He came to our country
The man from France
He greets everyone he sees
Symbolizing such with his hands-raised
And smile so cheery and awesome
He walks from street to street
And children follow him follow him because of his colour?
One day, I called him for a conversation.
Shockingly, he said: “Me no English”
And smiled again cheerfully at me.
I was dispirited for my desperation
I spoke with English language
He responded with French Language
I wrote my mind on a paper with English
He wrote his too on a paper with French,
Then I mused as we were looking at the paper
I couldn’t read likewise he couldn’t read
We’re engaged in a health-given smile
With our palms clamped together
Like a shackle on a theft hand
Now said I in my mind:
What is the definition of illiteracy?
Who said that Africans were illiterates?
I was astonished when a white man
Cannot speak English language nor write
Is he not an illiterate?
Am I not an illiterate of French?
We settled our course on laughter
But I could not yet define illiteracy!
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Odimegwu Onwumere, a poet and an author, is the Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State , Nigeria . +2348032552855. [email protected]
If it's prose, he writes stories,
If it's poetry, he writes poems,
If it's drama, he writes screenplays,
And he has achieved some poetry nominations, in the USA and in Canada. He was born in Accra Ghana. A Nigerian by origin and is in his early thirties.
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