I puff I am international when I am local
I jive I am an American when I am an African
I brag I am Dangote’s son when my father is struggling in the village
My real color is hidden
I always change garments like a chameleon
Whether I am yellow or blue
Pink or purple like a rainbow
Whether I am dark or white like a sky
Nobody can say
What I am today is not tomorrow!
I seem like a gorilla today but a lion tomorrow!
I seem like a dove today but a parrot tomorrow!
I seem like a giver today but a snatcher tomorrow!
I seem like a human today but a masquerade tomorrow!
I seem like an earthworm today but a viper tomorrow!
I hold beef today but a sword tomorrow
I entertain with a delicious meal today but poison tomorrow
I am difficult to know
People can hardly explain me
I pretend to be white when I am a black
I eat like an American when I am an African
I dress like a white when I am a black
I talk like an American when I am an African
I always choose to be a copy-copy man
If people ask, I always reply, all is packaging
The modern style is the packaging.
The lie is substituted for packaging
Fake life is replaced with packaging
Packaging is a lie
Deceit is called packaging
All and sundry who are like me
It will be best if the world can grasp who you are!
Briefs of the Poem
‘Fake Life’ is another poem addressing hypocrisy. The poet reveals how many people live fake life. He continues to expose the ways of life of African people as we bend low and inferior to other cultures and values.
The poet points to the people that always puff, jive and brag to be international, American, and Dangote’s son but they are not. They don’t want to be known as local, African, and poor/ordinary citizens. This is hypocrisy!
Many people like pretenses. They always hide their personality. Other people cannot say who they are. I think that is not a manifestation of integrity.
These pretenders claim to be good today but something else tomorrow. The hypocritical people will seem like a gorilla, doves givers, humans, and earthworms today, but the lion, parrots, snatchers, masquerade, and vipers tomorrow. This is hypocrisy!
Many blacks are inferior in their ways of life. They think their culture is not a good one. These people eventually imbibe the foreign culture in terms of language, dress, etc. Is it not hypocrisy?
Our people’s hypocrisy leads us to switch to the slang of ‘packaging’. The modern style is packaging and deceit are called packaging. This is also hypocrisy!
The poet advises that it will be best if people can stop pretending and deceiving people. Let people know you!
1. Discuss the subject matter of the poem.
2. Explain the poetic devices of the poem.
3. Comment on the use of figurative expressions in the poem.
4. Say about the stanzas of the poem.