Before You Click

Believe me! He is real; but, she doesn’t exist.
On your screen, her photo – a deliberate fabrication
akin to the menace of malware and Photoshop
manipulated by a jackass in O-Town1 with ill intent
is not your moonshot cure to midlife’s loneliness.

Her gestures – a sham caught by your webcam
made real by an app is a decoy;
such a face has never been captured by a camera nor
her profile with the right resume to lure genuine –
sell not the bear’s hide before hunting it down.

You’ll wire cash for airfare from Abuja
for her to meet you in the flesh, time and again
he’ll defer, keeping you in expectancy like Christ’s coming
only to ask for more dough over and over;
she’s not the elixir to that excitement brewing in your foreskin.

Beware before you click;
pay attention; otherwise, you’re in a fix.
She’ll change your online dating experience for good,
save your love for another
he’s a con; you’re his maga2.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | | 2020

  1. O-Town – Owerri (/oʊˈwɛri/ oh-WERR-ee) the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, set in the heart of Igboland.
  2. Maga – is a slang word in Nigeria meaning sucker or fraud victim.


What becomes of a failed state?

Does its might like Rome become a museum
admired for the glory of its past?
Or does it die of vice in the hands of scoundrels
who limits Liberty to increase their share
of the pie that they steal from the wretched?

Does its stink of Injustice leave you
pondering why our sovereign is worse than any other?
Or is the triumphs of reason beyond us –
believing ourselves ineffectual, benumbed
to influence the outcome, we desire for our children?

A failed state is only the beginning of the reckoning;
a cataclysm – is what happens afterward
Oh, nevermind where you’re from – North, East, West, or South.
You and I are the ruins.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | | 2020

Full Measure

His Second Coronation

His second coronation –
evident yet suspicious;
with hisses of frustration
many wore mournful looks as if in a requiem.

The fog of his crown has finally cleared;
enchantment has given way to disillusionment.
Even some vociferous supporters are deserting –
“He’s of a medieval mindset. He excludes rather than includes.”

“Why did he come back?” They ask.
They thought he came prepared;
to undo for the better as promised
but after a few months, the singsong is Insecurity,

“The falsehoods sold as Change are unraveling!”
Those who have not openly expressed
some apprehensions about our Messiah
are grumbling and sniveling.

A few diehards are still clinging
to a strand of hope, to a miracle –
“Things are going to change for the better
under his headship.”

Where are those intellectuals
that imposed him on us?
Where are those armchair critics
that described him as a phenomenon?

Is it a conspiracy or sheer ignoramus
when Palpability was ringing hand-bells,
they couldn’t decipher fake from fad?
Commoners – the silent undiscerning majority query.

Inundated with his supposed good intent
about our beloved country by his apologists,
they sold him to us,
but we have been hoodwinked.

He is destined
to turn things around for the better
“Build the homeland of our dreams.”
Has he?

Nigeria is choking; the noose is tightening around her neck
but the ruthless hangmen aren’t
about to end the pain and agony.
They are watching,

laughing, grinning, and patting themselves,
scheming for a third coronation
“have mercy, just take a bow and go!”

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | | 2020

Extract from Shaka Momodu’s article Why Did He Come Back


Dear January
It was reassuring to hear February at last gone
unprecedented, March changed everything
with an all-pervasive sense of uncertainty
April’s fear and anxiety took a while to register
eclipsing an entire year.

Au fait?
For once, we were threadbare,
our verity of being in control, having conquered Mars,
and sequenced the DNA dissipated.
May tore our core – beset by a spiteful virus
we were left burying the dead; counting the sick,

June threw a curveball;
behind masks, plexiglass screens, and barriers
Lockdown & Social Distancing became the norm.
Oft, I did assure myself the next moon will pass by in a flash
having now realized Life’s what’s and what’s not important
still, I miss my too-much-to-do-with-little-time lifestyle.

Sometimes in July, overwhelmed, I learned:
Peace is gold; friends and family priceless,
Giving is worthy; Money naught a be-all-and-end-all,
Reading is doing something, not doing nothing,
ZOOM nay the sole preserve of my son’s GF,
Mowing the lawn therapeutic.

And just before August break and the torrent in September
all knew the why, the what, the how, and the fix
yet its effects ricocheted through every alley –
from Brooklyn to Burma, Laos to Lagos, Paris to Peking.
Few dared; many had to sit on the couch and
pray for our heroes on the frontlines.

October, no cure yet,
the man on the right driving me nuts with his tweets
thinks it’s OK to drink bleach.
On the left, his adversary, who is in his second childhood
affirms mandatory mask is the wand
perhaps November’s hard-fought fraud-rumored victory

is the brain surgery we need to heal
before December bids goodbye –
the collective renaissance to combat a foe
that has rendered everything antediluvian.
My sincere regards, dear January, permit me, however, to
take a deep breath and scream: “2021 all hopes on you!”

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | | 2020

My Crush

The girl on the billboard staring at me
long hair, cone wrought bust, curvy built,
her clothes stylish – flawlessly tailored;
a skirt brief as a wink, long shapely legs,
black leather lace-ups with high heels.

She looks prettier than she did twenty years ago
when I went to prep, but not to my books pray,
but to a girl – my crush.
Then at spotting her, my heart pounded as though
I was a young proselyte before my deity.

Lately, folks say she’s all over town searching for me,
that she carries in her purse the love lines I wrote
and cowardly smuggled into her rucksack years ago.
How could she when she beholds me everywhere –
at intersections, at every magazine cover, I read?

How could it be? My cherished rhymes never
gained any scorn or laurel from her until now.
Endearment like stars must renew its luster
or face the worst fate: oblivion;
maybe, Caprice and women are intertwined.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | | 2020


Beauty is a Woman

Not a Pyramid

This piece is a tribute to many who lost their savings and reputation to МММ (a Russian company that perpetrated one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes of all time). Fooled with hope, men favor deceit; trusted on, thinking that Sergei Mavrodi will pay.

Dark Clouds

Dark clouds hover over us lately
one of such has cleared – Iberiberism.
When we were about to enjoy blue skies again,
another cloud sets in – Hopeism.

With faith borne out of decades of resilience
in due time this too will clear
“How can you be confident about this outcome?”
Weather-beaten optimism asks,
we’ve overcome adversities – Otokoto in 1996.

We’ll do it again
these dark clouds will blow over
Imo is bullish on Hope, on bouncing back.

Copyright © Ugo Nkwoala | Spilledwoords | 2020