With limbs half limp and a vacant gaze
She plods through the months and hazy days
Some hail her as Africa’s Giant
But she bears herself like a hapless ant

Blessed with sunshine and abundant rain
She blights her people with needless pain
Their boundless strength she converts to curse
Their bus to bliss becomes a hearse

While others make, they prefer to fake
The sweat-fruit of others they take and take
Insatiable consumers of foreign goods
A land long lost in subservient woods

The best of her brains desert in droves
This land of paupers and princely rogues
Who fritter our flairs and drain our dreams
With their fell designs and venal schemes

A land so blessed but so betrayed
She leaves the world ever so dismayed
Big-for-Nothing is her middle name
An Open Sore and a Continent’s shame

But Hope’s wide door is never shut
Its kernel is hard as a seasoned nut
The Sleeping Giant may yet awake
When her folks rid themselves of their mindless ache

Niyi Osundare is one of Africa’s foremost poets and a Distinguished Professor of the University of New Orleans (UNO), where he teaches in the English Department.