News Brief

Nigerian Poet Ben Okri Pens A Powerful Eulogy to the Grenfell Tower Victims

In this impassioned poem, Ben Okri denounces the underlying causes of the Grenfell Tower Fire

LONDON— Nigerian award-winning poet and novelist Ben Okri, penned a heartfelt poem in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire.


The poem vividly captures the grief and anger of the survivors and denounces the underlying causes of what is arguably the biggest preventable tragedy of this year. Okri writes:

Residents of the area call it the crematorium.

It has revealed the undercurrents of our age.

The poor who thought voting for the rich would save them.

The poor who believed all that the papers said.

The poor who listened with their fears.

The poor who live in their rooms and dream for their kids.

The poor are you and I, you in your garden of flowers,

In your house of books, who gaze from afar

At a destiny that draws near with another name.

Sometimes it takes an image to wake up a nation

From its secret shame. And here it is every name

Of someone burnt to death, on the stairs or in their room,

Who had no idea what they died for, or how they were betrayed.

They did not die when they died; their deaths happened long

Before. It happened in the minds of people who never saw

Them. It happened in the profit margins. It happened

In the laws. They died because money could be saved and made.

Watch his impassioned performance below:

News Brief
(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pregnant Tanzanian Girls Now Have Hope Of An Education

In the past, Tanzania's pregnant girls of school-going age were banned from accessing an education. However, things are about to change!

If a young girl of school-going age happened to fall pregnant in Tanzania, it usually spelled the end of her schooling career — and the death of any prospects she may have had for a bright future. In Tanzania currently, an estimated 5 500 girls are forced to leave school each year due to pregnancy, according to the World Bank.

The Tanzanian government has announced a new programme aimed at addressing the plight of young girls who have been impacted by this discriminatory ban. Tanzania's Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Leonard Akwilapo said young girls will now be offered an opportunity to further their schooling at alternative colleges.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Nigerian Government Barred From Prosecuting Twitter Users

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States has ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from prosecuting Twitter users, while it considers the case brought to it by civil society organisations and journalists.