Student Village Academy Forums STUDY HELP Leader And The Led By Niyi Osundare

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      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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