This poem is dedicated to all of you in diaspora around the world. In a situation where the head rules the heart, I say do not come back home, at least not permanently. Nigeria may just be a lost cause. But where the heart dictates the rhythms of one’s life and where the smoke fires of granny’s kitchen are sorely missed, then I can only wish you well. I sympathise with you for believing, that east or west, home is best.
Jigawa skies are so beautiful
The bright city watts of Lagos can’t be so dutiful
In Lagos we have girls, booze and carousing
In Gwaram we have girls, taboos and ‘purdahring’
When the rains come, Gwaram, our city in the south
Receiving a rain portion very biased
Comes alive with lush green,
flowing rivers and lovely scenes.
But many nights here in Gwaram I count,
Dreaming of the disappointments of Lagos:
NEPA, LAWMA LASTMA, gangsters
This unholy combo only Lagos can successfully mount.
I toss and turn, counting the hours
Watching as night would cower slowly from day.
A repeat performance keeping a twenty-four date.
Jigawa is peaceful, gentle... night time with lots of fresh air.
But it is not Las Gidi!
With living shanties pulsating seamlessly beside luxurious bounties,
With broken vehicles having larger road inheritance’
than living engines.
Here the men raise their hands
And barbaric voices a mile off are heard showering praises
But in Lagos silent noises only
herald an ebb of violent curses –
Disaster coming assuredly
if lifted hands a situation beckons.
But Lagos is home and I am counting hours
with much sighing and many groans
Many nights I’m longing for the morn,
then by evening I am waiting again
let night transform again into the dawn
Las gidi gives me life, gives me hope,
gives me the know
that someday, I, Alhaji, will to it