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poetry column




By Adesiyan Oluwapelumi

I am sick of being okay.
Term it my ingratitude.

I confess, grace is the sharpest item
I have ever touched.

Go ahead, call me peeled
skin, euphemise my sorrow.

Say to my face, mercy
tutors the sturdiest build.

Laugh at my wretchedness,
call it a cosplay & reprimand me

for a thinking a noose the most
effective way to catch a persisting

breath. Scream into my ears
with bittersweet diction

& overflow the gardenia of
rooted syntax in my ears

with the golden sunrays of your
salutations. Acknowledge my presence

& like the wind, call an unsettling
a startling. Call my cancerous bulbs

glowing goosebumps. Call
fear a contralto of excitement.

Speak as though without legs
and yet in my shoes.

Pacify me with the verses of
a heating mantra and say to me

the fire will cool your burning.
Like frozen fish beneath the watchful

eyes of the sun, say to me safety resides
in the security of your pestilence.

Say to me the sky that burns today
might come back tomorrow and

crackle with a rain of happiness.
Embrace me and whisper in my ears

the fire is more than a validation
of my fusible body. Call it a god

with a lapping tongue thirsty
for a taste of liquid melancholy.

Call my sorrow necessary.
Call it a tribulation I mustn’t fail.


Adesiyan Oluwapelumi, TPC XI, is an African poet from Nigeria. He was the winner of the Cheshire White Ribbon Day Creative Competition (2022). Oluwapelumi writes to explore the intersectionality between memory, language, identity, religion and selfhood. Some of his works have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Wales, IHRAF Publishes, Brittle Paper, Kissing Dynamite and elsewhere. He tweets @ademindpoems

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NDLEA collaborates with BUA Cement to combat drug abuse among workers



The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has initiated a collaborative effort with BUA Cement to implement regular drug tests for drivers and other employees of the company, aiming to ensure they remain free from illicit substances.

Mr. Adamu Iro, the NDLEA Commandant in Sokoto State, disclosed this during a sensitization lecture jointly organized by NDLEA and BUA Cement for the company’s workers in Sokoto. Iro emphasized that this initiative would play a crucial role in safeguarding lives and commended BUA Cement for its commitment to this partnership.

Highlighting the importance of the initiative, Iro noted the alarming trend of some drivers engaging in the illegal use of substances, posing significant risks to their health and overall well-being. He expressed concern that drug abuse has unfortunately become a normalized lifestyle for many Nigerians, leading to an increase in criminal activities among drug-dependent individuals.

Iro underscored the correlation between drug abuse and the prevalent crimes in the nation, emphasizing that drivers under the influence of drugs pose serious threats to public safety through road accidents.

Mrs. Ramatu Sani, the Head of Training at BUA Cement, expressed gratitude to NDLEA for their support in promoting the well-being of workers and enhancing productivity within the company. She emphasized the significance of the sensitization program in fostering a healthy work environment and sustaining the partnership between NDLEA and BUA Cement.

Mr. Ibrahim Bande, the Head of Transport at BUA Cement, urged workers to heed the lectures and abstain from all forms of drug abuse, emphasizing its detrimental effects on personal development and societal well-being. He cautioned drivers against operating under the influence of drugs, emphasizing the importance of upholding the company’s integrity and ensuring road safety.

The event included a drama presentation highlighting the dangers of drug abuse and recognized staff members who have contributed to the fight against drug abuse within the company. Additionally, a road walk was organized within the community to raise awareness among residents about the hazards of drug abuse and its associated consequences.

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poetry column

Lances at the hedges of light



By Samuel A. Betiku

With Nigeria’s economy and poverty levels worsening, abductions have become an almost daily occurrence in recent years — Reuters

Until now, you savoured the world in packets of myth, moon-
lit frolic and a cot where the soft ripple of praise succeeds the rooster’s
call and the amber flush of afterglow. What did you know of a country
flailing outside the stained glasses of your eyes, eyes your mother looked into
to relearn the curves of a hymn: what did you know of being a prey
or of a complicit knot of trees and underbrush lining a dire trail,
blanketing the gleam of tomorrow. You watch your friends trudge on,
each laboured step a prayer no one dares to say out loud. When you open
your mouths, it is to let out a wisp of stifled cry, to risk the gruff nudge
of a gun. At the end of the road, your plundered selves waiting, inescapable.
What can you give to stay a haloed house? You look down at your feet
crusted with crimson and grit and imagine your mother sitting outside
the shed, the quiet sob of petition, the drooped heft of her brow, barely able
to stare at a sky spangled with lights closer to home than her daughter.

Samuel A. Betiku is a Nigerian writer from the city of Ondo, South West Nigeria. His works have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Rattle, The Offing, Frontier poetry, The Temz Review, Trampset, The Christian Century, Strange Horizons, Agbowó, The Deadlands, and elsewhere.

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poetry column

The Knowledge



By Kei Vough Korede

In a dream, two bars of soap
Were handed to me—
One containing melancholy.
The other, mirth.
A voice instructed me to give
The former to my father and keep
The latter for myself.
I broke each bar into half
And handed a half of each soap to my father:
His pain is my pain. My joy is his joy.

Kei Vough Korede, he/they, poet, fashion and mustache enthusiast. He works on his manuscript Oral History. Flirt with him on Twitter @theDilatedSoul

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