The Widow by the Window

In the shadow of the evening sun
   She sat by the window,
Waiting to see if help would come
   But long was the wait;

Hear me, come near me
   She said with open arms,
When our hero was here
   It was he who gave help to others;

Her breadwinner is gone
   Stories of hope she arms her children with,
Hoping that one day, one day soon
   Help will come for the widow by the window.

I wrote this poem immediately after the lecture organized by the Centre for Values in Leadership on February 8, having heard of the plight of widows in many parts of Nigeria. Titi Akinsanmi and I co-moderated the event. Dr. Doyin Abiola’s presentation was particularly revealing, and I now better understand Prof. Utomi’s words during our chat few days before the event. He said, “There’s the likelihood that a lot of people will show up for the February 6 lecture but I hope that your generation can begin to think of issues like the plight of widows…” I salute the many widows out there who have had to (or still) endure/enjoy a mix of shame, inspiration, hardship, triumphs and loneliness. Help will come for the widow by the window.

The past few days have been particularly interesting as I’ve had to swing between progress on, research efforts that will bring smiles to many faces (including mine) and the amazing support for the Open Letter to Africa’s Present and Future Leaders written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellows. The month continues with amazing momentum (and that reminds me, congratulations to co-supporters of Barack Obama) and I look forward to every moment with excitement, hope and appreciation. As things unfold, my song of the week is from the stables of The Rooftop MCs (featuring the all-amazing Cobams), Ori mi wu, e la’gi mo!

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