we Analysis of the Leader and the Led by Niyi Osundare ~ Naija Poets

TITLE: The Leader and the Led
POET: Niyi Osundare
OTHER POEMS: They Too Are the Earth
GENRE: Poetry
DENOTATION: Quest for leadership in the animal kingdom.
POINT OF VIEW: Third person
FLOW: Climactic
THEMES: Leadership, Nature, Imperfection, Balance, etc
STRUCTURE: Twelve (12) Stanzas
POETIC DEVICES: Antithesis, Simile, Alliteration,
FLOW: Climactic
TONE AND MOOD: Rivalry, unrest and disagreement
SIMILAR POEM: Ambush by Gbemisola Adeoti


The Leader and the Led is a poem crafted by Niyi Osundare in form of a fable. It tells a story of an animal kingdom lacking leadership based on rivalry and imperfection.

Most powerful animal in the kingdom saw the reason and right to become the ruler yet their power seemed to be their flaws (the reasons for them not to be voted). The trouble prolonged until the “Forest Sage” (in line18 stanza 9) proffered solution.

According to the forest sage, strength alone isn’t the yardstick for becoming a ruler. The balance of strength and weakness is the needed quality for any animal that will rule the pack well.

Line 17 – 20:
“’Our need calls for a hybrid of habits”,
Proclaims the Forest Sage,
“A little bit of a lion
A little bit of a lamb

Tough like a tiger, compassionate like a doe
Transparent like a river, mysterious like a lake’” 


The poet Niyi Osundare was born 1947 in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti state, Nigeria. Professor Niyi Osundare is a teacher of language, a mild activist and a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). 

Other poems written by the poet are They Too Are The Earth, Not My Business, Earth's Eye View, Ours To Plough Not To Plunder, and many more. 

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