Akoko nyar nam,
Mourn your husband well
Mourn him, daughter of the Lake
Mourn Oduka as if the world is ending tomorrow
He was the spear that pierced the sleeping land
The eye that saw the sprouting hills yonder
Oduka was the tongue that tasted your fingers at morn and dawn
The sun that broke a tear when the rivers were barren
Mourn him Akoko my sister!
Do not mourn him in such manner as the children in a play field
No, not like the satisfied babies do to the sagging breasts of their mothers
Mourn your husband well Akoko
Let the earth tremble as your mourning voice rents the air
Let the rivers listen to the cry of a strong man’s wife
Do not let other women mourn Oduka for you
Even if they lay on his bosom to minse strength and sap from his dry self;
Oduka was your husband more than they
Mourn him Akoko nyar nam!
Do not mourn your husband like a weakling
Do not mourn him like a sickler
You are not child of weaklings Akoko
Your brothers fought and wrestled strong men in the battle field and won;
They remained a gape baffled by such strength of sons of men
And they bowed!
Were they not from the same womb from which you came?
Akoko, Sing dirges with every strong word for the ears of the earth to hear
Dance and let your feet step down with the strength of a strong woman
And if you like, Let your hips gyrate in the presence of your in laws
Let them see the beauty of their wife, even at her husband’s death
Is Oduka not asleep already?
Do not mourn and faint like a woman with less appetite
Akoko who cares if you roll and injure your nose?
Who cares if you break a leg because you mourned so hard?
Will they, including ants and snails not laugh at your weakness!
Step down well with strength of the African queen And let the ground feel your presence
Is that not the sure sign of prosperity of Oduka’s home?
Akoko mourn the man of your youth.
Then keep quiet Akoko
Now keep quiet and bury Oduka with dignity and sanity
Clear your voice and speak in praise of the bull whose horns pierced the sleeping earth
Praise him! Praise Oduka
And let his spirit dance in his homestead
Do not let other harsh-tongued women croak at the podium praising your husband
Is it not your homestead Akoko?
But How will you praise him well if you let your voice be burried before Oduka himself?
How will you praise your husband if you let the world snatch away all your energy by trying to suck pity from their eyes?
Which confident woman buries a husband well with face muddied with tears that block her visage?
How will you see eyes of both mockery and irony at your husband’s funeral?
Stand strong for your homestead
Mourn well then keep silent
And escort Oduka with dignity
You will have saved your homestead by mourning responsibly!
Oduka was the owner of your land!
Dichol Evelyn: the poh-et :tea-tcher
Akoko nyar nam,