Kareem Itunu Azeez
You hear in the news, everyday how scary mother earth has become, yet you still clamor to survive, and suffer another day, you switch on your radio to listen to news that only griefs you even the more, yet impoverish as your father and mother were, you can’t change anything. At least not within your power for now.
You try to understand what life really means, and perhaps make a way where three meals a day won’t become a problem, but the forces from your village won’t let you be. The path they raised us, no longer guarantee joy, that path is broken and thorn.
You see, just last Friday a brother was burnt to ashes for stealing a bread off a beautiful seller, no one cares to know why, but the rumor travel faster than the speed of light “he was a thief”, but we know those in higher grounds, stealing our destiny with just a pen. Yesterday, some young goons break a door and pierced a roof, at my backyard, they were satirically hungry, and they were ready to mock their fathers and mothers, they have become vagabonds like the ones dominating the islands of PPL, along the old Ojo road.
Come, I pen this down under the harshest weather I find myself, I tried been a good child, just like my mother was, I tried been an obedient son like my father was, but this time is not their time, see the marks on my body is enough to tell the stories and time I have passed through, you see the natives of this land don’t have any truth anymore, see they have learned to shoot without missing, since the birds have learned to fly without perching.
Every now and then they say, boys like us can’t be anything useful as far as living is concern, they confer us to the depth of penury, they push us with our marks to the bottomless pit of uselessness, we too drink the waters of maim without questioning, or asking WHY? That’s the same way our fathers were raised to believe without questioning, to accept without fighting, to be uses without questioning, they are nothing and only average life they have achieved, but I tell you boy, yours is a scar that will continuously shine to the generations to come. Even long after your bones are dry.
So we try to carve a new beginning, a new road we would be creating, it’s well understood that our hearts are made of stones, moreover they already give us the mark of the beast, but we would have loved to have the one of Cain, so that we would return back to where we come from, if death isn’t for our kind. My sisters body has become a temple for Lucifer, and my brothers face breaths anger, “A hungry man is always an angry man” for this road we were raised through is thorn now.
Tell the boys to come after us, that this road is destructive, how do we convince them that education is truly the right way, when under the heat of oppression we look at the chalk board, while the daughters of our kings serves in Queensland, you try to carve a new beginning, but the woods are broken, you try to merge pain and hope, your back becomes Hilton top, life isn’t a good experiment for kids like us, our eyes have seen pain, our mouths have tasted the sour soup of hunger, do you still tell us, there’s hope been good children, when the ones you call bad, are making their parents proud, and eating comfortably in lands where we only hope to be when we are dead. Do you still tell us to shun online wiring, when the phrase reads “Get rich or die trying ”
The last time I tried been a good child, I was mocked to stupor, they call me impotent; how dare they, but I tell you, they really do dare, I have been accused for stealing when I didn’t steal, so why should you stop me from stealing, I have been accused of raping, when actually I didn’t even look her twice, do you want to convince me never to truly rape when next she dance through my path, I have been challenged to be a liar when I try saying the truth, but who will convince me to speak the truth forever? Who then shall tell them this body is weary from songs of sorrow, and wants to see new roads
So we have open a new way, a way that reflect the tragedies we face while growing up, a way that proof to us the news on the screen were all dramas, we have learned new trades to live happily, we have seen new roads to put fear in the heart of our oppressors, we have learnt to make our neighborhood cry when they see us, and when we come we come like flash, we sweep without pity, and throw away the laws of the land just like our adopted fathers have done.
Last time a boy told me to speak of revolution, more than three months he was in the custody of they who promised us life and death, some days back I had met a friend who was saved through the mighty hands of confraternity, they call themselves “Brothers keeper” would I have a choice and not be my brothers keeper. Boy I tell you the hand you hope to hold is broken, the shoulder you wish to lean on is muscled out of time, boys like us are no longer the salt of the world, we have melted away because we had not seen the good phase of life, and yet we give thanks, I tell you children of my era now have one songs on their lips, it’s the song of the Forest.
That night when Mary came home, past 11, all dripping in blinks and Gucci’s, mother didn’t ask where she was coming from, the other day Francis came home with Benz, father drank to stupor, inviting all his friends under our thatched roof, I have been coming home everyday with excellent result, from tertiary institution, and each time, my papers have been used to light fire, for us when holders of light comes again with their madness. Life has been unbearable, yet our hearts have become stone to the dark ways of life.
Yesterday, Segun open a new mansion for his father, they say he was a transporter in America, and that he controlled a number of unknown businesses over the seas, my mouth opens wide losing its padlocks, he was a dropout, and he join the greener pastures brother, I am here in the farm, with hoes and bows, trying to be a good child for my parents, they say I should not focus on collar jobs, and that I could be a good agro farmer, I delve deeper to earth, hoping to mine out golds and others, but many years down the line, am still here. Waiting for the world to change, falling freely, and the talents to make so much more For children like us, we are already thinking of carving new ways to live life.
So when next you see me in the colors of hatred for my brothers, when next you see me walk through the streets of not looking back, don’t see me as an enemy, don’t see me as a wayward, see me as a soldier in enemies territory, I would do anything to survive, the world doesn’t encourage our sincere heart, boys like us no longer feel safe in this place anymore, and when the last of our kind is gone, this home would be rubbles after the storm.
You see, the last time I went to the pages of history, only in theory do we see men rewarded in faith, only in stories do we hear of good men been rewarded gallantly, in reality, I still search since I was a kid for that one man, you see child, the path they taught is the only right path but its all thorn, if you dread death, don’t follow the path they use today, but if you have nothing in life to lose, follow them like a sinking star, at the end of the tunnel there’s always light, but no one would tell you how long the tunnel is, or if ever you would come out alive. The people of this clan have sold truth and have willingly accept lies, corruption has engulfed their lips, and they drink the beers of deceit.
When boys like us pass through the streets, they point finger at us, they call us sons and daughters of poverty. Christian knelt down in the Catholic gathering to Mother Mariam, this is too much for us, we can’t continue to live under the cloak of religion, while some people continue to amass so much more than they need, sometimes we even wonder, if they are mad, why can’t the cooky-jar go round? See I can’t continue to tell stories of how much we have tried to be free from this shackles, I can’t continue to tell you how much of oppression I have witness in the name of been a good child, the truth is, “Good is different from bad” so let me make my choice.
I am threatening on behalf of my brothers, but sending a reminder to a world that seems to fold its arms and watch some people take our lands from us. See child, the road they walk us through is thorn, but which road do we have left, let’s carve our road in this path, let’s march on newer grass where no one wants to take, so that when we too are saying goodbyes, the world will remember us, but by the marks they have carved into our flesh.