The Yorùbá poet Lanrewaju Adepọju passed away on the 10th December 2023 from age-related illness. We are grateful to his son, Olayiwola Adepọju, for this transcription and translation into English of a recording from Chief Adepọju’s repertoire.
A self-taught polymath residing in Ibadan, Lanrewaju Adepọju seamlessly embodied the roles of poet, playwright, author, and social crusader. Local politicians and noteworthy figures actively sought his collaboration, aspiring to leverage his influential standing for the promotion of their policies and accomplishments. Yet, it was Adepọju’s indelible mark on the socio-political landscape that remains his most renowned contribution. His incisive scrutiny of successive administrations in Nigeria, directed at policies he deemed inequitable, stands out prominently. Employing the poetic genre of ewì, Adepọju delivered these often blistering critiques with a modern and resonant flair.
I dreamt of riches, wealth you’d hold,
I dreamt of you living, a vision of longevity,
Dreams of grand houses, skyscrapers you built,
Cloaked as a man of honor, with social grace…