Author: Professor Philip Alalibo
Publishers: Shidaanikei Publishers Incorporated
Year of Publication: 2017
Number of Pages: 86
Here are African poems vibrating with Neo-Negritudinist sentiments and new hopes for the rebirth of Africa bruised by ethnic conflict, poverty, disease, and the greed of tyrannical despots who cling to power for life. This rebirth is contingent upon proper observance of some appeasement rituals to the god of nature, and so the poet ascends Mount Kilimanjaro as a ritual pilgrimage, and invites the reader to come up with him to the top of the mountain where he has gone to draw spiritual strength for his personal and national rehabilitation (“Standing on Mt. Kilimanjaro”).
One of the best pieces in the collection is the poem “The African King” drawn in the image of Chaka (or is it Kim Jong Un of North Korea?) portraying in detail the servitude of his fear-ridden subjects. Another poem of great interest is “African Woman” detailing the instincts of womanhood as both fruitful land and caring mother. The author has given us poems written in accessible language, soused in pastoral simplicity and magical rhythms. Indeed a great read for those who would want to feel the heart-beat of Africa captured in poetic lyrics.
Dr. Obi Maduakor, author, Wole Soyinka: An Introduction to His Writing, (New York and London: Garland Publishing Inc., 1986), and Introduction to Poetry: A Critical Anthology of Selected North American, British & African Poems (Shidaanikei Publishers, 2017 – Fourth Edition). Retired professor of English Literature at University of Nigeria and adjunct professor of English & Liberal studies at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada
In this new collection of poems, Professor Alalibo’s compelling voice explores the intersection of Africa’s ancient roots with its changing modern face. With reverence and tenderness the poet begins by addressing the African woman/walking in the trails of your ancestors/still with hope on your back, to reach for a quality of optimism beyond despair. Using powerful language and remarkable imagery, Professor Alalibo fearlessly connects African places, history and events laced with the burden of racism and turbulent politics to affirm with prophetic resolve, That Africa, shall rise, to its inevitable, full potential and original destiny.
Dr. Isabella Colalillo Katz, author of Marlene Dietrich’s Eyes (Ekstasis Editions, 2014] and Professor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology, Toronto, Canada.
Written by a poet with a special talent with words, this collection of poems is touching, powerful, inspiring and thought provoking. In fact, it is nothing short of amazing. Like a window to the soul of a magnificent continent, the defiant, powerful and deeply sensitive voice of the poet is timeless and boundless, offering more than a glimpse to the transfixed so-journeyer on the complexities of Africans, their culture, traditions and norms. The reader is transported beyond the pages to another place by these powerful poems that prompt one to engage in a discourse about the salient issues that have impacted a people. A must read collection.
Dr. Helen Pearman Ziral, Professor, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences – Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology, Toronto, Canada.
This anthology is quietly powerful in the way it brilliantly juxtaposes the beauty of Africa, with a long complex history of hurt. It captures the rhythms of African life through the years, as it takes the reader on a spellbinding journey that rearranges the imagination in a gentle yet deeply powerful way as it captures the cadences—the ebb, the flow of Africa and African life. The breath of style of the poems in the collection honours the rich legacy of the African people, while the vividness and immediacy of the language leaves the reader deeply affected. A Sahara Voice – Poems from the Heart of Africa is a brilliantly put together collection of poems by the erudite Professor Alalibo that is truly worth savouring.
Dr. Nancy Fraser, Professor, School of English & Liberal studies, Seneca College, Toronto, Canada.