A Review of To The Women of New Africa By Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed
Proud mothers of the coming age,
‘Tis good to find you now engage
Your minds and time your lives to raise
Above the level of byegone days.
‘Tis good to see you play your parts
With spirit and undaunted hearts;
It gives Young Afric’ throbbing soul
A glimpse of a bright and glorious goal.
God bless you, Mothers of our Race,
God cause to shine on you His face;
And give you strength and all you crave
To bring forth sons and daughters brave.
Like an apostrophe in style, the poem is a direct but public address to the women of Africa. The poet qualifies them with proud, not because they are arrogant but he is being proud of them actually and this is the rationale that prompted him to write the poem.
He expresses his joy as they (the women) “now engage” in ways to better their “lives” from those of the “byegone days”, the past years. What he meant there is that they are different from the women of older generations because they change and revolve around with new trend or vogue.
He writes that their parts which are now well played give the young Africa a new look in its entirety which is “bright and glorious”. Africa is young because she is just recuperating from the bitter torture of the Colonialists. The “goal” is given two qualities to exhibit how it has spread in a grand style as depicted in the poem.
The last stanza unlike the others doesn’t praise but offer prayers. He wish Africa to have “brave” children whom will be brought forth by this “Mothers of our Race”.
The prom is a form of admiration for the venerable deeds if African women. However, this admiration is directed towards the present ones and the old considering the title. This poet admire these women that he treats them in the poem with good words and respect. It is not surprising that we find that he not only pray but also praise them.
The title is what hints us about this theme. It is central to the poem, even the first line of the poem has it too. The poet directs its address only to the present women of Africans who do not stay statically in one place like stagnant water but move everywhere. They are new because they change their ways to mend African values.
They do this to “raise above” the standard of Africans and not to tarnish her image for peanuts as the regenades did. The poet notes how they “engage” in this trend with “spirit and undaunted hearts”. If they did otherwise, the poet will not have lauded them because he is himself a strong Pan-Africanist.
The prom is a piece that willl serve as a form of encouragement to anyone that goes through it. It will be not only for those the poet has in mind when he is writing it but also the young generations who have strong passion for the development of Africa.
Set in the post-colonial period, the poem has it spatial locale in Africa. The words and title of the poem suggests this vividly.
1. Repetition: This is the repetitive use of certain words in a poem. In this poem, “you” and “your” are used more than twice.
2. Anaphora: A figure or speech where the first word(s) of a line in a poem begins the one that follows immediately. Consider the example in the poem.
3. Capitalization: Though not a figure of speech, it is used to emphasize the vitality of Africa and her women. It is also a sign of respect too.
4. Inversion: For the purpose of rhyme, the poet uses inversion. He changes the normal order of words grammatically.
The poem has an end rhyme of: aabb ccdd eeff.
ABOUT THE POET
A former Premier of Mid-Western Region of Nigeria, Chief Dennis Chukude Osadebey is a learned jurist and writer. His works appeared in his anthology ‘Africa Sings’ while he was still a student at London. He focused on rustic poems and low condition of living of his people.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
The professional editor chaired Scholar Media Africa Magazine in Kenya, Mohammed Oluwatimileyin Taoheed is a Nigerian bilingual writer cum investigative journalist with Track News Nigeria, Abuja. He works with The Yellow House Magazine as a Books Reviewer and he is currently in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto State where he reads Law