From the Editor’s Keyboard

Yarayulu Chant

By  | 4 August 2014 at 19:35 | 1527 views

Yarayulu Chant

One day I saw from afar,
A multitude of corrupt people,
In my country, that tiny country.

Too many thieves,
Too many robbers,
Too many Ayampis.

Send them to jail, I say,
Send them to Bambakayaka,
Send them, send them.

Send them to the hungry bed bugs,
Send them to the blood-thirsty lice,
Send them to the rice and palm oil,
Send them to the wata-wata garrie and salt,
Send them to the filthy gnawing rats,
Send them to the night bucket and urine,
Send them!

Take away their luxury cars,
Take away their lip-sticked Titi Shine-Shines,
Take away their obscene gated mansions,
Take away their Star Beer and Casada Lif,
Take away their wine and champagne bottles,
Take them away and lock them up,
And give the key to Bra Monkie.

Hand them over to Yarayulu, the Wicked One,
Hand them over to Born Trouble,
Hand them over to Kanray of Makeni,
Hand them over to Yayongo of Portee,
Hand them over to Abu Ormorlay,
Hand them over to Shaka the Zulu,
Hand them over to Twala the One-eyed,
Hand them over to Remi,
Hand them over! Hand them over to Yarayulu!

And now,
Bring them to the Devil Himself
Bring them to Shango,
Bring them to Moloch!
Bring them to Moloch!
Bring them to Caligula!,
Bring them to Attila the Tiller!
Bring them to giggling giggling Ginsberg!
Aya, Bring them!

And then,
Present them to Ngewor,
Present them to Kanumasala,
Present them to Kurumaseba,
Present them!
Present them to Daddy God!

Glossary

1. Yarayulu: Temne name for the Angel of Death in Islamic theology. Yarayulu is said to announce imminent death to a person before they pass away. The Temne are one of the major ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, based largely in the north and west of the country. The majority of them are Muslim.

2. Ayampi: Incorrigible thief.

3. Titi Shine-Shine: Mistress, concubine...or worse.

4. Bambakayaka: Freetown’s notorious Pademba Road prison, the country’s only maximum security prison.

5. Born Trouble, Kanray, Yayongo (also known as Kayonko) and Remi were all notorious gang leaders in the Freetown underworld.

6. Wata-wata: Watery (Krio language of Sierra Leone).

7. Casada Lif: A popular dish in Sierra Leone made of Cassava leaves, oil, fish or meat, salt, pepper and rice.

8. Star Beer: The local beer from Sierra Leone Brewery Limited.

9. Bra Monkie: The monkey in stories for children in Sierra Leone.

10. Kurumaseba, Kanumasala and Ngewor are all names of a monotheistic God among the Temne, Limba and Mende ethnic groups of Sierra Leone respectively.

11. Daddy or Papa God: The Christian God among the Creoles of Sierra Leone.

12. Aya: A Krio expression meaning many things including Ah yes, My goodness, etc.

Editor’s Note: Yarayulu Chant, a long poem consisting of 200 pages by PV CEO, writer and journalist Gibril Gbanabome Koroma will appear in book form this year. The above is part of the first chapter or Aria, according to the author.

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