teen-Page

This book, not like conventional books Begins on PAGE 13
Tales of time to decide what life would mean
These pages chronicle more than stages
They tell of a journey every human must take

PAGE 14 goes on nicely
Realities are made and fantasies are destroyed
Some stories told in childhood seem not true and helpful for the journey ahead

Listening and perception engages the mind
Principles are laid and habits gained
Responsibilities birth abilities never thought of
What beauty inked on PAGE 15

PAGE 16, just like any other page, is a transition, a shift
Moods swing to and fro
And the rhythm of perfection is heard along

When difficulty is served
The right tool (character) is used to deal with 17
As the drums of fear are beaten
Those who can oppose it do
Those who can’t sit back

Teenage years is like a learning platform
Although not Udemy, it teaches a lot
Prepares you for adulthood and maturity
Passing or failing will not make you a certified teen
But reading each page would
No one ever said PAGE 18 is the peak in life
Other pages do exist but it’s only a beginning of a new book

© 2019
@adethatwrites