Edewede Oriwoh

You don’t need to go to school

You must not go to school
I forbid it
I command you to stay away from that place
When you get there
You learn too many truths
About how valuable you are
You learn about the world
You know your left from your right
After you pass through its four walls.

I don’t want that for you
You were created to serve
To spread your legs and do as I say
To bear children as I say
I command you not to go to that place.

When you come back you are independent
And have a voice
I don’t want to hear that voice
Strong, assured, questioning everything, curious, investigating
That would make me feel weak
You must not make me weak
You must not go to school.

The offence of educating yourself

It is wrong for you to do this.
“Why?” you ask me.

Well, can’t you see?!
That is part of the problem!
That is just it!
It encourages you to ask “Why?”

“Why?” A dangerous question:
To require reason, essence, to enquire
Rather than accept blindly, foolishly

No, I forbid your quest for education.
I forbid you your right to ask “Why.”

A force for good

An educated woman is a force
A force to be reckoned with
One that cannot be messed with

An educated woman has a mind
A mind that changes things
One that cannot be easily swayed

An education girl is a glittering gem
A gem bright as a thousand diamonds
One that cannot be dulled

And educated woman is a free mind
A mind that cannot be held down
One that is a FORCE for good!

Edewede Oriwoh sometimes performs at the poetry meetings of the Luton Poetry Society, UK. She has a website, Edewede's Cry, from where these poems were taken.
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