top of page


We were humans from kingdoms - clans,
villages and the kindred spirits dwelled
- amongst us. Blackness was the crown of our gatherings,
like our eyes, shining in the deep darkness
- we rejoice at this, as it is the beauty of the earth.
Just before that mighty tempest that tolled,
our rivers dance, in great turbulence,
- it dances and reverberates dismayed.
Gin and plough, Bible and gun powder,
precious gifts against ourselves embraced,
- our wrestling metamorphosis into wars and conquest.
And as our sacred places are desecrated,
men and women, children. Freed and bondage desired,
- to be shipped across our seas.
In the beginning, we were humans
- not fishes, the unwanted fishes
at the nets of a fisherman
- those that he throws back to the river
- when he feels, I am sinking into the deepest part,
of this sea, and needs my boats to keep floating on less,
- I became drowned with my fish as they run out.
At the beginning of things, they bow down,
worshipping the Amadi-Oha and its priests,
- our Kings they run to for a refuge at night.
The rain that drenched us; Africans,
from where did it start from - and
- for how long shall we continue
in this past glory that, in the beginning,

we were humans, free and not, slaves
before our rivers danced
- in the rhythm of the mighty ships of slavery.

*Amadi-oha: is a god King according to Igbo tradition in Nigeria.

Port Harcourt Rivers State, 2021



Oh, Africa, and her leadership roles.
where the call-off, becoming a man echoed,
African leaders became an infant and suckling.
With milk, where they are supposed to
- eat solid, foods that are underneath
- her soil and the quest of nations of
- the world. Mad World of men alike.

In the tonality of the letters written by
- Paul the Apostle to his fellow adherent.
Oh, Africa, who has bewitched your
- leaders who cried out for liberation
from the hands of their enslavers
at noon, and returned to him at the dusk.
whimpering and whining undeveloped.

In a street where gold is mined,
hunger and poverty whacks the citizens
- as there has never been a deposit of
- the black gold of the earth, quest of
- nations and madmen of the world,
Oh, Africa, who has bewitched you?
where the call-off, becoming a man echoed,
African leaders became an infant and suckling.

Port Harcourt Rivers State, 2021


It was an eventide that ushered in the twilight when the last ship docked on our shore. From its deck emerges silhouettes of men like shades in black robes. With a tiny little white round cuff around their necks, like walking dead, they each staggered to climb out of the ship deck chanting with their prayer beads. And they were called, the priests of the highest being; as we were all high from the holy water they told us to, "drink, it is the water from the holy land which you are sojourning to." I wake from my sleep when the last bell tolled and the Church doors opened and with peace of heart, I rolled out of my bed. On what seems like a memorial service, ones held in remembrance of one's loved ones who have departed from the earth, as the parishioners gathered in the front of the Church of St Kelvin's Ecumenical, and loudspeakers blared thunderous sounds like a shell of bombs. As one of their rituals, the glorified glorious choirs chanted a hymn from the old-looking S.S & S, the collection of an ancient and modern hymn book distributed to all the seated members of the newfound faith, friends and family who have been waiting for this day to come. For it is announced that it is a day set out for baptism and the renaming of our beloved natives. For the new-found faith of our beloved; it has now become a necessity for baptism and given a name for he has now become one with them, as saints unto their Lords - leaving our ways of life even before the coming of those who looks like the gods that we have not seen before. We run after names without a change of heart that proves our repentance and our history abashed at the altar of the men across the seas.

Port Harcourt Rivers State, 2021

John Chinaka Onyeche "Rememberajc" (he/his) is a husband, father and a poet from Nigeria. He writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State. His notable works are found at: Spillwords, Melbourne culture corner, Nnoko Stories, TunaFish Journal, Brittle Paper, and many others.


bottom of page