Neither Here nor There: Nigeria

I want to go to Nigeria, where the sun stays high and proud beaming down as palm trees morph into shadows pasted across our faces and the evening breeze sweeps fine sand beneath your slippers as we saunter into a supermarket in search of palm wine and ice-cream.

I want to go Nigeria where the houses in the city are made from bricks walls and aluminum rooftops, bearing no semblance whatsoever to historical buildings and mud huts with thatched roofs adorn the villages, creating better insulation than modern cooling units.

 

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I want to go to Nigeria where Jazz infused with beats from African Fuji drum feels the atmosphere, where culture fills the street, forcing us to groove. One of a kind.

I want to go to Nigeria where the granite kisses our feet in the safety of our abode sending chills through our spine.

I want to go to Nigeria where undiscovered talent roams the streets, raw and unrefined, savants fill the public school systems. Undiscovered. Lost.

I want to go to Nigeria where the sun scorches our skin; concentrating our melanin, where warm air intrudes our space, messages our skin as salty vapor diffuses to the surface.

I want to go to Nigeria where the traffic is as psychotic as the nation’s economy, where the rules to driving are non-existent and drivers have got no respect for the road and road side sellers barely respect their lives or anybody’s personal space.
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I want to go to Nigeria where Saturdays are for house chores and football games and Sundays, for church but the best part is anticipating the Jollof rice. Our so-called Sunday rice ritual.

I want to go to Nigeria where fear is frequently mistaken as respect and respect is perhaps misinterpreted as foolishness, where people heed to the rich for some bewildering reason and balding politicians run the nations meant for the youths.

I want to go to Nigeria where powdered milk, garri, groundnut and iced water is perhaps the most cherished dessert and Suya is the first course meal.

I want to go to Nigeria, where the market is big, variable and torturous to maneuver. The women echo in harmonious tunes wearing colorful materials whilst showcasing their products. The sound of bargains resounds in the air which is also saturated with different kinds of scents. The women gossip on ends about each passing consumer.

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I want to be in Nigeria, where one man struggles from five to eleven to make minimum wage. His two kids and pregnant wife smile regardless when he comes home and a frail stench of kerosene lingers in their environ. They sit together under the moonlight and he tells the tales his father told him of him about their forefather’s British colonization while flies buzz in their air. I want to be in Nigeria because this scenario depicts a typical day in their world,  an oil on canvas painting mixing green and white representing only one thing, Hope.

Unashamed. Hopeful— though  I’m neither here, neither there.

 

 

 

Fire and Blood

The moon is forming. Arising from the east, “if you stare hard enough”, brother says, “you’ll blossom into a princess”. He says, into anything I desire.

Tears trickle unrestrained, down down down to the angle of her lips. She wipes it away, so he inquires, “why are you so sad?” and she replies “I don’t know, why does God exist?”

A nice saunter into town she thought, and I will back to my old self. This isn’t a lie. It’s a confabulation. We can only believe what we tell ourselves; even when seeing is believing.

If the clouds turn bloody, pasted against the dark skies, one glance at it will ignite a fire in her ego, one that cannot be extinguished until the subsequent days.

 

If you didn’t know yet, you wouldn’t know later. “What is wrong with me?”, the question that constantly nags her so, why would I chose violet when peers dance in shades of blue? Why would I trace my lips in green even after she said, and I know, it made me look like an ogre.

Broken.

Unable to soar high, she destroyed her wings so that no one else would, so that she would have a reason to look to the skies and watch eagles soar, so that she would have a reason to make a wish.

But enough if this tomfoolery, enough of these mind games, enough of these flimsy excuses, enough!.

The clouds she sees are crimson, they blend into each other projecting their effect on top of themselves. Like two koi fishes engaging in a deadly war, each fighting to conceal the other.

You can tell her a million and one times that what she’d done is beneath her, but she may never seize to emulsify fire & blood.