THE BLACK WOMAN IS GOD By Yusuf Balogun Gemini

Written by Bada Yusuf Amoo

(For Nkechi Kunle-Komolafe and International Girls’ Day)


There are gods,

there are genies,

there are spirits,

there are women

and there was Oro

and Egungun.

And last night,

I casted a pebble of question

unto a dying man,

“why are women excluded from Oro cult ?”

Awo Egungun ni obinrin le se,

bi obinrin ba foju kan Oro,

Oro aa gbe.


Oro and Egungun,

they are men from beyond,

what distinguish them from a common man

is that mask

that signifies mystic elements,

they are men not gods

but never common.


new yam were celebrated,

Sango was celebrated,

Obatala was celebrated,

and these friends sat under a lit fire

and picked a date

to celebrate themselves.

They are men not gods

but common men celebrates them, still.


Oro had a woman.

And she was a dazzling one,

her skin converting the beauty that lingers

in ebony

but what is beauty without brain ?

She planted money to spice

the camwood on her skin,

she grinded cowries

to adorn

her firm waists

with coral beads,

she laced wealth

that her hairdo

might reveal the best of enticement.


Egungun had a woman,

and she was one

whose ingenuity was envied by the earth

and beyond.

She placed her man’s robes

underneath the mat,

that it might be as smooth

as the skin of a deer.

She knitted blue silk with green wool,

that her man’s outfit might reflect as

the coat of many colors.

She laced Egungun’s shrine

with dry canines and dingy bones.


Days became weeks,

weeks became months.

Even the half crescent became a full moon,

then Egungun stepped upon

the public stage,

in his regalia that depicts

might and prowess,

a maestro that he still is.

Trumpets blown,

drums resounded,

gongs clanged,

emu oguro quenched the thirst of the public,

wraps of okele satisfied hunger

even of the covetous Ijapa.





_To’dun ba de,maa k’ero leyin o_


Dance. Music. Blares.


Oro boomed into his home,

he who laugh last

laugh best

but Oro

might not get to laugh

for he was to be laughed at.

His wife was all dressed in her adornments,

but here was Oro

whose high hopes was now sinking.

Down casted. Furious. Flee.


Oro dropped his calabash,

command rooted from his tongue.

He booed his woman into the silent hut

and took an oath with the fireflies

to host his festival, when moon tales are told

and never shall a woman,

young or old

emerge at the spot.

Oro still mumbles,

a proof of his undying anger

and a message of tremble

to the women, indoors.


The black woman is a God,

there are women

and there are women.

The woman of Egungun has earned a respect,

for the secrets embedded in her plans

and a symbol of pedigree

that serves as the balance

for character.

The wisdom and conquest of our ancestors

overflow from the tap

of their women.

The black woman can make,

the black woman can mar.

She is a witch

that protects her offsprings

against evil plots

and still

covers her offspring


when they plot evil.

The black woman is a God.

Behind every successful man,

is a woman whose gele touches the sky.

Nkechi is that woman,

Nkechi is that god.

The black woman is a God.

About the author

Bada Yusuf Amoo

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