be bold

be bold
rise
uphold your values

be one
unite
hymn to the slogans of liberation

be fearless
revolt
let the earth tremble
let the blood of the dead attest to your unheard cries
let this change be an epoch that’ll be etched on minds of those to come
let it ting, let it jar
let your selfless anthems make it to pages of history
let them know complaisance is not a word we ever agreed with
let your demands be chanted
let this bondage cease to end
let your hands veer minds into doing what is right

be invincible
impact
be a moutain of hope to those treading the path of disarry
let your guidance blaze their trails
let belief be restored to the hearts of the defiant

be a wave
impart
recite the bitter verses of this modern reality
let it reecho to the graves of souls departed
let it be known their fight was never in vain
their pain is rooted in our veins
and that we will not be veered off this lane

be just
at all times
let justice not be only a word seen on paper
“for true peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice”
let it resonate in our acts
let it be embodied in us, by us and for us

be loved
and love
let your heart overshine the sun’s radiance
let it be soft and embrace each other’s diversity
let it be as it is
for love conquers all

be bold
rise
uphold your values

be one
unite
and proclaim this struggle

—Salim Ubale

Image by Dreamstime Stock, Pinterest

Allegiance

i pledge allegiance to…

oh did you think i would say flag?

or did you think i’d pledge my trust to leaders with deflated egos?

Nay!

i pledge allegiance to pure justice

to the struggles of our ancestors

to the battles of the mind, body and soul that made real impact

i pledge allegiance to the truth

to the likes of Jamal Khashoggi who perished for questioning a biased status quo

to the mind liberators of our generation

to political correctness in the face of aggression

i pledge allegiance to bravery

to the likes of Gambo Sawaba who fought for the rights of her kins

to those being persecuted for voicing out against our oppressors

to artists who subtly enlighten us with persuasive paintings to address despotism

i pledge allegiance to those who remain not silent in the face of adversity

to the likes of Fela Kuti, who stirred revolutions and fought for something bigger than themselves

to those who ignite sparks of emancipation in us

to the ones who rip the ulcer that eats and decays our society

i pledge allegiance to our fallen heroes

to the likes of Lt Col Abu Ali the vanguards in the quest for our salvation

to the oath keepers who selflessly serve for no other reason than honour

to the chain breakers who fight to restore our peace and to enjoy the glories of freedom

O my people think!

you look blindly and swear fealty to dishonourable leaders

you support the occupation of a people and reprieve yourselves when called to answer for your crimes

you listen to the truth and call it treason because you benefit from falsehood

you walk down paths of wretchedness and call it the path to salvation

O what hypocrisy!

O my people think!

Think!

for i pledge allegiance to you

to humanity, to my people

-Salim Ubale

this poem was published in a newspaper. you can find the link at https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/poet-of-the-week-salim-ubale.html

image by Creative Market