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  • Walt Shakes

    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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What is Nigeria to you?

A place on a map

A boundary to be maintained

An idea to be mused upon

A topic to rant about

A people to be mocked and despised

A country to be avoided by its very own

Or a thought forbidden from crossing the mind?

Perhaps the question should be –

Who is Nigeria?

For years we believed the lie

We called Nigeria a place

A boundary

An idea

A people

A country

A nation

Even a thought.

Today, Nigeria has a face.

Look carefully, whose face do you see?

That of the insatiable, corrupt, do-or-die Politician?

Of the bribe-accepting Civil Servant?

Of the extortioner Policeman?

Of the pilfering Bank Chief?

Of the randy and grade-changing University Don?

Of the gun and amulet-toting Militant?

Of the tribalistic Employer?

Of the non-tolerating Religious Bigot?

Of the self-glorifying Pulpit Preacher?

Of the one-chance Bus Driver?

Of the certificate-forging Graduate?

Of the heartless Kidnapper?

Of the money-begging Airport Staff?

Of the bomb-planting Terrorist?

Exactly whose face do you see?

Were I you, I would not be in a haste to answer,

I would pause long and look hard.

For you just might be staring right at your own face!

This ‘face’ of Nigeria, dirt, soot and all,

It really is your face and yours alone.

So, if you have any sense of self preservation,

You better start scrubbing, NOW!

Written by Adaora NwankwoNigerian-Flag4

Leave a comment


  1. Mc Kingdavid

     /  October 7, 2013

    The one i read during our independence and this are simply good. Ada keeps telling us the odour of her Nightmarish country. Nice! Nice!

  2. wow! A masterpiece, Adaora is mater of the art!

  3. Awesome!

    Good one, God bless you for good one this morning.

  4. Inasmuch as you see sll these ills and deficiencies, I choose to look beyond the superficial and see the beautiful potential that is devoid of selfish aggrandisement in people like me.

    • anyibaba

       /  October 7, 2013

      Did you read the poem?

      • storm

         /  October 7, 2013

        Hahahaha! Many ppl won’t read the poem…na normal thing….

      • Nonso, wнaт my good friend Anyibaba means but failed to say becos of his oozing sarcasm is: perhaps уσυ didn’t quite get tнє message of tнє poem. Tнє writer isn’t asking to look at tнє dirt on other people. She’s not even asking уσυ to look beyond tнє dirt to tнє goodness beneath.
        She’s asking уσυ to start tнє journey of making Nigeria a better place with уσυrself first.

    • anyibaba

       /  October 7, 2013

      Thanks Walter for that explanation, would have taken me forever and a strong will power to explain.

      Nice poem really

  5. storm

     /  October 7, 2013

    Hahahahah no wonder few ppl have commented on this. Very very honest poem…very beautiful…mtcheew nigerians..the ones who mess up their own little niches and complain the whole habitat is a mess. Always screaming “God help us” instead of doing our own part.
    Nice poem jare….really beautiful I’ll carry my soap gladly and clean the best I can.

  6. anderson

     /  October 7, 2013

    *Solemnly* Pass me the bleach.

  7. A masterpiece I totally agree with! Well done, Ms Nwankwo.

  8. Maureen

     /  October 7, 2013

    Adaora Nwankwo, *Hugs for u!!!!
    calls to mind that saying” as u point a finger @ d other person, 3 fingers point right back @ ya.”
    The change I crave starts with me.

  9. kachi

     /  October 7, 2013

    Good one

  10. Esther

     /  October 7, 2013

    I wish there was a way to like blog posts. This is a very good piece. Every Naija person has soot in his or her face that needs scrubbing

  11. Beautiful piece from Ada, once again!!! Her poignant and deep pieces always leave me thinking, and they are always so full or rich imagery. Well done to her!!!!

  12. Moses opara

     /  October 7, 2013

    God help Nigeria. This poem exposes reality.

  13. Oly

     /  October 9, 2013

    Wonderful piece. Always a pleasure to read your works Dr Nwankwo

  14. Tiwa

     /  October 9, 2013

    Lovely piece. Nigeria will be a better place if her citizens heed the writer’s counsel.

  15. DrEkene

     /  October 10, 2013

    AhDeeAh! Proudly “Discuss”
    Anyway, i don dey scrub since oh; some dirt stil dey besides d nose oh…:)

  16. Tolu Daniel

     /  October 31, 2013


  17. This is beautiful and soul-searching. I love the tail-off so well.

  18. Anyanya

     /  February 3, 2014

    So well-laid! As the guilt is glaring, may my willing mind meet a working hand doing the best I can to scrub it off – this dented face. So we can honestly glow! I love this.


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