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On a sick bed I shine & bring patients some joy

Willie Kupo - 4 years old, ill with osteomyelitis & entertaining the sickJIMMY AWAGL

An entry in the Rivers Prize for
Writing on Peace & Harmony

This is a poem in honour of Willie Kupo, a four-year old kid diagnosed with osteomyelitis and in the isolation ward at Kundiawa Hospital. I saw how enthusiastic he is, so dedicated this poem to him

I am diagnosed with osteomyelitis
A bone inflammation on my left leg
Clasps with iron pins run into my marrow
I am four years old and come from Nend village
Hospitalised for nine months at Kundiawa General

I occupy isolation ward bed number twenty three
On my left in bed twenty two is Francis Nii
And on my right is John Kupe in twenty four
I have become their companion in here
Despite being young with bone ulcer and agony

I lie on my bed listening to my friends music
John entertains me with hit songs on his phone
And Francis amuses me with CDs on his laptop
When thus enthused I dance as I can
Standing on one leg and dancing with hands in the air

Despite my pain I dance on my bed
Through agony I swing and jump
Even though I’m one-legged I walk around
Despite being young I talk with fun
I make patients shine with amusement

I keep dancing till the beat stops
Then I start talking with anyone around or without
I keep watching till the movie ends
Then I begin to talk and mingle
On my sick bed like I do at my home

I amuse others with my eyes
And also through my words
And with my actions and gestures
It seems funny to the other patients
They look upon me as their entertainer

They are at peace as they see me every day
I am enjoying peace as I do it for them
I am now well-known for doing such
I see others joyful while being with me
Peace through pain and I am Willie Kupo


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Francis Nii

Willie Kupo is a great friend of mine and a great entertainer.

He's got a natural talent for comedy and he entertains the patients with his dramatic postures and amusing words.

Our nickname for him is Welakonbo, meaning flying fox in the Kuman dialect.

When Willie wants to dance, he will put his arms out and flaps like a flying fox. That's why I call him Welakonbo and he also calls me by this name and we are known to each as Welakonbo.

Thanks Jimmy for writing about my friend Welakonbo the Flying Fox.

Jimmy Awagl

Thanks Barbara and Robin. Willie is really a great 'old man' in the Isolation ward, for he keeps entertaining the patients taking them out of their agony.

He is also so friendly to visitors to the ward.

He is an emotional and psychological medicine for the patients.

Barbara Short

Thanks, Jimmy. This is a wonderful poem.
My best wishes to you all at Kundiawa hospital.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Great little vignette.

Willie is a wise "old man."

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