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Tagged: NECO poem, Niyi, Waec poem
THE LEADER AND THE LED
The Lion stakes his claim
To the leadership of the pack
But the Antelopes remember
The ferocious pounce of his paws
The hyena says the crown is made for him
But the Impalas shudder at his lethal appetite
The Giraffe craves a place in the front
But his eyes are too far from the ground
When the Zebra says it’s his right to lead
The pack points to the duplicity of his stripes
The Elephant trudges into the power tussle
But its colleagues dread his trampling feet
The warthog is too ugly
The rhino too riotous
And the pack thrashes around
Like a snake without a head
“Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”,
Proclaims the Forest Sage,
“A little bit of a Lion
A little bit of a Lamb
Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe
Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake
A leader who knows how to follow
Followers mindful of their right to lead”
Who Is Niyi Osundare?
Professor Niyi Osundare is a popular Nigerian poet known for his simplicity, apt imageries and powerful use of symbolisms in his poems.
This particular poem, through the use of symbolisms, explores the topical issue of leadership. In “The Leader and the Led”, Osundare foregrounds the prerequisites for holding a leadership position.
Niyi Osundare (born in Ikere-Ekiti, Nigeria, in 1947) is an essayist, writer for the theatre, lecturer and one of Nigeria’s most celebrated poet.
He has published 18 volumes of poetry, several plays, essays, articles and criticism. Previously a professor at the English Institute of the University of Ibadan, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English at the University of New Orleans.
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