Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

IKENGA

for Philip Emeagwali

Written by OBU UDEOZO on 14th February, 2002



Emeagwali

ikenga-igbo-mask



our landscape is a catwalk of songs;
praise singing explodes
on every tongue.


trumpets and cymbals
more sonorous than April thunder
escort long drums and flutes
in their intoxicated tunes.


our native land
is a glow with melodies


nno, aka ikenga
elephants float
on your right thumb
to compel the spotlight upon us;
truth cracked
after your tessellated models
tore the digital divide:
their fresh Ayatollah of malice;
truth cracked,
when your chicken over oxen theory
defied the deified Seymour Cray
to deliver the crown of science
upon the African Sun


this hemisphere
is a Christmas of trumpets
our laughter season.


God who planted
the onyx stone of Gad
within us,
is redeeming that pledge
of our sunrise.


ikenga-nimo-nri-awka-igbo-pitt-rivers-museum-oxford-1938-15-43


II.


our folks
are summoned
across the four winds
for a steaming fiesta
over Chineke's smile upon us;


so,
aka Ikenga
astride the surrealist oche ekwu
may courtiers rain you comfort
with peacock feathers.


our fatherland
is drunk with songs.


what Psalms
shall we engineer
for him who
beyond seven seas and seven terrains
captured the daybreak of foreign gods.


your Papacy in science
radiates in alien tongues.


what alogrithms
of dance steps
shall unravel
this immanence of our race?


Philip Emeagwali,
your Madison Square Garden feat
over fractious fraternity
at the hot horizons of knowledge


redeemed the millennial eclipse
of our ravaged soul.


Ikenga-Igbo-Nigeria



III.


your connection machine,
and honey-combed logic
in massive parallelism
awoke drybones
our God's gift
which vindicates Nwagu Aneke
that the children of Cush
shall outshine the first born;


but they slapped
conspiracy across your paths,
padlocks and platinum gates
saluted your dreams.


yet your Chi
lit your anointed breath


for the Onitsha pilgrim
whose pocket betrayed
even at home
to pluck the gold medal
of the computer age;


a tale Bill Clinton
sprayed to a world agape;
a sugared tale in our innocent ears


your trainloads of prizes
and caravan of honours
across the globe
a dizzying statistic
that at last,
God has poured
His Sovereign Spirit
upon all flesh.


our current godlike mode
of fecundity and genius
across the globe
is God's incomprehensible equity
upon all mankind;
whether Black or Yellow or Blue


Philip Emeagwali,
aka Ikenga
astride the surrealist oche ekwu
may courtiers slake your thirst
with divine wine.


mythic king
of our bloodline
we polish our music with lightening
and erect anthems
sky high
at our Maker's altar for a wonder child
and proof
that the lamb and leopard
shall chew divine grass
in Mount Zion
at the appointed feast
of our
Christ and Redeemer King.

- Amen -

OBU UDEOZO is a professional painter, poet and clinical psychologist. He lives in Jos, Nigeria.



ikenga-nri-awka-igbo
The ikenga statue is found in sacred shrines of the Igbo-speaking people of southeastern Nigeria. The ikenga is believed to possess a protective spirit and provides success and achievement. The word "ikenga" translates to "man's life force" or "place of strength."


Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor

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Philip Emeagwali, biography, A Father of the Internet, supercomputer pioneer, Nigerian scientist, inventor