(... HIS POEM ...)
An epitome of integrity has never existed
A man that we all should look up to has never been born
Little wonder, the world is ruled by wolves
Who pretend to be sheep
And our rams follow the dogs to eat from the dunghills
As if we are made off the same clan
So let’s pretend we are all human
I will help you to succeed
I will take you to the abroad
To wine and dine with the people who rule the world
While we pretend that you never owed me
All I need to do is to collect your salaries
Let’s pretend you are the president
And I am the kingmaker
Call me jagaban, cabal, or whatever
You may have the mouth that is speaking
But I have the brain that is working
Let’s pretend we are asleep
Perhaps our lives won’t take a dip
Maybe we will be lucky to differentiate those who love us
From those who only want to ride us
Maybe we pretend we are all dead
And finally we put into the open the truth our fellow humans dread
That shedding crocodile tears could fill up the ocean
When actually what they have for us is nothing but hatred
Let’s pretend that we never worshipped
This God that has no war-ship
Who wins wars that He won’t even attend
What kind of a god goes into battles
Asking his soldiers to sing praises
instead of using ammunitions
Though I’ve seen His miracles and heard of His testimonies
I prefer the gods of America, North Korea, or Russia
Who win wars by shaking the earth and
making the unbelievers to fear
Anyway, let’s pretend we are holy
Even when we go a-whoring
Raising holy hands like we command His presence
While in the club our dirty hands we raise
to Davido, Techno, or Phyno
But, let’s pretend we do not sin
Though our iniquities could sink the titanic
After all, it’s not a thing that our eyes have not seen
Some pastors feed us with deceit like it’s daily tonic
“Akoda oro odabi ada gbeyin”
Though they may deceive me on a Sunday
I want to deceive them on a full week
Let’s pretend we are innocent
Even when we are the biggest plants
Claiming to be in labour for Him like a pregnant woman
When in actual fact we are after the sugary-congregation
Let’s pretend we are normal
Even though we are abnormal
So we could mix with the crowd going to Canaan
And make the watchdogs join us to sink our fellow humans
Nevertheless, pretend this is not an irony
And what you hear me say is actually what I want to say
So when they come to label me a pagan, rebel, or unbeliever
You will tell them of all the ills I have done in the past
Of the good people I killed and the messiahs I made to backslide
Finally, let’s pretend you didn’t hear me say this
So when the DSS, General Overseers, or Imams come for my head
You will tell them it was from a small boy from one small family
in one small neighbourhood
So they could realize that the family is the smallest unit of a nation
That if the well-being of families are continued to be neglected
Our politicians, religious leaders, or village elders
will continue to be like a ship that wants to sail on a dry land
© The Enigmatic, Olumide Bisiriyu
*“Akoda oro odabi ada gbeyin” : revenge is more painful than first offense
(... HIS INTERVIEW ...)
EGC: Your Real Name/Stage Name
ENIGMATIC: Real name is Olumide Bisiriyu, but those who know me well call me “The Enigmatic, Olumide Bisiriyu” or Enigmatic Olumide for those who know me fairly.
EGC: Discipline/What You Do
ENIGMATIC: I am an Estate Surveyor. I also do Photography and Cinematography.
EGC: Other Creative Art Forms You Practice
ENIGMATIC: I do poetry (stage and page), acting, and writing stories. I guess photography and film making also qualify here. I used to sing too, but I stopped that a long time ago, though I still write songs.
EGC:What Made You Go Into Poetry
ENIGMATIC: It was like an accident; I started writing songs in 1994, but sometimes along the line I will just scribble some thoughts in stanzas… I didn’t know it was poetry until 1999. By year 2000/2001, I already had loads of poems on pieces of paper. Then I met one Indian/Nigerian Poet, who encouraged me to start keeping my collection in books; perhaps that was when I realized I have already delved into poetry.
EGC: Kind Of Poems You Write/Perform
ENIGMATIC: I write and perform anything, love, politics, social-moral, but all with a spiritual undertone.
EGC: People Who Inspire You In Poetry
ENIGMATIC: I guess man doesn’t inspire me though, I will say God uses anything to inspire me.
EGC: What You Hope To Achieve With Poetry
ENIGMATIC: I will take that from Isaiah 58:12… in summary, I want to be a bridge to link the world with God, and show good paths to thread; that also applies to other art forms I venture in.
EGC: Your First Time At Be Blessed
ENIGMATIC: Well, the first edition was to celebrate my birthday in 2011… and that’s BB1.
EGC: How Many Times At Be Blessed
ENIGMATIC: I have attended all 14 editions… That includes BB13 that most people saw I was sick and many wondered why I still attended.
EGC: Poets You’d Like To See At Next Be Blessed
ENIGMATIC: They are too many to mention: but they are two key sets of people; those who have attended before and those who believe we are doing something good.
EGC: Most Memorable Edition Of Be Blessed And Why
ENIGMATIC: That would be the first edition, because it was to celebrate my birthday and because it was the day we thought of doing it continuously. I never believed people would come from far and near because we used a large sitting room in Ajah, Lagos, for it. I was encouraged.
EGC: What You Missed About Be Blessed
ENIGMATIC: The love. The “familyhood”. The “artmosphere”.
EGC: What You Like About Egc
ENIGMATIC: The fact that God is helping us to achieve our aims even when it looks like we are not doing much.