Women of steel; women of valor,
Fire-splitting females unfazed by Mbiayaism,
You refuse to be cowed into submission
By the gestapo of LRC
In whose unyielding hands
Scatology and nudity serve as lethal ammo
Against emasculators of social justice.
Women of age, women of candor,
When the hawks came after Titabet
You stood hands akimbo and refused
To budge in the face of intimidation, beatings and rape.
Sorority of the post-menopausals,
Whose might astounded the world
In the 1990’s in Abakwa during
The wee hours of demo-craziness in Ongola.
Backbone of the Social Democratic Front
Harbinger of political liberalism.
You stood firm when the SDF
Saw the light of day at Ntarikon on May 26.
Angered by the demise of six young Abakwans,
Unperturbed by the heavy handed attempts
To abort the event by forces from LRC,
With brimstone and venom.
True to yourselves,
You’ve remained the backbone
Of the opposition in Nooremac,
Stimulating militancy and adding beef
To the democratic bare bones in Ongola.
Takumbeng—a string of nomenclature—
Takembeng, Akeeken, Tamanjong—
Offspring of many fondoms in graffi land—
Bafut, Bambili, Kedjom Keku, Kedjom Ketinguh,
Mendankwe, Chomba, Mbatu, Nkwen, Santa.
Takumbeng— life-blood of womenfolk,
Entrusted with a myriad of duties—
Purification, exorcism, social justice,
Communalism, decision-making, mediation,
Cleansing, funeral rites, social pacification,
And communion with Kwifon.
A formidable force to reckon with—
Endowed with mystical prowess.
Avant-garde of the infamous Villes Mortes,
Takumbeng lives in the hindsight of Abakwa citizenry.
Indefatigable women whose
Role in the civil disobedience
Is no sinecure at all,
You blocked the flow of goods
And foodstuff to the cities.
Large blades of grass
In the mouth of the Takumbeng
Symbolise “no talk but action”
The nkeng, dracaena plant,
Symbol of peace in graffi land.
Another lethal weapon
In the hands of the Takumbeng,
Celebrated for nocturnal rituals,
Symbol of womanhood,
Incarnation of occultism.
Queens of the earth,
And architects of life,
By virtue of procreation,
Takumbeng is no trifling matter.
Indigenous secret society,
Metamorphosed into a militant group.
To counter male chauvinism,
Abuse and misgovernment.
Takumbeng transcends ethnic frontiers.
Agents of ritualistic cleansing,
Purveyors of ominous signs,
You ensure social cohesion.
Your agenda includes rallying
Womenfolk for communal labor.
Your resolve to right
The wrongs of society is a creed.
Takumbeng's nudity is far being
A sign of vulnerability,
Rather it’s fortitude ,
Queens of the earth.
Architects of life.
Your resolve to protect humanity,
By virtue of womanhood,
Admirable affront aimed at evil-doers.
Even more laudable is your use of
Traditional symbolic rituals,
Mystic powers and shaming as combat tools.
Recourse to symbolism
Is extra ammunition to your stock in trade.
The exposed vagina,
Harbinger of ill-omen,
The exposed bare breast,
Another lethal weapon,
The whistle a rallying call for war.
Formidable bulwark against
Forces of oppression.
Bodies adorned with
Torn male dresses, dry banana leaves,
Fresh creeping plants, charcoal,
Wood ash and dry grass knots,
All means of desecration
In the hands of Takumbeng.
Takumbeng take matters
Seriously when despised,
Performing mock burials,
That send cold shivers down the spines of victims
Who take to their heels Or drop dead!
© Peter Vakunta 2015