Nigerian-Irish spoken word artist Felispeaks performs her powerful piece For Our Mothers, which addresses the way women within the Nigerian culture exist within their marriages. The secrets, the pressures and the performance.
FeliSpeaks (aka Felicia Olusanya) is a young Nigerian-Irish spoken word performance artist, playwright and writer. Her performances are heavily in demand. You can keep up to date with opportunities to see her work via her Twitter account.[restrict]
For Our Mothers.
(Nne = means “my dear” in the igbo Nigerian language)
Nne, I can’t do this any longer.
I cannot fold my arms and rest,
Watching lonely wives wrap their head ties so large,
Filling it with confiscated feelings,
Hoping truths get knotted and bound on Sunday mornings,
Covering up tired dark eyes with white powder and red lipstick,
“What would people say if I unravel my secrets?
My dear, it’s not so bad, at least I look good”.
Continuing to wrap apparel of clothing around her waist, linen and lace, concealing foot prints above her navel, tracing it with thin fingers,
5 weeks old.
The baby hadn’t fully formed yet.
She shook her head and her traditional beads clanged without rhythm, joining the noisy depression within her.
“Nne, another baby will come.
God’s time is the best.”
The car ride to church was the same every week,
Words formed in meaningless conversation,
Between gritted teeth and silent remorse,
Replacing apologies for cheap compliments,
“My wife, you really tried today o.”
Our mothers are dancing on Thanksgiving Sunday with bitter stories in their mouths, too afraid to spit it out.
Their knees darkened by the weight of prayer.
Teaching their daughters that the necessity of a man is more significant than your desire for a man.
Reminding budding females in graduation gowns “you are not getting any younger”
And When their daughters recognise new heart bruises, they reply with stern glares,
“Dear, you know men are not to be trusted.”
Sighing because they remember when they had twinkles in their eyes at the first sign of love.
Sighing because their twinkles have long faded and you’re their reminder.
Their reminder that maybe love can unwrap the secrets she bundles in the privacy of clothing on Sunday morning.
For mama’s sake,
Find love that would heal her through your smile.
For mama’s sake,
Find the love she never did.[/restrict]