It was a cold, lonely evening and I was stuck in a dark room in Patani, Delta state, Nigeria, as part of my National Youth Service. It was hot inside but I dared not open the door for there were hundreds of mosquitoes just waiting for the opportunity. I suddenly found solace in ringtone of the phone on the bed. It was my brother. He spoke for just 3 second: “Achebe is dead!”. I lit the candle, picked up my pen, opened to my journal and started writing:
Of what use is the pen when the ink is dry?
Why should I hide this pain when it makes me cry?
With this sword you took the world by storm,
With this rod you became its beloved son
You captured minds and held them as a piece
You beckoned the world to trace the path of peace.
What happens now, Achebe,
When you, the Thing at the centre,
Have Fallen Apart and scattered?
Your death has made me feel this pain
And so I pay my tribute with my pen!
by Effiong Samuel (poem was written on 21/03/2013)