Female Nigerian Poets



1 – Secrets

Plot an ambiguous path

on the map that is my life

and take a leisurely walk with me

into the uncertainty of forever.

As I scatter my problems at your feet

like dissident rose petals,

be not afraid,

but collect them one by one.

Be not predictable

in the vein of Pandora’s box,

and let lose all that I hold dear.

Instead be like Fort Knox,

keeping my sins, sadness

and sentiments safe.

Stuff each ear with porous sponge

so that you might absorb

my numerous tales of woe

as I pour out my soul.

Make your truth spitting lips

impervious to idle gossip.

Be who I think you to be,

and promise to keep

all of my secrets for me.


Female Nigerian Poets


2 – Slipstream

Her smile rose

and lips curled

into crescent shaped


No bittersweet pain

could rival the

laughter line trenches

washing away past


She would always

rejoice in the

cyclone of





60 years from now when the

slightly scuffed suitcase you will call

skin houses more than big bones

and blood ties you cannot unknot,

kaleidoscopic heritage you cannot forget

but memories, dreams and wishes too,

the quiet shuffle of your body will

still bring music to my ears as

we cut shapes in the space where

our babies cut shapes and grew.

Our children will be beautiful.

They will epitomise their names,

carry hope in their palms, love

will know them intimately.

Garri granules of light will be

the trail our son leaves behind when

he flashes his explosive smile.

Like her mother, our daughter

will be a quiet storm, salt water and

life source searching for her lighthouse home.

In years to come, you will tell

me stories that no longer belong to us,

of fear that did not belong to us,

sing songs that never belonged to us,

our struggle does not belong to us.

Only our faith, unsinkable ship afloat

in a sea of fables and failure

belongs to us.

And I, cyclonic force stilled by your love,

will forever belong to you.


Assumpta Ozua resides and works in London. After writing her first poem at age seven, she uses poetry as a means of expressing her innermost thoughts and feelings. Her work mostly centers on love, loss and otherness. Her debut collection of poems was published in 2013, entitled To You For You With You. She reads poems and performs spoken word in and around London.

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