CRITIQUING IGOLO, A Poem written by Stanley Kelechi Igbo, in honour of Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the First Lady of Ondo State
Igolo opens at the height of a perpetual despair that had ravaged the land overtime and dampened the spirit of her denizens. The poet aptly painted the hitherto joyless situations that Igolo’s coming altered.
The poem is a telling breakthrough from despondency to triumphant hope as it speaks to the dramatic strides Igolo – a personafication, wrought on humanity, at dire costs, on the various fronts.
While the poem speaks to the high marks scored on Igolo’s life- changing initiatives, Igolo is given out as a builder, reformer, change-agent, succor giver and positive iconoclast who has made untold sacrifices to change the heretofore turbulent times, and who should be encouraged to further progressive expressions at a higher rung.
Since, Igolo, in Igbo language represents
the brightest of all stars; the northern star, the poet did succeed in giving succinct metaphorical portrait of stark darkness into which a population was plugged before Igolo’s appearance. Even so, the poem delivers a political taste in the linguistic direction of Igolo whose standing means a loudly symbolic victory of merit and competence over demagoguery.
Already fed up with the “successive insensitive fellows at upper chambers”, the thirst of the people for more of Igolo-
savior of the underdogs, and their cravings for more of her exploits become more evident in the voice calling out on it: Come, Igolo! Come, defender of the defenceless.
Insects chirped, nocturnal birds sang
Announcing the arrival of night.
Doting mother cuddled her baby
Lullaby after lullaby; none placatory.
Mother miffed at its uncontrollable cry.
And respite rises
Up the sky mother pointed
Directed its attention skywards
Behold Igolo gbanyuru onwa!
Total tranquility enveloped vicinity.
Little bedbug giggled and dozed off.
Behold Igolo Abiam!
Distinct in illumination
Beauty beyond imagination
Amidst the galaxies
Your pride of place you take.
Proper proponent of gender equality.
Male chauvinism you chastise.
You’re BAFF, BRECAN and BEMORE.
Ingenuity ingrained in your essence
Widow’s worthy soothing balm.
Igolo gbanyuru onwa!
Come and light up our zone
We need you on the throne
Successive insensitive fellows at upper chambers
They were never life changers.
Come, defender of the defenceless.