The Village chief

There was a chief in the wild plains,
A warrior and a leader of the clan
He fought in the war of the White men
And returned a warrior of other lands

” Igwe! Igwe o!! Igwe i ga adigide!”*
The men of the clan always hailed him
For he desired peoples praise than honor
And that was only when he could smile
He walked on the head of the downtrodden
Rode on carts carried by human muscle
And thinks himself a god or a demon
For he drew on his face a traditional tattoo,
Painting a strange image from the Cashew.
The King feared him, the whole clan too
He walked about, other men’s wives to woo
The choicest of lands and fields he took

He recruited for himself thugs and local militia
To do his bidding and mask his evil deeds
Bearing some powers, he molested the Kings men
He had a strange stick which spewed fire
Yes- the firestick can throw a hefty man to his back
And tear away chunks of his body, piercing even the toughest
So no man dared stand on his way, no one could confront him

And one day he got the smartest insult of his life
He had forcefully snatched a parcel of land belonging to another
Feeling obsessively invincible, he and his hench men
In the evening, a crowd of young men had gathered
Before his small palace, disturbing his peace with noise
And making his hench men tremble with confusion
In no time the hench men had disappeared
Leaving the old man with his fire stick
He was angry that the crowd dared treat him as such
Also he was scared for he knew he must be wise now,
His life was hanging on a stone balance

Now he stood glaring at the shouting mob
With eyes ferociously burning like sulphur,
Angry that the crowd dared challenge him
Trying to curse the crowd with gestures…
When a shoe hit him on the face, sparking him off
In a rage of confusion, pain and ire…
He set a foot aside, raised his shot gun
And fired into the clouds, as the crowd dispersed
Snotting like a wounded wild pig, he strod back
Into his palace gates, cursing the runaway crowd
And never again will he underestimate the peoples will

Igwe, Igwei o, i gadigide: Long live the ruler!

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at

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