Sunday , January 17 2021
Breaking News
Home / Foreign News / 2020 IN NIGERIA: A MUSEUM OF BROKEN HEARTS

2020 IN NIGERIA: A MUSEUM OF BROKEN HEARTS

 

Toyin Falola

The University of Texas at Austin

 

 

Nigeria is a polygamous home

Where wives are from strange clans

And their children grow to become orphans

That were adopted by a polygamist father

Who’d just gone out to have more concubines.

The daughters sold for peanuts at a very tender age,

Die of complications

Live like living corpses

 With children whose future has been stolen by the people they rankadede,

The boys are as suitable as the bombs and the machete;

And the society groans silently.

What has become of our fatherland?

Her freedom has reincarnated to free doom;

A doom that has promised to stay with us by our inclinations;

Given fresh but stinking air by the day as we gasp for breath,

Free to kill, maim, mortgage the future, destroy lives and livelihoods, separate loved ones, and not to save.

Shall we be fine?

I dare say, fine shall we,

But not in this Zoo,

Maybe in the afterlife as we shed our caterpillar for the lofty wings.

*****

There were songs I have longed to sing,

But those songs were trapped in the sky

And fell with the rain into a vast river;

Now they have become ripples

Forming a forgotten lyric

On the pages of waters.

The lyric has become tributaries into the sea,

I went to the sea to fetch them into a calabash

only for us to drink and feel

the salty taste of dirges that stang our throats.

This year,

I have heard voices and the wails of burning bodies,

It’s a century, not as expected!

****

For those in the unexplained death in Zabarmari,

And hundreds of others in the mortuaries we call hospital,

Sentenced to death by inept and overworked doctors produced by a malnourished education system,

You left us to wake up in a tomorrow without you,

You left before the time was due,

We can’t even tell, why you left so soon.

Not even the government has a reason for your demise,

Perhaps your killers in black uniforms and those in mufti do,

But who shall we then ask?

What we do know is that your killers share the same ego:

No life is worth much.

We all thought this to be a joke,

As it stands,

Recurrent events have proven us wrong,

“We have never seen this,”

So was the line on everyone’s lips

We refuse to imagine a tomorrow without you all.

Hunted by the dark clouds of our nation;

My only condolences are my dripping tears at midnight—

The salty taste of which remains for days—

And the way I think of the person next to me by the day.

I don’t think time can heal these stitches,

Your families are still on the game of getting over the pains

Of waking up in a tomorrow without you all.

****

What do you call the ancient ones?

The names of those who were too young to be called ancestors?

Or how do we describe the souls

Of those who died in the fight for a new Nigeria?

The epilogues of these stories are too deep to be told without shedding hot tears.

The only time we are ‘good’ citizens,

Is when we keep mum on our rights.

Oh, lest I forget!

The spirits of the lives lost in the Lekki shooting

Have found a resting place with our forefathers

They demanded for a new Nigeria with the #EndSARS chronicles

But their feet have grown cold in death,

Their blood is all over the white walls in the rock of “Asos,”

Though gone cold in death,

Their feet remain steadfastly hot in our social space

As we count the memories of 20:10:20.

****

As a house set on fire,

So are innocent lives burnt to the ground daily.

The 300+ pupils kidnapped in Kankara

Unveiled the darkness across the paths of the undead,

The #BringBackOurBoys victims

Got their souls lost in groans,

Where the suns didn’t reach, there their wailings did,

And on their return in-between death and life,

They were looking happier on the outside,

But broken on the inside.

***

Again, my heart sings a song

Whose lyrics do not please my ears,

My inside bleeds with tears

That my outside cannot clean for years.

The gifts from the invisible virus

Has turned us to the synonym for the walking dead,

Everyone living in fear and regrets

Like the next dream is a game of death.

Yet, the popular song rings

“Care for yours, I care for mine”

Whereas the man who holds our baton

Knows our haven has fallen;

He’ll neither raise nor build it,

It is the world we made ourselves,

So, constantly He reminds us of His decree as we enter this kosmos:

Sons of man, ye are gods.

If gods can create life,

Death is not an aversion but part of the creations,

The choice is ours

And we have chosen to create more deaths than lives

Praise be to the gods!

In this telling tale,

We also know London Stars are more than five,

We all can float on finery

And we can be satisfied molding and laying Americans’ Blocks

But who will build our own walls?

When the gods in this clime crave for more bloods and tatters?

Who will fortify our cities for us?

When our gods have been intoxicated by the wine oozing from the soakaways?

Who will hear the voices of the Native Strangers

Who lost their lives in the pandemic?

When will imminent sacrifices be made to keep these gods -in their bloated bellies?

This is a silent night,

But not one in the manger,

It rides on uncharted waters,

 The course of which smells uncertainties and palpable conspiracies

Falsehood or truth,

Which shall prevail at this time?

***

Watching the news every morning; eyes full of tears,

Seeing students on the streets,

Hoping that one day, they will return to classes,

Hundreds of youth dead, and dying in the Mediterranean Sea,

Just because they are trying to flee

From the pain and suffering from this land

In search of a greener and peaceful pasture.

The classrooms have turned to animal kingdom,

The goats and the rats hanging out,

Offices turning to their labor room,

No thanks to our ASUU brothers;

The streets are full of orphans running after buses to survive the day

Yearly, it has become a war ritual of power – the FG Versus ASUU

“Come take a look at my sumptuous meal”

Chest, laps, wings, intestinal component,

But just a piece will sit atop ASUU’s meal.

The cost of schooling is alarmingly rising,

From priorities to just necessities.

***

Just before I go,

At the round-table of our knights

Are the decrees of wars made our forced rights

From the home of dreaded thugs in the South

To that of the deadly bandits in the North

That constantly burn peace at stake.

They make us stone tomorrow in the eyes

And walk in today, confused.

We stagger around like wingless fowls

Whose feathers were betrayed by the wind;

When would our tongues lead to the direction of peace?

When would the knights of the round-table resolve

To make decrees of harmony that sooths our broken hearts?

Before this time, as a man of faith,

Might I pray for our land to be healed

And the ones that have passed-on among us unjustly to ride softly in their new world

And remember us in their “prayers” till we find our resting place.

 

Comments

comments

Check Also

APC Youths Call for Open Membership Registration Exercise

The Youth Alliance for Democratic Stability, (YADS), a youth wing of the All Progressives Congress, …

Museveni Declared Winner Of Uganda Election

Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office, extending his 35-year rule after …

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com