The Penvoice Blog | Telling the African Story


PENLIT SERIES: WE-MEN by Odedele Akinwande

This week on our PenLit Series, young poet Odedele Akinwande wrote on the title WE-MEN. According to him, the poem is focused on Rape.

Akinwande explained that his motif behind this poem was to contribute his voice in the fight against rape irrespective of gender. He said that from the title WE-MEN, it depicts that rape has no gender. He also portrays his poem signifying that justice hasn’t been done enough to the perpetrators of this evil act.

His choice of words: Kill, Steal and Destroy tell a lot about this theme.

The poet has chosen Elegy as his genre for this poem. Enjoy!


I was taught to fear guns and machetes…
Weapons made for destruction,
I was told to flee strong winds,
To run as far as my feminine legs can carry.
I was advised by the ones who came before I; to hide at the sight of harm,
But never at the sight of him.
This him, this very him, the taker,
The thief!
This Him, lurking in the misty dark,
This Him, who yet cloaks in appearance of Day’s light,
This Him, or maybe I should say This “Shim” as gender is no restriction.

Read Also: #CreativeZone: Can We Truly Keep This Up? – Odedele Akinwande

The one who hides in the trusting arms of family, and wears the garments of undying friendship, the same one who comes from the place unknown with the face unseen;

The one who stole,
And the one who steals from me,
Who steals from us all…

The thief cometh but to steal, kill, to destroy, you came without guns, machetes or metals forged into Death’s ally,
Yet you stole from me, killed me and tore me to shreds…


You came with the most destructive weapon attached to flesh,
To take what’s mine to give.

You say it’s yours to take,
As I called you by appearance
You say my body speaks the words my mouth don’t.
And you claim the thief doesn’t come without an invite.

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I turned to Justice,
All she did was educate me on fLAWs,
She should help raise my helpless voice,
I may never get back what was stolen
But help me call a thief a thief.

No one wants to be robbed,
None wants to be raped
No means No!!!!


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