The Messengers Gong

Kororom! Kokokorom!! Korokorokom!!!

The gong went off, disturbing the peace of the hamlet

A strange silence descends as the rhythm died down

The evening was cold, sweet breeze from the big river

Made the hamlet cozy and sometimes snores rent the air

Stubborn children turn good

For their parents had threatened

To report them to the messenger

The inn filled with the days laborers

And men who sought refuge in wine

Grow quiet like the graveyard

For the messenger has come

And everyone has to listen!

Kroooromkom! Korokorokom!!

From the long distance a baby wailed

One could hear the mother singing to calm it

The old man with his big radio was even quiet

It seemed everyone desired the news the messenger brought!

Smell of cooking come from the bamboo huts;

Egusi soup and stockfish, the hamlets favorite

Lovers under the Oil bean tree seat aghast

Wondering why the messenger visited that night

Even the trees and her inhabitants

Stood in great silence

For the messenger has come

So everyone must pay great attention!

***

Commentary:

In the rural parts of Igboland the easiest way to disperse a message or information to the people was through the towncrier which translates to the messenger in this piece. They are usually armed with wooden or metallic gongs which they beat out to draw the peoples attention.

Krokorom…: The sound made from the messengers gong.

Egusi soup: A delicacy popular in the South of Nigeria. Normally prepared from the seeds of a typical melon fruit/vegetable grown in West Africa.

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