A Poem on Pretences with Critical Analyses


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!

Fake Life


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!

Poet: Deola Adelakun

Briefs of the Poem

‘Fake Life’ is another poem addressing hypocrisy. The poet reveals how many people live a 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!

READ ALSO:  A Poem on Gossips with Critical Analyses

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!


 The poem has several thematic preoccupations in which the readers may understand the poem better. Some of the themes are discussed below.

The theme of hypocrisy

A hypocrisy an act of saying what he or she is not or boasting of what he or she has not become. The poet sees himself as a hypocrite who deceives people to call himself what he or she is not. He calls himself an international but he is a local person. No one can predict the poet’s color because of his hypocritical nature. When he eats, he behaves like an American, so people will not know that he is African.

The theme of pretenses

The poem records the poet as a pretender. What he is cannot be discovered. He begins to show his identity. He doesn’t want people to see him as an African; that is why he boasts that he is an American. He never wants to be shown black; that is why he calls himself white. He chooses to copy foreign lifestyles

The theme of arrogance

The poet is naturally arrogant. He arrogates himself to boast of what he has never been or become. He puffs, jives, and brags so that people will say he is something whereas he is not.

READ ALSO:  A Poem on African Values with Critical Analyses

The theme of danger

The poet’s life is very dangerous because he is living the life of a chameleon life that people cannot predict. People cannot say precisely that this is where the poet is. It is very difficult to say whether he is yellow or blue; pink or rainbow; dark or white. He is the one creature today and another creature tomorrow. The poet is difficult to know and no one can explain him. When he holds beef today, he will hold a sword tomorrow. When he entertains with a delicious meal today, he will entertain with poison tomorrow. This is the kind of life he is living!

The theme of deceit

The poet is deceitful and deceptive. He deceives people by calling himself and boasting himself what he is not. The topic itself is deceptive as the poet replaces “fake life” packaging. He says “packaging” while the packaging is a lie and deceit. People do not see this kind of life as a bad one. Those behaviors are called “Packaging” which is deceit.

International versus local

The places the foreign culture over his culture. He belittles his culture and he thinks his heritage is local (it is something people must see him with). That is why he escapes from his own culture and sees himself as an International, American, and white, te instead of local, African, and bl, ack. There is a clash between American and African cultures.

Language and Poetic Devices

The poet uses language and poetic devices that explain the poem understandably. Some of the languages are discussed below.

Stanzas and lines

The poem has 6 stanzas and 33 lines. The stanzas have good stressed and unstressed syllables which give a rhythmic effect.

Rhymes and rhyming schemes

Each stanza of the poem has a good ending correspondence rhyming scheme for stanza one is aabc, for stanza two is abcdef, for stanza three is aaaaaaaaa, four is abab, for stanza five is ababcdef, for stanza six is aabc.

READ ALSO:  A Poem on Model with Critical Analyses


The feeling of the poet is a correction. He tries to correct most African people who like him; those who take the foreign culture over their own culture.


The poet uses some slang to represent certain messages: “…copy-copy man”(line 26), “Packaging” (lines 27, 28, 29, 30, 31)

Figures of speech

The poet uses several figures of speech to make his poem rich and because the researchers can work on it. Some of the figures of speech are discussed below.


The poet makes use of simile to compare two objects with the f comparative words “like or as”. The examples of similes in the poem are “lines 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 1516, 23, 24, 25, 32” of the poem.


The poet makes use of metaphor to compare two objects without the use of comparative words. The examples of metaphor are “Fake life as a topic is a metaphor”, “Fake life is replaced with packaging” (line 30), “Packaging is a lie” (line 31),


The poet makes use of irony such as “lines 1, 2, 3, are examples of irony.


The poet makes use of repetitions for emphasis. The examples are “I, I am” (lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27), “Seem” (lines 12, 13, 14, 15, 16), “American and African” (lines 2, 23, 25), “Packaging”(lines 27, 29, 31, 31), “Like” (lines 6, 9,12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 32).


The poet makes use of synecdoche such as “It will be best if the world can grasp who you are!” the word “the world is a synecdoche which means the people in the world.

Practice Questions

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like