These values I treasure, to you they seem odd or even strange but on them I believe and rely
Don’t make a face or look with disdain
when with my fingers demolish mounds of yam
yams pounded smooth by the pestle in a mortar.
You need not sneer cause I prefer
the tough labour of strenuous pounding,
to the quick fix, of an appliance that can cook, bash and mix.
To me the methods differ, so also does the results:
the former makes a better feel on my tongue,
while the latter lumps short and long.
Call me no tyrant if I like my women to kneel before me
while I am eating, as they do in greeting.
Spare me names if every now and then
I expect women to surrender to the wiles and caprices of men.
Gape not in shock as I contend the best of the village wrestling flock
to win de-flowering rights of the head chief's daughter.
Cough not! If I return her and demand gifts for the offence,
of a short-changed experience, not even worth my gruelling expense
Speak not of therapy, if I walk through thickets in deep dialogue
with unseen tree spirits.
Laugh not! If with chalky smears on my arms, chest and face,
I dance and prance around a bonfire, wave my arms in space.
All this I do to ward off spirits and demons
or babble to invisible ancestors in a bid to know whets past.
Stare not in fright, when waist deep in brackish waters I demand a child
from the river goddess at the hour of midnight.
Try not to mock my African values
for both the Irish and Chinese have theirs.
At moonlight my rib-cracking tales of the wiles of mar tortoise,
stories to teach and entertain my kids
and their peers sited semi circle about me.
Don’t make derogatory remarks about primitive me-
just because I often boil tree barks, roots green herbs
overnight to make my shivering body fever-free.
Especially as I rub snail ooze like lotion on my body.
I laugh cause now science copies me.
Don’t belittle my African values for what they are,
for someday you would wish, like me
that you had retained some of your true identity,
than succumbing to the westerner in totality.