Poetry in Idoma Praxis Magazine

ITTA IPU’AJE and IHORTU are poems written in Idoma, a minority language from Benue State, Nigeria. Both poems were written and translated by Akor Emmanuel Oche.


Oyí mo’ná, ugbogà- to’nà.
Eggwà jábeh tichichó,
Ó-ká àjeh lorhi fea’mà.
Ochedu dórko mea’fur- oche?
Kó^jije waeyna waeyne wa.
Ochedu dórko pàynéfu?
Kó^jeayin waeyna waeyne wa.
Umu ajeh! Umu ajeh!
Efum ta kpa-kpa, kpa, kpa, kpa-kpa,
Ochiche l-efue_epayha,
eyanu raykó uppù.
Ò-ka o-dorkun kun nyawbun;
anu nyawbun girrah.

*              *                       *


The food a child has
is not privileged to eat,
is the one a visitor chooses to reject.
The snake don’t know
how to climb a tree,
so he says walking on
land is the best.

Who is he that wants
to see the head of a
Let him bring abundant wealth.
Who is he that wants
to speak this tribe?
Let him come with
abundant wine.

Story story! Story story! Story story!
My mind spins and spins
and spins and spins
till it rests on the
head of someone.
His name is Vulture.
He said he doesn’t
want me to succed,
he didn’t succeed either.



Ihortu! Wa kalor jeje,
wa kalor jeje lo-otu ma,
wa kalor jeje lipolelo ownchi.

Ohi ajeh olorhi la we ma.
Awor bieo owu tipu_efuechi,
awor lo gojirima ta-adahor,

Wa kakor jeje lo-otuma,
wa kalor jeje lipolelo.
Wa karlo re’oje-ra Alekwu enche.

*               *                           *


My love! Come let us dance,
come let us dance tonight.
Come let us dance under the sun

A good and true daughter of the soil,
thats who you are
you are the one who
brings peace to the

You who pays homage to your
My love!
Come let us dance tonight,
come let us dance in the sun,
come let us eat the food of the gods.


Akor Emmanuel Oche is a Nigerian poet of idoma origin. He is a member of the organising committee for THE CONFLUENCE FESTIVAL OF ARTS in kogi state. When he is not writing poetry, he is in the forest running away from himself.

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  1. In parables in a poem, the poet personae tries to take us back to the fun and moral lessons associated with speaking in parables. Besides a few grammatical errors in the first stanza, maybe due to translating from Idoma to English, I like two poems as the are filled with such parables rich in morals; parables which link African languages together with its commonplacedness.

    I appreciate these poems and the poet, for his ability to speak in the tongues of of umbilical cord and as well make others (who don’t not understand same) value their mother tongues.

  2. Thanks for reading Mr Ehizogie, the mother tongue is sweeter than wine. Thanks Mr Akwu our very own akpabana, the sage lighting our feets.

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