Author: Funke Awodiya

Number of pages: 75 pages

Published by: Something for Everybody Ventures (SFEV)

Year published: 2020

Funke Awodiya’s anthology of poems, Woman of Woman, is a diary of tributes to great women and unsung heroines like Dora Akumyili  (Tribute to a First Daughter); Bukky Ajayi (Maami);  Dr. Stella Adadevoh (Here We Are); Maryam Babangida (To the Memories of a Trailblazer) and for all Nigerian women (Queens of the Niger Area).

 I went at this collection, one poem at a time because I needed time to pause and absorb the powerful messages carefully wrapped in lines and verses by this fine-fingered poet.

The opening poem “Stand Up!” drew me in just as the coolness of a river seduces tired farmers after a long day under the fury of the sun. The message is all-so strong, and sweet like fresh palm wine, my mouth continued to beg for another sip until the last drop fell from the keg. Funke Awodiya uses simple language to talk about the (r)evolution of the womenfolk, urging more women to enlist

“…hearts that raised us,

to be the pinky blueish girls we were,

brown sugar women we are …

stand tall!

for women we are

girls we used to be

bitches they made of us

“witches” we will become

let no rapist rape our tomorrow,

cage our today

or stone our age.”

This right here is one of the most simplified gospel of women empowerment, girl-power and if I may add, feminism; the most misunderstood word and movement in our society, which she did not close without writing about in her poem Land of ignorance:

ignorance stole their vision

making them think penises are chalks

and breasts are dusters,

She leaves out no isotope of womanhood in this collection. Every slice of reality, women live with is captured so aptly. In Woman of Woman, there is something for:

the widows,

in Widow’s Might

“You’re a widow not a window of pity,

Throw not a party,

If empathy finds you

Open your arms and embrace it”

the wives,

in Fateful Wives

and message of submission to death

still flies from the pulpit

to the head that kills its body in words and blows

telling her to be fate-full till death hurls her

and her faith to the grave,

where fate-full wives rest in pitiful peace

early marriage,

Elegy to the Little Bride 

Under the shade of dongoyaro tree she sits

Harvested unripe fruit

the orchestra of a childhood cuts short

sings dirges of stolen dreams,

who will hear this sober tale of a little bride?

in no time a girl becomes a mother of another girl,

disabled women:

In poems such as Sitting-Tall Queen and pink ladies


Who can beat mothers’ love?

If not a mother, who wears her children

like beads adorning her neck

End of Time

Mother’s shawl is long enough

to strap every child’s dream to her bosoms

Every day is Mother’s day

It is magical to be reminded of who you are. Sometimes, that reminder calls one’s attention to the vast deposit of talents and abilities which have been lying fallow. Funke knows this and applies it very commendably in the following poems:

Woman in portrait,

Woman  of a woman

Woman in portrait,

your gait is a reminder of standing trees

in a forest of fallen trees

This is me

We are descendants of warriors,

Women who fought yesterday and bought today,

for their unborn daughters

Queen Idia of Benin, Moremi Ajasoro,

Queen Amina of Zaria, Olunfnmilayo Kuti,

Flora Nwapa

This is me,

Unapologetic! Nigerian woman.


A woman might stand alone

But she has an army in her

Funke Awodiya employs various poetic implements, imageries, metaphors to send home striking messages of hope. For instance, in Wonder Woman, she writes:

… of tears sweetened with cubes of joy

sadness bleached becoming snow white smiles

In yet another, The sun will shine again, she wrote: hope is the silage and hay for the days of drought.

The word-economy, simplicity of style, and relatable diction are very major ingredients in this collection especially because all those three are becoming extinct in contemporary poetry.

Woman of Woman is a book for everyone; girls journeying to womanhood, men who dream to be fathers to these girls, and all women, who the author reminds to be supportive to one another in poems like Prayer for a sister, Dear Sister Omolola, and

Sister’s Creed:

Don’t leave me behind

Because I slowly walk

Allow me move at my pace

Jealousy is a stranger where love reigns

Funke Awodiya’s Woman of Woman is a strong poetic statement that I like to compress into one sentence: a woman is not a finless fish, which must live only at the mercy of societal waves and tides.