Leonard Okema – Acholi Land!


Acholiland oh acholiland,
The once happy mother of proud warriors,
To you we wail,
For redemption from the fangs of terror,
The terror that bleeds us white,
The terror that siphons your blood 
that runs in our veins,

Lambs without a shepherd we remain,
Driven away from you into the darkness,
Mama we yearn for an end to our misgivings,
Oh! Acholiland,

Do you hear us when we call out to you?
When our cries run our voices frail,
When wantons hunt us, your children down,
The harmony you taught us is no more,
Your children have learnt the little art of 
unleashing terror,

Unfortunately on your very siblings,
Pain is all we feel and grim is what we see,
Blood is what we pay for being your children,
Oh! Mother, spread your wings and redeem 
us, to rise and shine again.


74 Responses to Leonard Okema – Acholi Land!

  1. I am an Acholi living in the United States
    and first to commend you for keeping our culture
    alive. I am however requesting that if possible
    you send me wer pa Banya ma ki goyo i kare me
    reymo Amin.

  2. Harlan says:

    That was very good. Deep and slightly vague and mysterious. Are you actualy an Acholi.

  3. very sad and very deep…it does spread to us that we are acholi are in need of unity for strength. Lets join hands visit http://www.acholiteck.com and suppotrt an acholi innitiative to help ourselfs


    The omen** of the elders are before my eyes.
    The omens of the deaths are before my eyes.
    The omens of the spirits of ancient times are before my eyes.
    The omen of the kakwa** people are before my eyes.
    The omens of our past doings are before my eyes.

    Chorus X5
    The omen of my acholi brothers are before my eyes.
    The omens of former friends are before my eyes.
    The omens of past evils are before my eyes.
    The omen of my friends insults are before my eyes.
    The omens of paths of destructions are before my eyes.
    The omens of absolute acholi poverty are before my eyes.

    Chorus X5
    The omens of past battles are before my eyes.
    The omen of past killings we committed is before my eyes.
    The omen of past burials we performed is before my eyes.
    The omens of past lamentation are before my eyes.
    The omens of our wrongs are before my eyes.
    The omens of absolute acholi suffering are before my eyes.
    The omen of absolute langi*** suffering are before my eyes.

  5. shelton says:

    Very needed information found here, thank you for your work

  6. Yes Harlan,am an Acholi,resident in Uganda.Thanks Shelton.Thanks everybody keen and committed to the plight of the suffering masses in Acholi land.I can be reached by email:okema.lenny@gmail.com,for any further information.

  7. Wow says:

    Your poetry is very good! Have you considered submitting it to an online magazine, such as Writing Juice or http://bevro.com?

  8. Sondra says:

    That was amazing!
    Ever since I learned of the conflict tearing Acholiland apart, I’ve somehow felt a part of it and have written stories and poetry of my own about it.
    Your poem touched me deeply and I want to commend your work.
    Are you Acholi? I started a club at my school to help Acholiland and need the help of others as well. If you are interested in helping or giving me ideas, please email me at sassy_greengurl7@hotmail.com

  9. chorya says:

    Excellent poetry! Thank you for keeping the issues fresh and passionate. Keep on! Tic cingi ber!

  10. Aldo says:

    I am Aldo Tripiciano, owner of this poetry blog.
    I publish poetry from all over the world, and I wanted to put Leonard’s work here as soon as I knew about Uganda and its people.
    I hope all the best for Acholi people.

  11. poetry says:


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  12. Sondra says:

    Hey..are you going to e-mail me back…?
    ha ha its ok, still lovin the poem. i hope its ok that i put it on my

  13. well done bro.keep up de good work

  14. sheila M says:

    these r all great makes the plight of our brothers & sisters real

  15. Leonard says:

    Hi all, Thanks for keeping the fire burning. The change process starts with you. For more infor and pics, check out: http://www.lwani.blogspot.com

  16. Faure says:

    hola me gustó la foto. quise copiar y pegar el texto para traducirlo al español pero no me deja el sitio. saludos. he puesto un link en http://marcelofaure.wordpress.com
    yo trabajo sobre fotos. saludos otra vez!

  17. huerd,jake says:

    hi,do you realy think,the Acholi people will stop dying after the war?Aman like you has the balls to compose such a nice poem yet you are one of the worst womanisers Acholi has produced.Style up Okema Leonard

  18. No comment in response to Huerd Jake. Silence is golden. My fans just log on to http://www.lwani.blogspot.com and enjoy pics from northern Uganda. Don’t you forget to leave a comment to show that humanity can be and is wiser than what Jake is trying to portray. One Love to all Humanity.

  19. Amina H says:

    Thanks Leonard for your cool headed-ness. I think you are a supernova. I pity humans like Huerde Jake, above, who let jealousy and foolishness impede reason and great works like Leonard’s here. I implore Jake to begin to reason and use brains instead of shallow mouthing like she portrays in her vain attempts above. Shame on You Jake Huerd. I salute you Okema Leonard. I wish i could get to meet you in life. You are a HERO. Keep up your great works.

  20. Amanda Cher says:

    Thanks Amina. I think Jake is acting out of jealousy. I wonder if Leonard is a married man, but maybe Jake had a vain crush on Leonard but he turned her down. Shame on you Jake Huerd. I think you maybe one of the countless poor losers that the world has. I think Leonard has style and if anybody needs to style up, then Jake is one.

    Leonard give us more of your poems, am your fan. I hope you received my e-mail. Please holla back.

  21. edgar says:

    leornard, that’s deeep stuff. abit cool in tone for a theme as strong but adequate. not too many people in this country write cultural or socio consciousness. keep up the good work. in case u see this there is group called the Lantern Meet of Poets, they meet fortnightly at the national theatre we would be glad to have you.

  22. Leonard says:

    Many Thanks Edgar. Can you please furnish me with details of your meeting schedule. You can drop me an e-mail at: okema.lenny@gmail.com

  23. Mustafa says:

    i may not be an achloi but mann this poem is extremely deep. one realizes the basics sufferings of africa and Leonard Okemah is my Idol

  24. DATA ROBERT says:

    Jackson M
    thumbs up leonard.it is so artistic that i can afford to read it as many times as possible.i love the images and metaphors u employed.we hope 4 more.

  25. jackson m says:

    thumbs up leonard. it is so artistic that i can afford to read it as many times as possible.i love the images and metaphors u employed.we hope 4 more.

  26. Danica Chenaille says:

    your piece was good
    keep at it
    i believe that art changes the world
    to me art is poetry, words, and war
    believe it or not it is my thought

  27. This game really fails, the gameplay is suckish and graphics sucks too. The multiplayer playing is ok but general this mmo fail! 2 out of 9

  28. Russell Ray says:

    If only more than 93 people could read about this.

  29. Hehe I am honestly the first reply to this incredible read?!?

  30. Who want to go to acholiland now 🙂 Nice poem, thank you.

  31. The terror that siphons your blood —> this is an affecting image.

    Visit my Poetry Blogspot

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  33. 111 says:

    analysis pls

  34. Yuna Myreen says:

    wats da message of this ?

  35. Yuna Myreen says:

    analysis . ? plss post .

  36. mr. okema leonard, i hope to see your profile so i can share it to my students because they want to know about the authors like you. thanks.

  37. VILDOX says:

    wats the analysis of this poem or the interpretation plz

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  39. mhaethel says:

    amazing….. the poem that you did is great……… good job:))

  40. ro-ann says:

    i love this poetry……………..ehehehhehehehehehh

  41. what is the message of this poem

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  65. liam herffernana says:

    jok jok mallu. this is a declaration of the acholiland state and consitution. the inguration of acHoliestate will deliver real freedom of the acHoliland dano.and acholiperson who wishes for acholistate shall have it. the missery and suffering of acholies people is the driving force.
    any contracts entered before this communicate shall be honored by the independence republic of acholiland on this 12 day of 7 mth of jok year 1986. we hereby enter and subscribe our names…acholiland is in existence..by the gestor of the acholi(protector).. we now possesed/hold the biological the nyarwandas dont want to smell..we raise again. command ac holie bureau..

  66. Jpachona says:

    Like piercing crystalline rains
    My heart pains
    And into the blank my mind nays

    My palpitating heart drums
    And in clasped fears my limbs give
    Where an anthem of pain ails
    Rocking my ancestral totem post
    Over protruding graves
    In the open yard of my family’s ancestral homestead

    Covered in spikes of piercing crystalline rains
    And the rainbow tail of the unknown
    My skyline is masked in disguise
    Where forlorn wails rise In distant echoes like silenced secrets Where groans immerse In the silence of unknown fears Unbeknownst;
    unimaginable like planted pains in Acholiland…

    Now a calling invokes “Nywandi” shall prevail Over this riveting yet “secret” mystery
    But we will defy death; Every rainbow And the piercing crystalline rains Causing my heart pains And my mind nays

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