They say it is culture

I say it is torture

Born a woman, a reason to be oppressed

It is culture, a woman must be suppressed

I must never be too forward

They will only drag me backward

As a woman I must learn to be submissive

For a man has the power to be dismissive

To be accepted

I must be subjected!


Different meals I must prepare

That’s what makes me special

They say teas I must make

Special cakes I should bake

The butter I churn amidst the patter

To children and husband I pander

Hanging on to my apron often

As I take the heat of the Oven

I am sweating

He is swearing

Well he is the Man

And I am just a Woeman


They celebrate polygamy

But condemn polyandry

Why must he have all the fun

Having his beer belly rub in the sun

He has status, he must be a chief

Cos he has so many wives as chefs

Catering to his every need

Ready to bear all his seeds

Many lovers will leave me a pariah

I can be stoned according to Shariah


I am a child and there goes my friend

I can’t see her face; she is covered like a fiend

They say it makes her a woman worthy

Her value rises when a man comes forth

She is just a child that needs to play

Without all the covers to drag and slay

We were playing in the rain

Now I search for her in vain

Someone has carted her off to marry

She is just a kid, Oh how I worry

Now she will never be merry

As that old man pops her cherry


I am a child born an atheist

Only to be told I must be a theist

To their services I am dragged

While all they do is brag

About their god fearing child

Oh how I wish for a shield

From all that talk of heaven and hell

I would rather be left in my shell

As the thought of a burning fire

Leaves me bewildered and tired

But they think I must have

With them a myth to share

A god to offer supplications

As I submit my applications


See I am gay

So I have no say

They say it is a taboo

But this is not a tattoo

That leaves me a choicetag5

Now I have found my voice

With Pride I reject your offer

In silence I will no longer suffer

Safety and silence for my sexuality

It’s too high a price for my mentality

Now you know one man‘s culture

Is really another woman’s torture!tag3




  1. Ekuba says

    I LOVED this poem Yemisi! Wow, you’re really a gifted writer. I also enjoyed the poem you wrote about drums. Please keep writing 🙂

  2. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Ekuba -Thanks. Wow, glad you found my poem The Drum , I love all my poems but i have a special soft spot for that. 🙂 I intend to keep writing, so keep enjoying my posts.

  3. Runsewe Ademola says

    It is nice to have all the complexity and complication that comes with how identity is being forced one from a well-written and succinctly written poem from a beautiful and motivating writer. Hope that through such poems more critically conscious individuals like you through more dialogues like yours will be produced thereby creating the society where everyone will be able to define their own essence and flourish .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.