Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Analysis of the Poem “Ambush” by Gbemisola Adeoti

After independence, most African leaders oppressed their citizens. The leaders became so selfish and greedy that they only catered to their own personal pockets at the expense of the masses. So they pillaged the wealth of the country dry. Because of this, unemployment became widespread; the people lack access to basic amenities such as food, shelter and electricity. To worsen the situation, civil wars and internal crises based on religion and ethnicities broke out. Of course, the people, the poor masses were the worse hit. Even when power changed from one system of government to another (Civilian to military and vice versa), there seemed to be no hope in sight. With each government came empty promises. The living condition of the people remained the same. The politicians under civilian dispensation are worse than their military counterparts are. They steal public funds with impunity while social infrastructures continue to deteriorate. It is this culture of impeding on the progress of the people that prompted Gbemisola Adeoti‘s poem titled “Ambush.” To the poet, by frustrating the led who has entrusted them with their collective properties, the leaders are laying ambush on their development.

By preying on the vulnerability and hopelessness of the people, African leaders, who have been referred to in the poem as "the land", are like a whale, hawk, and lion, all of which possess distinct dangerous attributes of tormenting other weak creatures. Metaphorically, therefore, the land is most developing African countries including Nigeria whose leaders feed fat on the gullibility and weakness of their people. The people notwithstanding still prove hardworking as they engage in “…venturous walk at dusk” despite discouraging atmosphere. Rather than be aided and rewarded for their dexterity, the African citizens are ambushed by their leaders’ deliberate attempt to thwart their progress and development through electoral fraud and all other corrupt practices. In this connection, Adeoti says of the land as an instrument of dehumanization on the lives of its inhabitants.