Casualties Of Depravities By Francis Egbokhare


We are the casualties
Prisoners in a fortress of falling walls
Grandmasters of the illusion of excellence
Masked men and women in ‘Grand Theft Identity’1
Residents of a disappearing tower
Actors on a sinking sewer
Stars of a game of ruse

We are the robed ones
Dressed up in scarlet regalia of monumental errors
Collocated in academic processions like humanized penguins
None breaking formation
All intuiting affirmation
Echoing the dol-drum

We are sycophants
Wallowing in error
In the name of order
We shall plunder2

The casualties of depravities
Captives of a colonial mentality
Slaves of a racial calamity
Minions of a farcical ideology

Fanged Lilliputians famed by notoriety
Elevated harlequins on stilts of histrionics
They set themselves for the grand fall
From false heights fabricated in impunity

1. Named after the computer game, ‘Grand Theft Auto’
2. To be sung with the tune: we are soldiers fighting for the nation in the name of the Queen we shall conquer
The poem is about the Nigerian intellectual, the loss of purpose, the contradictions and unfortunate degeneration of the academy.

(UI-The other Anthem)
Uni-Baranda knuckleheads
Of trite learning, dip the truth
Bogey spring for all who thirst
Cranks of knowledge to endure

Pledge to serve our famished goons
Self-service, impunity
That our nation nay with pride
Help to ruin a world that is truly free

Uni-Baranda self is best
Raising crude minds for a woeful cause
Social injustice, unequal chance
Greatness forced with guileless farce

Guide our people this to loathe
Wisdom’s best to service turned
Help enshrine the wile to scheme
For a man that wins justifies the means

*Baranda: Yoruba term for middle man in the markets
This piece is a spoof and parody of the University of Ibadan Anthem. One of the best university anthems ever. The anthem is a master piece compression of the university idea and a vision of excellence. The poem represents the transformation of good intentions into terrible practices in Nigeria’s University system.

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