A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Chimamanda Danita Egboh laughs backstage at Benaroya Hall. Her hair is in braids, and she's wearing a blue and white striped cardigan.

“I Am From,” by Chimamanda Danita Egboh

I Am From

I am from Nigeria, the western part of Africa
From the sandy roads and hot sunny days
I’m from delicious egusi soup with pounded yam, jollof red,
fried rice with chicken and my favorite African salad,
all simmering in the very dim lit kitchen the only light, a kerosene lantern

I’m from cultural dances and music,
Skins glistening with sweat under the full moon,
bodies swaying to the rhythm of the music!
Feet stomping to the heart of the drum
From folk tales by the fire cuddled with warmth
struggling to stay awake listening to the tales from the past

I am from a family of 6, the youngest of the pack
Each crazier than the other
But shares a bond that is impossible to break
From “Beauty is pain” “Practice makes perfect”
“Be serious with whatever you’re doing” and “Always choose the right path”

From my boisterous neighbors that were ready to play
every waking moment and never got tired
I am from a religious family, so going to church is mandatory.
I am from Beyoncé, Gladys Knight, Ariana Grande and Adele
and the way they and their music influence me
to be a great singer when I’m grown

Chimamanda Danita Egboh wrote this poem as an 8th grader at Washington Middle School, with WITS Writer-in-Residence Daemond Arrindell. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ SAL Presents event with Ta-Nehisi Coates at Benaroya Hall on October 20, 2019.

Posted in Student WritingSAL Presents2019/20 Season