IN the final poetry collection celebrating outgoing United States president, Barack Obama, Olumide Sowumi highlights the strengths of the first black president in America. Most of the poems were penned when Obama was first elected, and they table before the US leader expectations from his continent of birth, Africa.
In Return of Aje, Sowunmi calls on Obama to:
Shed light on our questions
Brighten our shady future and
Undo the shadows and confusing
Illuminations of our age globally
The King of glory
Will boast your effort.
Obama, restore our shattered dreams.
In Gong of Knowledge, the poet highlights the fact that a black man has just been elected as the president of the United States, thereby, like the traditional town crier, he is out spreading the news of that historic moment:
Gently sounds the gong
Of the wise, people with gumption
Dance to it, and the knowledgeable
Enjoy the understanding of it…
Like a dutiful global crier
Sound them the wise gonging
As it is a shame to those who
Swore never to give or
See freedom given in your lifetime.
While President Obama’s predecessor in office, George Bush Jnr embarked on two wars during his reign, Obama’s decision to end the wars, while championing a world where peace reigns, is the focus of the poet’s Obama’s Tour de Force.
Here, Sowunmi commends the president’s courageous stance to deviate from the path of his predecessor.
Also in I Will Sing Your Song, the poet so much believes in Obama that he says:
Obama, if I believed in reincarnation,
I would have taken you for Abraham Lincoln,
One of America’s greatest icons
Just like in the other two collections, this final part also celebrates the outgoing US president, and they are poems that follow freely from the poet’s mind, who is overjoyed by the fact that America has produced its first black president.