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:

Music

Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.

Tems is striking while the iron's hot and sharing her new 5-song EP, If Orange Was A Place.

The new release comes a few days after she dropped its lead single, "Crazy Tings," an addictive and bounce-heavy track produced by Ghanaian beatmaker GuiltyBeatz.

If Orange Was A Place also features a single guest appearance from American singer Brent Faiyaz — who lends his vocals to "Found" — and production from Jonah Christian. It was mixed and mastered by Spax.

The new EP comes alongside the news that Tems has signed to Since '93/RCA Records and been announced as Apple Music's latest Up Next artist.

Tems has been a highly-buzzing name in the last month with her feature on Drake's Certified Lover Boy, in which she appears on the song "Fountains," and for the massive popularity of her single alongside Wizkid, "Essence," which recently got a Justin Bieber remix.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Liya Wants to Stand Out

The rising Nigerian artist, who has been crowned the 'First Lady' of Davido's DMW label, tells us about how her life has changed and details her new Alari EP.