Today as we celebrate Africa Day, we focus on the backbone & soul of Africa- her.  Today the spotlight is on Ijeoma Umebinyuo from Nigeria.

Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, The Rising Phoenix Review, Doll Hospital Journal, The Renaissance Noire, The Gordon Square Review and The MacGuffin. Her poem “Diaspora Blues” is a part of Dr. Rosalba Icaza’s contribution to Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics. She speaks on “Dismantling the Culture of Silence” in her TEDx talk. Her poem “The Delicate Acts of Survival” from her poetry collection Questions for Ada has been selected to be translated into Spanish; it will be published by Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencas Sociales (Latin American Council of Social Sciences) as part of an ebook. She is an Igbo-Nigerian writer.


i am writing for
the women
who were once girls
judging themselves
through the eyes
of souls
who couldn’t comprehend
their light

i am writing for
the women
who stammered
just to speak
who forced themselves
into silence
when ugly words
were once thrown at them

i am writing for
the women
who keep kneeling
screaming at their phone
as lovers leave
as friends depart

i am writing for
all these women
who still
show up
with a smile
after battling their demons
the night before.

i am also writing
for the women
who do not smile
the next day,
the women who
a day or two
to recover
from the brutalities
of the world.

by Ijeoma Umebinyuo