The Place of the Child

by Ezewi Jennifersoter

Doula welcomes me at applause,
Signal announces my arrival.
I am for peace, but learns to war from you.
If your security fails me, my strategy will defend me.
I live to make you happy.
Where then is my place?

Secure me now I pray, to avoid my return of announcement.
If I am happy, I copiously flow!
But when am angry I cease my flow!
Is it not you that knocks? Yet my protection is not assured.
Where then is my place?

Come rain come shine, I am needful.
You saw me the day I saw you: smiles were in embrace, until care became at war with responsibility.
The child weeps!
Publicity views!
Huddling on the floor is a blenched child whose name is vagrant.
Where then is my place?

I know my name! It is not darkly but highly alarming with authority commanding
the ,dawn ‘chorus.
If you cannot rename me, I will search for me and bear me because I am me: The king of mustard seeds, whose place is with honour and dignity.
My place is peaceful, pure and secured longing for your love.
This is the place of the child.


Extant Heritage

by Ezewi Jennifersoter

I have been pacing around you,
Without me thou has no colour.
Your progenitors abuts onto my route to arrive.

You preferred heat for my shade and took after sodden instead of the cover above,
Spewing before the enraged care until penury offers to intervene.

Shut the snivel against my sensuous pleasure because I am puritanical:
Clothes does not pay my dowry, I bring her home after a reputable purchase to warm my wardrobe.

Recusant will adore you at pugnacity clinking in regret if you violate rectitude.

I am ready to tame your super ego, if only you will bear tutee: searching for hone, hooting diligence, despising persona and embracing pertinacity without tiff.

I pervade around your trail screaming my name: “I am Extant!” my heritage remains the same.

My Name My Identity: Femi Amogunla from 30 Nigeria House Project

Femi Amogunla

In Conjunction with

Theatre Royal Stratford East London and Bank Of Industry


My name, My identity

An Award Winning Project (30 Nigeria House), 2012

Oruko mi ni Olorunfemijuwonlo Amogunla


Watch the video “My Name My Identity” here.

My name is a song;
I can sing it as I want;
in Soprano High or Bass deep.
Oh! It jars your ears.
(beat) I should shorten it?
I won’t. I will not reduce my name to F
A letter. And call it a nickname.
Or funkify it as P-h-e-m-m-y spelt P-h-e-m-m-y
Or change it to Famozo
…or its other version Famoshi
So that you might feel it?
My name is my identity.

My name is history.
History of valiant Yoruba men and women in battle.
Moremi, Ogunmola Afonja Kunrunmi
My name is their victory.
Amogunla, son of that famous warrior who killed an elephant with his cap
Kindred of Uthman Dan Fodio
Nnamdi Azikwe
And Achebe
Yes, that’s me!

I am every African who fought
And who still fights to keep his names
My name is history of a generation.
I lose it; we lose a story.
A string.
A line.
It becomes distorted.

My name is a symbol.
A symbol that rises early in the morning when my mother screams: Fe-mi.
It’s a sign of control, of power.

My name tells where I am from
That I am a Yoruba
That I am a Nigerian
That I love being both at once
Like an identity card
I don’t need to show it. It shows me.
I don’t have to shout it. It shouts me.
Shouts Yoruba, proclaims Nigerian.

My name has meanings.
It is freedom.
It is power.
It is love.
Love for myself.
For every part of me
Seen. Unseen.
Known. Unknown.
Written. Unwritten.
Loved. Unloved.

My name is like my dansiki;
I wear it as I want
In the sun or in the rain; it does not smell.​
I wear it in the cold or in the harmattan,
I stay warm
I can wriggle it as it pleases me
As I do bata dance

Bata drum with voice:
Iwo nko? Iwo nko?​3x

Let me sing as I want,
Let me wear it as I want.
Let me dance as it suits me
But never will I change it

Oruko mi ni Olorunfemijuwonlo Amogunla.
Ki ni oruko tire?
What is your own name?


Some Words on My Name, My Identity

This thematic focus of this poem is the beauty of Yoruba/African culture as captured in the significance of a name, of my name. An African traditional name is more than just a name; it is more than just something we are called by or something that differentiates us from another. In fact, in the Yoruba belief system, what you are called, and how you are called goes a long way to affect what you turn out to be. In essence, African names define our cultural identity, lineage and on several occasions, the circumstances in which we lived and currently live.

In this award winning project by Femi Amogunla, he insists that he should be called by his name, the way it should be; not as an abbreviation or as a nickname because, it is believed that “whatever” you are called has a meaning.

The poet draws on personal examples of the challenges that he has faced when it comes to his name, and draws on how he has been able to keep bearing his name despite these.

The poem also goes ahead to show the challenges of holding on to this culture of naming in a fast changing world that seems to impose its change on one. The narrator refuses any other version of his name, and takes pride in what he’s called.

Rendered in English, this poem has a universal appeal, yet it is sprinkled with local Yoruba language, the poet calls the audience to a different language, to a different culture. It also makes use of accepted codes of culture like music.

Finally, it educates others about African lives, African pride and the struggle of the African past.

Check out our previous post on Femi Amogunla here.


Digging Deep: Blogging Collective Call Out


Identity Detective is looking to recruit 6 volunteer detectives to contribute to the Bloggy Woggy Investigation Folder throughout 2014. As an identity detective you will use the F.L.U.I.D method to capture evidence as and when it falls in line with Identity Detective’s Brief.

Want to get involved?

If you are a creative, writer, observer, explorer, photographer, interviewer, or just to curious and like to talk about random things – Get in touch! Drop an email to be sent Identity Detective’s Brief.

Please state why you would make a good Identity Detective along with any samples of work. This can be a short sample of writing up to a sheet of A4, a sample of 5 photos or 10 mins of video.

Find out more about the project here.

Right! This case needs further probing. Tweezers at the ready.

Check out the Blog –

Signing Out. // Identity Detective.


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