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I called him ‘OKENYE UKWU’1
My father Onowu Iyasele Chike Ofodile

A world of grand processions, rituals, rites
of mystery, magic, sages and taboos
of sweetest kindred ties and kindred fights
of rules and trust which few would dare abuse.

Inland Onitsha where his life did dawn
a striking baby, prettier than a girl
the father fond but stern, he did not fawn!
the mother’s issue last, her priceless pearl.

His parents did instill in him the steel
of character, which peace and progress yield
no fop or sot, imbued with sense and zeal
their son became a pillar and a shield.

A teacher, then a clerk at P & T
extended family’s head at thirty one
reviled and plagued, his cares a boundless sea
but, dogged, tugging, true, was not undone.

Mature, he read the law, his third career
by toiling his profession’s peak attained
his work and boons immense in family sphere
a patriarch with vicarious plumes festooned.

Abjuring smoking, gorging, alcohol
Upright, where cheating and pretence were rife
precise and punctual, loath to lag or loll
Adonis with a decent private life.

His deeds and port brought splendid styles and fame
with kings and tramps he walked with equal ease
was courteous even when in high acclaim
unique, for rudeness swamps our lives like seas.

I grasp that none is perfect, all are flawed
that said, my paean is truthful, mush I shun
unnumbered souls your sterling traits applaud
how blest and thrilled I am to be your son.


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