← Issue 10

Igbo-Yoruba Woman

by Olúwátamilóre Osho

Two cultures war inside me.
My tongue, a confluence
that brings two tribes together. 

On the phone, I speak to my Yoruba Aunt,
She tells me not to bring home an Igbo man.
Never mind that I might want a woman.

My Igbo Aunt lines my mother’s chest
with ridicule for marrying a Yoruba man.
Tribalism daily echoes off the walls of my home,

I, their daughter and also their daughter,
a meeting point to bring two feuding clans together.

I stand in between,
Neither here nor there,
Never fully belonging.

Yet in this body
I’ll transcend,
a god.
My mother’s battle etched on my back, 
the story of my history burning hot on my tongue.

In this body,
I am Osun.
Raging storms and carving my own path.

Here I am also Ala,
Earth mother, nurturing and warm.

I proudly wear all of my ancestors on my skin.


Olúwátamilóre Osho is an emerging poet from Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, she majors in Chemistry with a minor in Education at the University of Benin’s affiliate campus, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka. Her writings negotiate sensuality, familial dynamics and identity. She tweets @Tamiilore_O.