Poem: Raise Up the Girl Child

April 09, 2014 at 03:11 pm | Lifestyle

Diolu Tobechukwu

Diolu Tobechukwu

April 09, 2014 at 03:11 pm | Lifestyle

African girls

I teach some students — about four boys and three girls — math on Saturdays. There was a rumor in the school involving these female students and they were brought before the whole school assembly and punished without proper investigation. They were made to cut grass under the sun for a crime they knew nothing about and weren’t given the chance to explain, even though the boys weren’t questioned about the rumors. The girls ended up being humiliated before the whole school of about 2,500 students. I felt the circumstances and punishment were unjust so I was inspired to write this poem, because in this place — (Itaogbolu/Iju), Akure North, Ondo State — they disrespect their girls, husbands beat up wives, and there’s a high level of teenage pregnancy. This is for the girls of SSF, Alamo Grammar school in Nigeria.

The girl child
So mild, tender and innocent
She’s strong even if she seems indolent
She has a future that greatly surpasses her present
The purity of her smile creates a presence that’s evident
Which softens the heart and initiates change so significant
She could be a world phenomenon if we fully see her potential
She has foes
But high hopes
Because she knows
That when she grows
She’ll spring forth like a Rose
But she has a fragile mind
Susceptible by emotions which could make her blind
She could be touchy and maybe grow wild
But deep inside she’s still hearty and mild
To fully display her ability
Everyone has to take responsibility
Let’s break the chain of dishonesty
And lead her on to fulfilling destiny
Stop the discrimination against her
Unjust judgment could deter her
And pin her to her bed, sad and lonely she weeps
Because there’s so much pain a girl child keeps
She could run wild till she falls asleep
But just take a peep
She has a scar so deep

To the girl child:
It’s alright Just wait and see
Your string of light is still bright to me
Who you are is not what you’ve been
You’re still an innocent being…

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