Laughing Democracy

by Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam

Happy ululations fill the charged air,
Feets jump up in the jingoistic euphoria,
Mouths open singing songs of jubilation.
What good thing has happened to our hearts?
The khaki head had hit the wall.

Dum dumdum, the drums roll,
Cha chacha, the evil is gone,
Like a nightmare in the night he is gone,
With the break of the golden dawn.
The dictator is dead, the people are drunk.

At last freedom walks in with hope,
For their persecutor, their killer is dead.
How and what killed him, who knows?
He died like a mosquito crushed to a wall.
Even as strong and untouchable as he was.

Now the people can relax and choose.
They can give their mandate to their man,
And the dividend thereof can rake.
For such is what they only seek,
To eat from the fruits of democracy.

A mirage! It was meant to be but not to be.
People defied obstacles trudging out en masses.
They queue up like sentries baking in the sun.
A heavy downpour asked them home, they refused
The reason: to bring their dreams to reality.

The election was meant to be free and fair,
It failed to be free not to talk of fair.
Gun tottering thugs dislodged and maimed some
Victims defying rain and sun, but couldn’t thugs
Some did not vote as their vote was already counted.

The people shouted ‘foul play’ all the way
Old khaki heads are back after stepping aside.
This time not in khaki but in ‘agbada’
They say it is democracy, people know better
In tears, they laughed at a laughing democracy.

They-must-be-crazy in this de-mo-crazy
“That’s better”, says our colonial masters
Absurd! Is it obtainable in their country?
No amenities, no employment and of course no food
A caricature of democracy, I say.

Pssst! Do not talk or say I said
Those who did as the Fourth Estate of the Realm
Compulsorily visited their dead ancestors
They left for work to their graves
But wherever they are their pen is mightier.

For the ignorant knows the truth
The truth is the sun, it is now blazing
It will burn and burn and consume
The rogues and killers, cheat and jesters
Who play and steal in this drama – laughing democracy.


Dr Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam is from Imo State Nigeria resident in South Africa. He is a researcher and lecturer (International and Public Affairs). He has published peer-reviewed articles in journals straddling the areas of philosophy, theology, conflict transformation and peace studies and political science. Reading and writing poetry, prose and drama is a hobby and passion developed early in life to which he devotes his pastime. The theme that controls his poetic thoughts centres on human existential realities and the plight of the alienated in African societies.


One Reply to “Laughing Democracy”

  1. Wow, well written sir. The poem vividly explain the political problem In Nigeria from the onset of military rule to the nowaday democracy. I love the element of the poem. Truly, it is thesame caucuses of the military rule that are still In power…. Weldone sir.

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