THIS IS MY AFRICA

It is the rainy season
The sun has become shy,
and the clouds have become way too confident
The days much longer
and ‘summer’ school is upon us…
Mother hands me books
“To be great, you read.” she said
She lays on my laps… Stories about Africa
I pick up one
A foreign book of Africa… The motherland
Written by a man who fades in and out of places
Whose buttocks will never be comfortable sitting for too long
He says
Africa is beautiful
From the lush green of the savanna
To the beautiful brown of the Sahara
The food aesthetically awesome and the women heavenly made
He says
The animals are pretty beautiful
In their natural habitat
Wild and free
Untamed
If only he knew
If only he knew the Africa this Child knows
I pick up another
This one written by a man black as I
His face emboldened by marks
He sang praises of the ‘Old Africa’
The one with tales under the moonlight
Where the women were homely and knew their place
Where lovers played under the stars
Where the rich do not lord it over the poor
A time where bravery was putting your life on the line for the whole
A time when they were proud of who they were..
If only he knew
If only he knew the Africa this child knows
My Africa;I want to tell the traveler, is beautiful…
Not in the lushness of the trees but in the chaos of unplanned housing units
That my Africa has no Sahara
That the only wild animal I’ve seen is Baba Chinedu’s mad German Shepherd
I want him to know that Ayomide still asks his mother… “Rice again?”
That we don’t taste exquisite dishes here
I want to tell him that Baba Kamaru still screams “were ni iyawo mi!” (my wife is a mad woman) every other day
That the woman here goes through hellish conditions… Their heavenly nature taken from them
I want to tell Uncle with the disfigured face
That my Africa… Has a curfew
Only yesterday, Oluwafunmilayo was killed by the olode (security guard)
That bravery is now decided by how many bottles you can take without getting drunk
That lovers don’t play under the stars now, they play in the comfort of the sheets and bear children they are not ready for
That everyone wants to be a little more white these days
That everyone holds a smartphone yet they don’t particularly look like smart people…
My Africa is Beautiful… In its little detail
I have not seen this Africa you talk about
Maybe, Someday
I would see your Africa!
‘Fikayo

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