Freedom: Little mercies we take for granted by ‘Lanre Bucknor

This article was first published on the 16th of August 2013 on a certain Toyin Fabunmi’s blog and can be found here. This is just a refix of the original article as published on the blog by yours truly. Enjoy and ponder.—–


Alaye, je kin ma ba e lo ago e yen lo” (hommie, please hand down your wristwatch)

Where I sabi you sef, look me well chief, you no remember my face?”

“Chairman, anything you have, just help your guy”

Freedom, is one virtue most human take for granted. Freedom is a thing we hardly ever give God the Glory for.

On so many occasions, one have been in prisons and you would be amazed at the lowest forms of life a human could be subjected to.

I am one of those that have this ‘resentment’ or phobia for enclosed space hence, I am always very uncomfortable making those visits. I have once been to Ikoyi prisons on humanitarian visit some two years back and I was not only very depressed but also saw that it could just be anyone behind those high walls and metal bars. You’d hear stories that could melt heart etched out of stone.

I was part of a Muslim gathering of youth hence our trip did not afford us to go beyond the prison mosque. I actually was half expecting chains everywhere but No, not at all, the chains were more of psychological than physical, I see lines drawn with paints and nothing more to control the movement of grown men, a life of same routine with no cause for choice.

The prison mosque was well equipped for a standard mosque, clean water supply, tiled floor and ablution base, functional public address system and even a television set to boot. The mosque, although small is well lit and ventilated.

While we got seated, ‘they’ started arriving in droves and you would wonder how in the world some of those faces got into an ‘inmate’ situation; more handsome folks than one, well stocked young men and you would have nothing to do but wonder.

Most of them look directly into your eyes and you would be touched beyond measures.

As shy as I sometimes am, I rarely lose the ‘gaze war’ but on that occasion, I never won. It’s too much for one to hold.

Then, it was the turn of their leaders to address us and you would be like; what is such a knowledgeable bunch doing here? How do these ones get here? Flawless English diction, well constructed sentences and references from the holy Qur’an and citations from the hadith; and I was dumbfounded beyond measure.

While observing my one year compulsory national service in Bida, Niger state, I have had cause to visit the prisons on a weekly basis, I had initially shelved the idea of going with the MCAN brothers but was left with no choice when saddled with the responsibilities of being the association’s zonal spokesperson. Whenever we get into that facility, you can almost feel the jubilant mood in the air, the chants of ‘Mallam Yazo’ (brothers/scholars have arrived) rents the air and as faint as it might seem, you would see tingly glow in those eyes. Most of them do not understand English but we always have someone on hand who could speak Hausa or Nupe which they understand.

We give sermons and admonition, listen to the challenges they are facing with views to address same, teach how to read Arabic, the language the holy Qur’an was delivered in and we always leave with a promise to return the following week.

You would be surprised, some of those folks have no one who drops by but live only to see strangers bring succor to them.

This year again, a day after the Eid-il-fitr celebrations, I was with the same gathering of Muslim youths (TEMY) on a visitation to the Ikoyi prisons once again. Some of those faces I saw on my first visit were still there, in those two years, I have graduated from college and concluded my national service.

I discovered the ‘mission board’’ (the imam and the other scholars running the affairs of the mosque) I have not seen before and I still wonder how some of those folks got in there. Delivery of their speeches, knowledge of the holy Qur’an and hadith was sky high. And their carriage if broken, was well managed.

This year’s visitation was less emotional for me, probably because they didn’t share stories that brought some of them in and partly because, its no more my first time in such facility.

While we were about leaving, some inmates that didn’t make it to the mosque cluster around us some yards away soliciting for one thing or the other. A brother handed down his wristwatch and one wondered what an inmate wanted a wristwatch for. Some other brothers gave some other articles.

Almost all of us checked the little tag our freedom was tied to for the umpteenth time as we were about ‘regaining our freedom’.

Our bus driver in his benevolence handed out a couple of N500 notes to some inmates. He threw a N200 note a yard beside him and I saw three grown men scamper and almost got themselves injured. 

There and then, I appreciated freedom to operate my near empty bank accounts, the usefulness of a wristwatch, the meaning of psychological boundary, actual value of ‘change’ in my wallet left in the bus and the liberty to pen this piece on my bed in the little corner of my room.

Alhamdulillah Rabbil al ameen.

‘Lanre Bucknor wrote this and writes from Lagos. ‘Lanre will forever be grateful for all the mercies and takes a cue from the glorious Qur’an 37:159.

‘Lanre is a learner and grateful man, on twitter and instagram as @lordrooz.


To an audience of self By ‘Lanre Bucknor

You’ve been too hard on yourself

Way too hard


Once a while

You need to give yourself a pat

On the back.

Look into the mirror


Fake one 

Even if you can’t muster one

Squint those eyes 

And see how beautiful 

You are

Its not as bad as it seem

It’s never as terrible as you feel

You not as messed up as you think

You are beautiful

Life is beautiful

And because you still breath

A lot can be done

A lot will still be done



And the next


Be thankful

For what you have 

And what you are yet to have

For when you get it

That thing you want

That you crave so badly

You’d surely want more


Because, you see

Everyone you meet

Is on a mission

Everyone you see

Is fighting a war


And so,

Yours isn’t exclusive

It is only exclusive to you

Take a step back

Backtrack a bit

And see the silver lining

Or just maybe 

in the horizon

A rain of gold dust

Lanre Bucknor writes from Lagos and talks first to self before anyone else. ‘Lanre believes we human overwork ourselves on stuffs we have little power over such that we overlook the beautiful life that we have but then, that’s who we humans are and will continue to be. But in all things, we should take time to reflect and really, we’d be appreciative of who we are,what we have and what we’ll become.

‘Lanre can be further engaged on twitter and Instagram via @lordrooz.

To Umm’ Ikhlas, with love [poetry of hypothesis] by ‘Lanre Bucknor

I miss you

Despite the fact that,

I haven’t yet met you

I wanted badly

So badly, to be an artist

So I could paint you the world

I could be Shah Jahan

Gifting you the Taj Mahal 

For you’d be the crown of my heart


I wanted to be a soldier

Fighting all forces

To protect thy beautiful smile


I wanted badly to sing you a song

For life, 

moments and for eternity

Oh! I should be a doctor

To heal the aching soul

And whatever is left of broken hearts

I wanna be Diotsalvi

The tower of  Pisa is yours

My rib that’d never be straightened

Should I not be a poet

Scribbling lines and stanzas

To touch thy mind with gifts of words?

I’d love to be a clergy

I could Speak heavenly life 

into thy noble soul


Should I be an architect?

Translating our dreams

To a working reality


Or I could just be Sauvestre

Placing the Eiffel in your palms

Signalling our love, strength and creativity


Maybe I could be a potter

Redefining the fine lines 

Of thy awesome figure
But in the end

I chose to be me

Hoping these mediocre lines 

Gives you the smile you deserve;

The Cheshire cat smile

Lanre Bucknor writes from Lagos and here, on world poetry day, writes to and for his hypothetical life partner and the mother of his kid(s). ‘Lanre does not even know if he has met or know her yet but feels he will write something grand when he finally does. But while we wait, Q25: 74 moists the tongue.

And the heart.

Umm’ means mother and Ikhlas means Sincerity in Arabic language.

‘Lanre can be further engaged on twitter and Instagram via @lordrooz

​Four ten eye! (4-10-i) [A Lullaby] By ‘Lanre Bucknor

When you look around

And all you see is doom

Look to the sky

And you’d the see the moon

When the chips are down

And all else looks gloom

Do this for self

And you’d see you’ll bloom

The journey seem far

But you’ve come as far

The journey seem tedious

Just look, you’ve been studious

Look to the horizon

The finish line is close

That you have a fan

Will never be in doubt

This looks plain

And could mean much not

But remember this and I mean it too:

I will always,

Always believe in you

A wise old god came to me 

Smiled And whispered thus:

“Doubt we all if thou must do

But always still, believe in you”

‘Lanre Bucknor writes from Lagos and wrote this for a special lady; ‘Tenifayo Alli. The last four lines were culled and remade from Ayo Sogunro’s ‘gods‘.

‘Lanre can be further engaged on twitter and Instagram via @lordrooz

​Reflections on metaphysics III [ on Faith, Crossroads and Altars] By ‘Lanre Bucknor

Find Reflections on Metaphysics I here

And Reflections on metaphysics II here


I woke up earlier

To ponder 

On life and its wonders

How we hide 

under the pretence

Of religious credence

To perpetrate 

Monumental Decadence

veiled in the cloak

Of holiness

Behind pulpits and in temples


we feed the crossroads

With offerings from 

Preaching prosperity 

never of salvation 

to get eternal life


Have we pondered

Why it’s the night that falls


it’s the day that breaks?

And so,

Last night,

I dozed off earlier

Into slumber

In order to conquer

The deities that loiter 

Over crossroads and altar


human beings falter

Despite the creeds of water

Failing to prep for yonder.

Like a stammerer

You begin to wonder 

Why human beings stutter

Like a day old toddler

With hope of living forever

And so I remember,


Last night,

I dozed off earlier

Deep Into slumber

So l could conquer

The jinns that wander

Over crossroads and altar

‘Lanre Bucknor writes from Lagos and wonders everyday why we as humans forget our exact purpose in this life. As much as ‘Lanre believes there are men who are close to the Almighty, he also know for certain that, the Almighty is close to every one of us too depending on how well we know HIM. But then, we need to get closer to our holy book and I for this piece draws inspiration from Q24:44.

‘Lanre can be further engaged on twitter and Instagram via @lordrooz

Three scores down. [Birthday Rhymes for Momma] By ‘Lanre Bucknor


Sixty is a huge milestone

Mama scent of heavenly cologne

We will visit world’s best Coldstone

For a treat of cream in mighty cones


Momma deserves more than these alone

We should get pearls and precious stones

For staying with us when we all alone 

And preventing us from every harmful drones


Momma will feed us beef while she’d eat the bones

With all our troubles, she fails to bone

Gratitude is due to her every hormones

For not choking us with sawa fish bones 


We will get momma an ultra super throne

That which is made of Golden stones

For she deserves more than just any tone

We will play ASA’s as our phone ringtone


‘Lanre Bucknor writes from Lagos and wrote this for Momma A.k.a ‘Iya Bucknor’ on behalf of my Siblings,  ‘Preshar’, ‘babie’, ‘Deaconess’, ‘Donlesky’ and ‘Gambo’.  And on behalf of my sister in law, ‘Didibuck’ Bucknor.  And of course,  My beautiful nieces, Yelena, Sophia and Maya. 

Happy 59th Mom. Three scores down,  one more to go.  And yeah,  you can handle one more ‘cos you do not look like you’ve done three already.  😀😀

​The washing and setting of The ‘Lanre Bucknor by Owoyele ‘Lagos Charisma’ [Storified]

20th of December every year, I acknowledge the date as the day I was born. I usually do something significant no matter how insignificant and I try to appreciate wishes from folks, friends and even foes, no matter how insignificant.

 I had a turbulent 2016 just like everyone claimed but Alhamdulillah, I got better for it, for I got closer to my Rabb. But on this day, 20th December, 2016, a brother went on Mark zuckerberg’s flagship social media app and did a thorough image laundry of me. I am very sure I am not that awesome, I was in awe and I lost all vocal and pen prowess. 

And so today, January 4th, 2016, his lovely wife who doubles as my troublesome friend put to bed and I wanted to put pen to paper for the little man but I couldn’t, so I came up with this.

This isn’t for me guys, this isn’t me, rather, this is who Owoyele Charisma himself is. His royal awesomeness!

He started with this line:

  • There are talkers and there are walkers, there are those who want the spotlight. Lanre Bucknor walks the talk.

  • There were those who left the team for marriage, some left on transfer, some left for injury, but Lanre Bucknor is the last man standing.

  • Home and Away, Lanre Bucknor does epic. Take it to the bank, I mean epic.

  • There is levels to everything, Lanre Bucknor is on another one.

  • I know goal getters, I know a lot of shooters. Whenever I need to get it done. Lanre Bucknor is the man.

  • The first day we met, I said to Lanre Bucknor: you’ve been through the rank and file of activism in Lagos, You are the kind of man we need in TEMY. With that experience you will deliver any time.

  • I know a lot of Lanre, Lanre Bablo Bakare, Lanre Akinade,‘lanre Ajao, Olanrewaju Marcus, Lanre Bucknor and I can keep counting. Everyone is a special breed.

  • I stopped wishing people I love happy birthday cos I don’t want to remember that someday I will lose them. But you’re an icon, I will eulogize you. 

  • Lanre Bucknor,  God bless the day you were born.
  • I stopped writing when I left lasu, then lost my articulate tendencies, I met Lanre Bucknor , we exchanged a few articles on protégés, a year later, my blog came back to life. Now I am poet too, I can say this day, I excel Labid in poetry.

  • I have a few of guys, who can say to me: everything is alright and I will go to bed, believing it. Lanre Bucknor is one.

  • And when it’s our turn to lead Lagos… I may not live till then, tho I wish to see that day but remember, Lanre Bucknor have my support and blessings for the governor of Lagos State. 

  • Lanre Bucknor rooted for PMB, I rooted for GEJ doggedly. People catch feelings when we debate APC/PDP on Congress of TheEstate MuslimYouth, We hangout later same day and eat from same plate. The lagos blood is thicker. 😆😆😆Long Live The Brotherhood.

Then with this final line, He [Charisma] posted the link to my birthday prose with this caption: “And if you’re ink, Lanre Bucknor will write you till dry.”

This isn’t about me still, this is about Owoyele ‘Lagos Charisma’ and his new born, little Muhammad Oladimeji Owoyele, the latest Soldier in Allah’s Army.

Lil Moh’Charisma, soldier of Allah.

For AbdulWasii Owoyele Charisma, Bilqees Owoyele, Maryam Owoyele and for lil Moh’ Charisma!

 God bless the Charisma Empire!