Thursday, September 23, 2010

On CDFs...

Launching Our Community Development Fund

It was announced in the Daily Times, the New Nigerian,

the television, the radio and other acclaimed megaphones.

Today we launch our Community Development Fund

to complete the project the Government abandoned from start

for lack of funds; the Treasury looted overnight

by those elected to generate national wealth.

Dancers are back again from their holes, gyrating

in front of the Chairman and the Chief Launcher, millionaires.

The booths are painted bright in national colours.

In those days as dancer twisted themselves out of breath

to the applause of the Governor and his vast entourage,

we laid foundation stones with party blocks that dissolved

with return of Honourable Guests to the capital –

the budget allocation went with the civic reception.

There was no attempt to build what would outlive the builders,

and this disregard for afterlife was unfortunate for us

Christians and Muslims; heaven could not be gained here.

Today, as before, there are dancers to excite the chiefs

to pledge millions of naira to build their egos.

Always before new lords that rise with the fall of old patrons,

the dancers live eternally digging the ground that swallows

the Very Impotent Personalities. And after this launching,

the proceedings, the names of donors, will be announced

in the Daily Times, the New Nigerian and other acclaimed


Tanure Ojaide

This was one of those poems I studied in school years ago, you know the one that came from one of those ubiquitous potry anthologies with an obvious title like Modern Poetry for the African Child or Wole Soyinka's Clever Use of Satire -The Simplified Commonwealth Edition.

Anyway, now that Promulgation Fever is over maybe we can settle in to the task of Nation Building and finally put an end to any parallels between Nigeria's Organised Chaos and Kenya's Fuck-it-all philosophy. Ojaide's wry observations are none the less witty and broadly applicable.


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