ART & ENTERTAINMENT

USAfrica POETRY

The Dawning of New Expectations
by CHRIS CHINWE ULASI

What man failed to accomplish in Nigeria
Has taken God a tortuous decade to resolve ˆ

Nigerians are fond of saying:
Suspend judgment on a nation collective insomnia;

Against hope and promise to recommit our souls.
Our gift of industry to reinvigorate self-will.

To invest hope into a blighted landscape.
How so? "This not the first time hope

Has promised freedom, bread, and prosperity
Only to deliver misery, hunger, and death."

Living witnesses we all are:

"So why will this time be different?"

For one, God has expelled the evil spirits
From our dreams once and for all.

He has brought back courage where
Pseudo bravery threw party for sycophants

While heroes of freedom perished
Inside Abacha's gulags.

Now, freedom wears the countenances
Of those who time found before death did.

The poisoned vacuum left by Abacha's death

Smells like air inside a cold room filled with fish
Where electricity has died. Where heat has fashioned

A new order for living carcasses of once envied shores;
And because millions kept warm from fear
Instead of confront the iced-cold challenge of tyranny,

Misery took consort everywhere with ephemeral zest.

Now that we‚ve known the color of pain and misery
Like the Sahel's sun-scorched gardens,
Our will will no longer be concealed from us;

Our fears will no longer ascend us;
Our freedom will no longer tempt our vigilance.

So long as memory serves us right
To invest hope with a candle flamed by will.
To knock at actions front door with courage.
-Ulasi, executive editor of USAfrica The Newspaper, is a professor of communications at the Texas South University, Houston.

Anchoring Miss America
Heather Renee French, new
Miss America is a 24-year-old fashion design student. See commentary on the beauty pageant by Prof. WALT BRASCH.
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper and USAfricaonline.com.


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Female Genital Mutilation or Circumcision?
February 11, 2000, USAfrica Media Networks will host an international Symposium on Female Circumcision/Mutilation, Women Rights and Tradition in Africa in Houston. Interested conferees/co-sponsors/speakers may send e-mail to Women@USAfricaonline.com. Due to the volume of electronic mail we receive, your e-mail should have "Female Circumcision or Mutilation" in the subject area. Postal mail and other requests should be sent to:
Chido Nwangwu, Convener/Moderator, USAfrica Forum, 8303 SW Freeway, Houston, Tx 77074

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