Tighten Your Belt

Oga Preseedo, we hear you
You say make we tighten our belt
Make we de saakpa, de live a fasting life
Cos dis time naa austere times
But you loose di rope of your shokoto
And sit-don dey chop life
Ten wraps of amala with éwedu soup
With brokoto, shaki and orisirisi
 Alone you dey gulp down dis big mountain
Until your bellé blow up like blom-blom

You say make we tighten our belt
 Dis time naa austere times
Make we de ride bicycle de go work
Cos the price of fuel e don cost
Now government don remove subsidy
Make bank de charge us heavy tax
And make we de make sacrifices
Cos we de rebuild our country

But you carri all the moni for bullion van
You go buy for yourself a bullet proof jeep
Make e de jump all the potholes and gullies
And de shield you from di unknown gunmen

Oga Politician, I hail O!
As them de talk'm for street,
Who don blow, don blow

About this poem

This poem is written in broken English (pidgin), to depict the language of the common man in Nigeria and what they suffer in the hands of political leaders. They ask us to make sacrifices by tighten our belt in this austere times. But we watch them live the most unimaginable ostentatious life, while the mass live in penury. What a double vision!

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Written on February 12, 2024

Submitted by Benny11 on February 14, 2024

Modified by Benny11 on June 19, 2024

53 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme xAbcabxcxx Acxxdxxd xxxx exe
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 862
Words 176
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 10, 8, 4, 3

Benson Chukwueke

Owerri, Nigeria since 1971. This is how I process and express my innermost cogitations; sitting back with pen and paper, painting words and polishing them until they become flowered verses. I guess for these actions, I could be called a poet or what do think? more…

All Benson Chukwueke poems | Benson Chukwueke Books

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Discuss the poem Tighten Your Belt with the community...

  • Benny11
    The poem "Tighten Your Belt" criticizes political hypocrisy and inequality in society. It begins by addressing a political leader, referred to as "Oga Preseedo," who instructs the populace to endure hardship ("tighten our belt") due to austere economic times. The poet sarcastically highlights the leader's contradictory behavior: while preaching austerity and fasting for the masses, he himself indulges in extravagance ("sit-don dey chop life") symbolized by consuming ten wraps of amala with éwedu soup. This starkly contrasts with the common people's supposed need to tighten their belts and make sacrifices.

    The poem continues to criticize the leader's directives to ride bicycles and endure rising fuel prices after subsidy removal, while he enjoys the luxury of a bulletproof jeep purchased with public funds. The political elite are depicted as detached from the struggles of ordinary citizens, shielded from everyday dangers like potholes and unknown gunmen.

    The closing lines, "As them de talk'm for street, Who don blow, don blow," suggest resignation and cynicism among the populace, acknowledging that those in power have already achieved their goals ("blow") while the common people continue to suffer.

    Overall, the poem serves as a scathing commentary on political hypocrisy, economic inequality, and the disconnect between the ruling class and the masses they govern.
    LikeReply8 days ago
  • Abbykesington
    Another beautiful satire condemning injustice and corruption of the political class. Great work
    LikeReply10 days ago
  • alanswansea18
    LikeReply2 months ago
  • alanswansea18
    I love it.
    LikeReply2 months ago


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"Tighten Your Belt" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/180943/tighten-your-belt>.

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