Karara: the Balogun of Ilorin (Traditional African Poetry)


Tell them not to flaunt Modakeke to his ears
Tell them not to recite that Oyo has western strength
Let them not gasconade latosisa in his presence
Karara will trample cities with a single step.

Tell them if not for him that wrecked the honeycomb,
Who dares near the stings of bees with valour?
Tell them if not for he that fiercely stood firm,
Who dare lives in Ilorin with placid mien?

Tell them if not for him that ravaged the termite-hill,
Who dare moulds huts with clayed bricks?
Tell them if not he that obliterated nemeses,
Who dare sojourns to the province of Ilorin?

Tell them! If not he that saved the king from rave,
Who dare stands against the subordinate blaze?
Tell them if not him that had the Emir reclaimed
Who dares stand for  royal lineage?

Tell Onikoyi to never hunt a living rat!
Tell Arabambi to never call the gods hypocrites!
Tell Soponna with the burden of unhealthy strife
To never stroll to where Karara resides!

Tell the unbending  goats about his visiting
Tell the tsetse flies to hide their silky wings
Tell the dogs barking the shadow of his potency
That Karara is on the way; Karara is approaching.

Tell them about strictness that compels
Tell them about havoc in hands caressing
Tell them about a man that called war festivity
Tell them about Karara, balogun of Ilorin.

Tell them about the might of kiriji combat
Let the native mouse telltale to the ears of the rat.
Tell them about the blood that flows in shrine
Let the donkeys tell the camels about their grievous ride.

Tell them about his swords that glisten in victory;
Tell them about his spears that speak belligerence.
Tell them about his doctrines that depict discipline
Tell them about Karara – a warrior even in his slumber.

Tell them during hours of communion with cryptic gods!
Balogun was the baring you bring upon
In epoch of your entreaty with alchemy demons!
Balogun was the baring, Akoni was the reputation.

Tell them about voodoo, tell them about mysteries
Tell them about victories you acclaimed triumphantly!
Tell them about visions seen in instant gazing
Tell them about the myths of Western virility.

Tell them about the scuffles you fiercely led
Tell them about the contends you bared with zest
Tell them about combats on the field of mercilessness
Tell them you survived the coming of evil’s banquet.

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