A modern poem sent to us by Laju Ereyitomi Oyewoli, in the style of a traditional praise of one’s own clan. The Itsekiri people live in Nigeria’s Niger Delta area and traditionally refer to their land as the Kingdom of Iwerre. The area is a key centre of Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas production.

Iwere ni mi (1)
For I belong to the powerful bloodline
Of the proud Iginua (2)
Whose haughtiness sent him out of Benin
Down to Ode Itsekiri (3)
That we may reside in the richness and splendorous wealth of our pride

Iwere ni mi
For I belong to the historic people of itsekiri
Whose powerful Olus define the history of times (4)
In their heroic deeds

For Omi Iwere ni mi
A people whose greatness has always Shine brighter
Among the sands of time

by Laju Ereyitomi Oyewoli


Footnotes

  1. Iwere ni mi: meaning “I am Itsekiri”.
  2. In the 15th century, the early Itsekiris adopted a prince Iginua from the Kingdom of Benin as a monarch.
  3. Ode Itsekiri is the Itsekiri’s historical capital.
  4. Olus: Itsekiri Kings