PAROUSIA Magazine Christmas Cascade Issue 9

 

YORUBA DRUMS

Welcome to Africa
Mr White
Welcome to Ilaro
my friend
so glad you honoured my invitation
this is the Redeemed Church
I know we play your drum kit
and blow your saxophone
with coloured lightings on the roof
I excuse your smiling at our apprenticeship
yet you won’t deny
the other melody you can’t comprehend

See now your drum kit has stopped playing
and your saxophone is on the floor
now even the singing halts
this is the moment

Hear
it is that melodious background sound
that is the only sound now
you now see where it comes from
you have never seen these drums
they belong to us, made by us
I know you feel the rhythm
I see it in your eyes
see that one on his shoulder
it is called gangan
see how he beats it with excitement
he is lost in his element

See
that set of drums is called bata
Hear the sound of these Yoruba drums
as it burst through the roof
and reaches to the sky
I know you are thrilled beyond expectations
look at our women
see them bent down
shaking their waists to the rhythm
that cloth they tie is called ashooke
do you see the gele on their head
I know you too are getting lost
in the throb of these drums

See the entire auditorium
is alive with Ibile dance
as we celebrate the birth of Christ
it was your ancestors that introduced
Christ to our ancestors
but now we figured
he is actually one of us
it is his blood that flows in us
he speaks our tongue
hence we greet him saying
Kabiyesi oooooo

 

Oghenero Ezaza

 

Biography:

OGHENERO EZAZA is the coordinator of Warri Literary Society. He writes prose and poetry. He is the author of Reflections: A Collection of Poems. His poems have featured in various anthologies including: Wushapa: Beating the Drums of Peace, Who Shall I Make My Wife (Collection of Food Related Poems) and Black Communion. Twitter: @ReflectPoems