Posted in Poetry

A song of rejoicing and hope – celebrating the demise of FGM


Noel Ihebuzor

No more shall a million songs be dimmed

and muffled by the shutters of tradition,

no more shall we remain silent

before the stunting of the living

to humor the dead


no longer shall we remain mute 

in drunk like obedience

to hollow and hollowing echoes from the past  

before the snuffing out

of ten thousand and one voices,


no longer remain silent accomplices

when rich possibilities are denied

in deadening numbing initiations,

where blind tradition visits violence

on the present, 

dulls, dumbs, blunts

and limits it 

no more be partakers of a tragedy.



For is it not tragedy

when the crusted boney hands of the past

trap and choke the present

and deny its petals and potentials

from unfurling and feeling?


We sing the voice of hope,

we sing a new dawn,

our voices affirm the present

unbind it from the rusty manacles of practices

that hurt, humiliate and harm,

our voices tear down blinding practices

as we shake ourselves free

from the shackles and tyranny of  some past imperfect


we sing, lips full, voices now vibrant

rejoicing the beauty of petals that will bloom,

the radiance of the bud of the flower

that embraces the open skies

free to feel, unfurl, unfold as endowed


“tragedy is defeated,

the present lives and heaves

rescued at last from the choking grip

of an ossified past

the present celebrates the joy of living

the future unchained”



Our daughters’ voices take up our cue

and sing your demise,

their full voices and lips

announce and chant your death,

chanting it to the four winds

on the four market days

in the gentle glow

and soft smile of each passing moon, happy

the stars winking, decorating the skies above

with a thousand sparkling flowers


our daughter dance,

they dance in agile steps,

limbs and life freed

of the weights of your deadening

heavy lead bangles,

they leap and prance as the melodies

from  their full lips and uncut voices explore,

explode with joy, celebrate

and drown the pains we felt”


Posted in Uncategorized

“Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa” NYT 22/07/2013


Noel A. Ihebuzor

Sometime ago, following advocacy visits to some parts of Nigeria and to Sierra Leone, I wrote this poem  to describe and condemn the practice of FGC.  I later discovered with great joy that the practice of FGC was being abandoned in a growing number of societies/communities and so I wrote this poem to celebrate that positive development. The hope was that such a positive development would spread to more societies and that such HTP would eventually die and become history.

Just last week, I came across this article in the New York Times.

Progress is being made in the eradication of FGC but the practice still continues, largely because of norms and social pressures.  The excerpt below from the NYT article explains why

“The most common reason women give for continuing genital cutting is to gain social acceptance. United Nations researchers for the first time cross-tabulated data on women’s views and learned that many mothers opposed to the practice reported having had their daughters cut”.

“This shows the gap between attitudes and behavior,” Mrs. Cappa said. “What you think as an individual is not enough to put an end to the practice because of social pressures and obligations.”

My view is that the world can end this practice when mothers, aunties, fathers, uncles and husbands and all of us join hands and forces to resist such social pressures. It is also important that we all come together to provide a network of security and support to all those who resist such pressures. Lend your voice today to stop this practice. Men and women, uncles, aunties, fathers, mothers, husbands and wives, yes, all of us stand to gain from an abandonment of FGC given the limitless health, emotional and relational externalities that would flow from such a humane and human rights based decision and choice,

Posted in Uncategorized

Light points

Two light points


softly incandescent

mental particles

travelling through ether-cyber

collide, combine,

confluent release stream of glow beacons

to light minds and lighten souls

yes, yes, yes lovingly

light and lightening

cheering and rejoicing

expanding in reciprocal augmentation

to fusion the nucleus of a song

that vibrates in cascading particles

fissions, ever enlarging ripples and waves

that converge

at particular points


***For SLD who challenged me to dabble into physics!