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I Am Not An Activist | Poetry | Isah Abdulssamad

In "I Am Not An Activist," Isah Abdulssamad (Ibnisah) shares a story reflecting crude, but horrifying pains as it overwhelms a nation. Pawners Paper

In "I Am Not An Activist," Isah Abdulssamad (Ibnisah) shares a story reflecting crude, but horrifying pains as it overwhelms a nation. He tells it naturally while being adept with his craft.

African man with African mask


I am not an activist, but I stand to speak,
For my eyes have seen the bleeding of the street
And my ears have heard the teary song of the gong,
Sung day and night by voices that are as whispers,
& by voices that soar like birds, so
I stand to speak in the hope of a better world.

I am not an activist, but the cries of the Chibok still echo through my core,
like relentless waves crashing upon a deserted shore.
It replicates Orion Nebulas who gathered to sow seeds of their dreams
But by the knock of death, off went their night 
While the government stared with empty eyes, dumb—with their hands clasped to their cold chest.

I am not an activist, but I can see the town of Dalori crying;
A mother whose laughter was ridiculed by the sheer presence of mourning
& like the shifting tides of a turbulent sea,
Abdullah body lay helplessly on the floor
With Chibuzor's pale face laid over it with the stains of his punctured flesh.
& in the barren sky, I see over a hundred souls wandering 
For their unripe time has been plucked by AK-47 and gulped down into the abyss

I'm not an activist, but I can't watch Plateau turn into a graveyard,
As it now flows with blood, & infants watch the eagles feast on their parents' eyes.
I can still hear the cries at the toll gate;
A night so bright I can see the cold body of my only son—thanks to the deadly light of bullets.
What is his crime?
What is her crime?
What is their crime?
—as innocents condemned to dance in the shadows of strife's flame.

I am not an activist, but I can see their flesh dancing on the street of Tudun Biri,
Husbands that will never heal and children that will never know a dad,
Accidental air strike they call it, but our losses are profound.

I am not an activist, but how could we repay our gallant soldiers with death,
Men that shield us while their kin dwell in the shadow of fear.
17 slain soldiers;
How could we turn their wives to widows in their prime?
What will we tell their children when they ask for their father's crime?

I am not an activist, but all these are sins,
May this injustice never find peace, may justice find it way to speak,
May I not one day be a feast for I am an activist.


About The Poet 

Isah Abdulssamad (Ibnisah) is a bilingual writer, poet, and podcaster (English and Arabic). He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he studied Arabic language in the Faculty of Arts.

Follow him on Instagram 

Photo Credit:Asiama Junior



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Pawners Paper: I Am Not An Activist | Poetry | Isah Abdulssamad
I Am Not An Activist | Poetry | Isah Abdulssamad
In "I Am Not An Activist," Isah Abdulssamad (Ibnisah) shares a story reflecting crude, but horrifying pains as it overwhelms a nation. Pawners Paper
Pawners Paper
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