Ajiba-date, A Poem In Honour of Kunle Ajibade@ 60

By Kole Ade-Odutola

There is a date to be kept
The hardly seen reviewer of literature
whose voice so sure, it goes from pages
into hearts of readers.
I must confess awareness of him
started at UNIFE
when two readers of Paine
caught a noted writer with pain
mapping ideas onto words not his
Since then the IF in Ife
changed from “African Concord”
to “The News” and all in between
now like history in a hurry.
His twin, now the polisher of the posh
and he, the town crier for the oppressed.
To suppress his voice in the time of dark goggle oppressor
to a dungeon he and others from the Lagos press
were kept till death played the liberator

If you have precious minutes to spare
keep a date with broda AjibaDate
as he enters the club of six decades
here on earth.

He writes to make the right uncomfortable
and writes to alert those on the left
and the rest of time a smile paints
his youthful face reducing the space
between the looker and the thinker
Happy Birthday to Ajibade

Kole Ade Odutola is a Yoruba lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Rutgers University, New Jersey.

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