By Sunday Paul C. Onwuegbuchulam

Trudging tirelessly through the street dirt,
The sweat on his face drips down,
Soaking the sodden shriveled shirt,
The soles of his shoes have thinned down.

His tired face reflects predicament,
As a result of wasteful trials,
With his hard earned documents
He cannot be offered even a trial.

But so optimistic he carried on
Running after an escaping honey,
At that middle hour not yet on,
How could he? When he has no money.

Under the burning blazing sun
He continued his eluding fight
His dry spit disappears under the sun
His sunken eyes looking left and right

Alas! There an opportunity shimmers
The chalk board shouts: ‘vacancy’!
The hope of a menial job glimmers
Even that is okay for his fancy

Knock, knock, knock, do you have “pay-pass”?
The manager’s head like Olumo rock
‘Yes’, the graduate answered, I had a pass.
The manager’s face frowned at this ignorant muck.

‘Zounds! I don’t mean that rubbish.’
Eyes blinking blearily in surprise
‘Excuse me sir, did you say rubbish?
These, for my academic endeavors are my prize.’

The graduate could not believe his ears,
Even as he returned to the streets.
The manager ejected him from there,
What a country! He was in fits.

A country where a qualified graduate
Could not qualify for a job, however menial
So that he could his sanity protect,
Which he sought, but turned to denial.

Yes, the corrupt system had denied sanity
From a man who fought tooth and nail,
To secure a place for future identity
Like a failed warrior, his aspiration fails.

Where is the employment to give him mandate?
Where are the two-tongued promises made,
By the pot-bellied hawks scavenging mandate?
Theirs was given, his was already dead.

This is his fate and others like him
In a country flowing with milk and honey.
They are gradually dying alive it seems,
But slowly the politician’s ‘pay-day’ looms surely.


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.