Saturday, December 3, 2011


Your dreams hold your days together.
            You spend your time transforming stars into

kitchen implements that you could bake potatoes in. 
            Or coming up with one good reason for crying

over dirty socks or falling asleep each night with all
            the lights on in the house. Waking, you can’t help

remembering the first, but not the only, time
            you took off all your clothes and stood there

"She knows that the blonde does not really want to help her. She can hear her thinking, "Afrikaanse woman, with jeans that look like they come from Wibra and a shirt that is frayed and faded, what can she want in this boutique? What can she afford?"

Oge ignores her and feels a silk dress that looks like a nightie. The woman appears right beside her and without waiting for Oge to ask says, " three hundred euro, mevrouw", her voice comes out sounding like a toothpick being snapped in little pieces. Oge knows that she is making an effort to remain polite and she enjoys it. She wonders for how long she will remain polite.

Oge walks to the opposite end of the air-conditioned shop and runs her hands against a skirt. The woman's bobbed hair brushes the back of her head as she comes and positions herself behind her, offering the price in a weary voice, "three hundred and fifty." Oge wonders if she thinks she cannot read. For Pete's sake, the price is hanging on it in neat dark print.

"I will take that", Oge says, feeling heady, the way her earning power makes her feel.

Baba Luku cleared his throat and spat. ‘We’re all going to join them one day,’ he answered. ‘Nothing to be scared of. But that’s not to say protection is not helpful. You have to be close to God.’ He dipped his hand into his pockets and brought out a plastic rosary with a small wooden crucifix at its end and a Gideon’s Bible. He wound the rosary around the Bible and slapped it on his left palm three times. ‘No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper,’ he said, in English. ‘Lailai.’

He waved the Bible over his head, as though swiping at flies. He switched back to Yoruba. ‘There’s nothing to fear in the daytime. It is at night that you have anything to fear.’ The Bible fell from his hand. He cursed and snatched it up, offering a sign of the cross with his head tilted upwards, as if offering a silent apology to heaven. He dusted the Bible on his sokoto and blew at it endlessly, and then carefully placed it back in his pocket. Bayo watched this ritual patiently. A lone black bird circled overhead. Then another joined it. There was silence. A cough floated in from far off.

"If you are to ask me what are the greatest issues in Africa, I would say it is that people love, people fuck, people kiss, people speak."

You heard there was another bomb blast yesterday? Not in Maiduguri this time, in a new place, Dama-something. Yes, people died. Those mallams are serious o, we can’t stop them again. I saw it coming. After the police did their mago-mago and executed Yusuf in jail, wetin you expect? Trouble, of course! Those abokis are not cows—you can’t control them by cutting off the head, by killing their leaders. I will tell you free of charge, Yusuf’s murder was a big mistake. And the army made matters worse. Too many people died, my friend, just too many. You saw the pictures? Home-made guns and cutlasses against automatic rifles and grenades; bodies scattered everywhere like firewood. But that’s what happens when you recruit stark illiterates into your police and army. Open extortion, rampant brutality, senseless shootings. See Odi, see Apo Six, see Ogoni Nine, and now Boko Haram

These are just excerpts to whet your appetite; follow the links! Have a great day!

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