Commendable Awards

Senior Secondary

A visual representation of "Mama" by Akin Jeje

Law Ting Pong Secondary School

In my collage, I used the silhouettes of the mother and the son with sunset colours to show how much warmth their relationship has. The image I used for the mother’s dress is the night sky, symbolising how she reads ancient tales to her kids at night and the calmness the son finds in her. I added an image of hands holding a story book too. I also put an ocean and the sky in the background to connect to the descriptions in the poem, and to show no matter how vast the world is, the mother and the son will still be close.

In addition, the cashew nuts symbolise their similarities in skin colour as depicted in the poem. In the background, I put a black-and-white image of a mother and a son, showing how she used to take care of him in the past. There are rocky sharp objects behind her to express how she would protect her child through hardships and troubles. Lastly, the text in the background is to symbolise the tales she reads to her son and her conversations with him.


The horned glasses –
tortoise-shell, bright and gleaming,
were all that remained
a shuffle rather than stride;
smooth cheeks caressed
into distant lands’
unknown planes, deep an’ wizened;
warm silica grin conceals
the barbs in back; the
varicose veins
brightly garbed
in uhuru caftan.

Of course, much has changed
for the one whose
baked cashew hue
resembles mine.

When I was a child, just before dark, she would
read baby Yemi and me
ancient tales of the mighty sun, the endless
earth, the brilliance of sky.

Now it is I
who sends these tales
in electronic blips
to an old woman

separated from i
the setting sun
an endless ocean
and the vastness
of the sky.

Akin Jeje

“Mama” was published in Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong by Akin Jeje, pp.21-22. Copyrights © 2010 by Proverse Hong Kong.