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We Partied during the Curfew

after Ilya Kaminski                                                     -By Younglan Talyoung

 

While yelwan zangam was on fire, we,

the inhabitants of tudun wada, drank until

 

we ran out of liquor. Joined the rant on Facebook

#stopplateaukillings and smuggled more liquor

 

from the south. We waltzed in

and out of a 24-hour curfew, raising our bottles

 

to the sky, partying aloud, protesting

in murmurs and hashtags. While miango smouldered

 

into ash, the colour of a cock’s comb,

we clubbed all night and went to work

 

wrote commentaries on why the crisis will not end.

We, the inhabitants of tudun wada––the border that never sleeps––

 

fought an inferno with leftover booze thrown over the borderline;

danced back into hashtags after watching the fire belch.

 

During curfew, we traced the lines that cut Jos

north, south, and east back to their origin–– a valley of greed,

 

impatience, unforgiveness; children popped out of hatred

and indifference, trying but not trying to put out the fire.

 

During the curfew, we stood on the borderline and watched.

our eyes follow the smoke on the other side into the sky.

 

The Birth of Snow White & Her Twin; Gold Crust                           –by Victor Oyedele

 

Gold is money till it is our

green vegetation being colored

by the scorching heat of the sun.

 

Water has no enemy.

water is life till our river banks

can’t save us from the current

of heavy rainfall.

 

The trees are losing their leaves slowly

but we have called it another autumn,

another season that will go with the sun.

It is a season that would usher in winter:

heavenly pure white death

where trees cannot breathe

so we cannot eat till our breaths

fizzle out slowly like gas

looking for an escape from a bottle.

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN BLACK AFRICA                                      –by Victor Oyedele

my old man was born at a time when black Africa was black and without light

He was born when women were only defined as daughters, wives then mothers.

He was raised when the roundness of their buttocks measured women’s worth and the thickness of their flesh determined how many plots of land they could till.

My old man grew as time changed. He bore sons and daughters in Africa with light bulbs and electricity.

Now, women have a choice and a voice. a choice to be by themselves or marry themselves.

He’s ageing gradually, what would become of his daughters; give them a choice and a voice or groom them fat to be weighed on a scale?

 

FOOD is PRIMARY                                                                        –by Victor Oyedele

according to myth, the first thing a baby cries for is food

it is why we learned to till the soil, climb trees for fruits, and hunt games

but our world has changed; we need trees for furniture & pencils; animal skin for clothing & shoes; plants for medicine and aesthetics.

we grew too fast and made hunger a secondary need but for how long?

the first thing a man needs is food, everything else is secondary.

 

 

 

FREEDOM DANCE                                                              – by Adekunbi Ogunsuyi

Our freedom is dancing

Fast-paced steps towards an unending craze

We learnt how to do the running dance

where we hold our lives in our hands as we try to save it

the last time we failed

we paid with the heads of three fathers on a stick

of numerous mothers leashed to their intestines on the floor.

The North is now a home of dancers,

our prize is our lives, our price is our lives

win or lose, we are still paying.

 

With music comes anxiety

our feet are sore from too many movements

we revere the sound of the drum

the xylophone is a clarion call to run

with its rhythm comes the fear of death

of being butchered and used as an example

for others to learn that dancing is the only way to survive

that dancing is running

that running means we leave everything behind

our love, our sacrifices, our people.

 

 

The Profiling of Musa from Northern Nigeria                        -by Tomide Abdul

his kind is the rider,
the one whose accent is thick,
his sisters are hawkers,
the ones that sell nuts from the ground,
his people are the leaders,
the ones who we do have to revere,
his clan are the deciders,
the highest count is declared the victor,
his names are laughed at for fun,
the ones we know how to say correctly,
his religion is his guidance,
the one he’d do whatever to defend,
his type is naturally kind,
the one that leaves Ceaser’s for Ceaser’s,
his look-alikes are feared,
the ones that make travelling only essential.

 T FOR THIEF                                                                       -by Tomide Abdul

a stitch in time that steals from nine.
you stand in front of cameras to speak
to give hope, to sound, to share
a piece of empathy you claim to own
with us. to gather praises and names.
-shameless-
you use our plight for grants and more,
you take pictures of our pain for gain,
you provide food to starve the weak,
you provide shelter to deny the poor,
your name denounces you from the
government but you are a worse thief,
call yourselves NGOs. may God end you ooo.
-bastards-
the sight of your faces should bring calm,
one should fear to err because of your wrath,
but no, instead, what do you do?
become tailors to those who oppress us
with money made from theft. and you know.
shoot at us at the slightest moment. for fun.
raise placards discouraging us from drugs,
be the hub for the safe distribution. of drugs.
‘to serve and to protect’ did not specify if it
excludes anyone from the favour. it does not.
the Nigerian forces, the Nigerian government:
-hmmm-

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One comment

  • Stella

    November 21, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Upon a time in Africa👏👏

    Reply

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