Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Zik The Poet

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe with Oba Musendiku Adeniji Adele (Oba of Lagos 1949-1964)
Of course you know Zik the statesman. You know Zik the politician. You know Zik the journalist. You know the Zik the publisher. You know Zik the premier. But do you know Zik the Poet? Yes, Dr. Benjamin Nnamid Azikiwe was also a poet.

Today, Onigegewura brings you this poem authored by the legendary Owelle of Onitsha. It was written 1958 but Zik could have been addressing today’s Nigerian youth. The title is Latin for ‘It is Finished’.

Consummatum Est
189 Bamgbose Street, Lagos - Zik's residence in 1917

Now is the time to make way for our youth
And give them the chance to do what they have planned
To make secure the freedom of our land,
Pursuing fervently the path of our truth.

We ‘ve had our chance to serve our native soil,
We ‘ve fought the wars and won, but then we ‘ve found
That we have left a legacy of toil.

This nation shorn, some one must build anew
This nation torn, some one must mould and forge,
Bunk that was swallowed, some one must disgorge

New friends and comrades, some one must now woo.
The old, we must admit, have done their best,
We now should sing our ‘Consummatum Est’

Nnamdi Azikiwe

Novemeber 17, 1958

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