Posted in Poetry

ChildMother and Wife

By Noel A. Ihebuzor

the child as mother

smothers childhood

the murdered mind weeps

when torture is garbed as culture,

a deadening deaf culture

deaf to pleas and protests

pleas of despair

the despair of the innocent,

thrashing like fish  

trapped in a net,

whimpering and weeping

the lonely lament of a lamb,

her neck gripped in the jaws

of a predator, depraved,

blood spurting from ruptured aperture,

victim’s pain and slow death

contrasting with victor’s rapture

the shivering of the struggling lamb

before the slaughterer’s blade,

as dreaded night falls,

in vain searching the dark world

closing in on her for some light

to brighten her bleak plight and

and lift her soul,

finding none


heiress of pain,

fragile limbs grabbed, groped and gripped

by coarse grasping hands,

the repeated shattering pain  as tender

flesh is gashed by hard hot flesh,

the happy husband

invades soft developing chambers

savours with selfish relish tender flesh,

matters little

this maturing and developing frame

now numb

matters little childhood

now broken

Matters least innocence stolen

forever lost

as forced intrusions, crude invasions,

desecrate unfolding sacred spaces

the empty victor’s gain,

the victim’s pain, our collective shame


Now she carries a new life in her, her child,

herself a child, drenched in confusion,

12, 13 seasons ago,

she was like this life just beginning to form,

now daughter of pain,

tied down by the glue cobwebs of tradition, vice-like



Is this meet the sacrifice of the innocent?

Is it meet that marriage mars childhood

mangling a girl child’s today and her tomorrow

destroying her innocence

in the season of her youth

making a mother of one

in need of mothering

smothering her hopes, happiness and health,

freezing rich potentials

limiting possibilities from unfolding

all because fevered callous hands,  

propped by culture selfishly reach out in greed

to harvest and appropriate fruits,

tender fruits plucked in their bud

to feed coarse souls

in collusion with parents

in search of quick gain

on such emptying and wasting plain

deaf to the cries of pain

of childhood smothered,

of dreams denied

** raw…will refine later – the subject is a delicate and very painful one**

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 Poetry

The first cut – a song against FGM/FGC


by Noel Ihebuzor 

I wait eyes half closed stilling myself,

seeing all around dimly,

heart pounding and racing,

sweating, shivering.


Then the blade flashes fast,

tears down, biting

deep into loose flesh, full lips

my body all tense,  

uncontrollable shivers and tremors,

another slash, the lips are gone,


a spurt, a splash

then the gush of running wet red spreads slowly,

and swells and swells, emptying me,

stunting me, marking and hurting.


The pain in my head stings, stuns and swells,

throbs banging,

pain plays discordant persistent jarring strokes,

hammering pounding,

my flesh now raw, red and ragged.


My sobs of pain and bewilderment

are drowned in the jubilant ululation of aunties

while mother looks on,

sharing my pain, not speaking,

lips trembling as I tremble, lips sealed,

recalling her own past and initiation,

an unwilling accomplice to a stubborn slow to die practice

that slashes, gores, gashes and stunts portions of life of the living

in keeping with the hollow voice of an outmoded moribund tradition.