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Art and Ideas

Whatever You Think By Solomon Obi

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My Pain is so much
It hurts with a blurry face
Whatever you think
Time will tell, yeah
Whatever you think
For the culture is dead
Thy heritage forgotten
Thy ways are crumbling
Thy people are wondering
Whatever you think
Times are changing, yes
Things fell apart

Oh, whatever you think
Long are the good old days
Yeah, they are far gone
Oh yes, whatever you think
There used to be a great sense of love, pride and togetherness
For the people were one

Yes, whatever you think
We laid, played and traded together as one
Men were men, boys were boys and women were pillars

Yes, whatever you think
Thy was identity and pride for the people
Everyone knew thy role in the land
Yes, whatever you think
Elders were wise and their words heard
Thy youths followed the words of the elders

Whatever you think
Thy women were black, beautiful and great
Thy children were respectful to thy parents
Whatever you think
Thy people were industrious and hard working
For they were fruitful and successful
Yeah, whatever you think
We celebrated seasons in grand style
Thy festivals were top notch

Yeah, whatever you think
Crafty, creative, civilized they were
Whatever you think
Though not all times were nice
Yeah, whatever you think
We thrived, survived as one

Yeah, whatever you think
Oh, whatever you think
Our lives have changed
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Again, whatever you think
Legacies and legends were told
Names and titles were earned

Yes, whatever you think
Thy people had a great sense of pride
For they know their worth
Whatever you think
Africa filled with great and beautiful cultures
For they all abound
Whatever you think
Seasons and seasons came
Trials and trials came we stood

Whatever you think
Then it happened and slowly the grace was lost
Whatever you think
Thy people lost their identity and forsake their heritage
I wish I could turn back time to the good old days
Whatever you think
When times were a lot better
But it seems we are stressed out.

By Solomon Obi

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Art and Ideas

His Happy Place By Aisha Lawal

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Kayode lay stretched out on a mat woven intricately with colourful plastic strands. The night was quiet yet alive with a melody only of its own. He stared at the star-filled sky and smiled. For some reason, he had never been able to appreciate the true beauty of the stars in the city. They always appeared sparse and dim, but here, in this little town, filled more with vegetation than man, he was mesmerised.

He hadn’t known in what shape he had been until he had been forced to come home when universities closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. He was in his final year in medical school, had only a few weeks to his last professional exam, had been running on pure tension, so close to breaking and hadn’t realised this. Until he arrived home. Greeted by his mother’s comforting hug, his father’s light tap on the shoulder and his siblings’ excited chatter. An unbearable weight had lifted off his chest, his tensed shoulders loosening. He had taken a deep breath, the first in years.

He hadn’t been home in half a dozen years, for he lived in Kano and schooled in Lagos. His Yoruba father had married his Hausa mother and settled in the north. His parents couldn’t afford travel by air and he hadn’t ever gotten one-week straight holiday from school.

One reading this might think that Kayode hated his course of study, but that was not particularly true. He loved medicine but he hadn’t been able to enjoy it as much. The air in the teaching hospital where he studied had been stifling, the curriculum overbearing and Lagos itself had been so full of people and cars. All of this he could have borne with, if not for the deep ache in his heart. He simply missed his family.

His twin baby brothers, Kolani and Tolani who had been 6 when he had left were now 12 and not as chubby. The sweet innocence that had accompanied them as children were still present but tempered now by an awareness. Bukola, his younger sister had been in primary school when he left. She rounded up her WAEC exams just before the pandemic struck. “The girl has grown into a woman” was her phrase anytime they had a conversation about the years gone by.

Kayode closed his eyes and traced patterns on the mat with the tip of his fingers. He had been at home for two months. The headache that had plagued him the past few months had disappeared and his nights filled with restful sleep. He will have to go back, he found that he was not averse to the idea, he missed school. If there was one thing though that Kayode was sure of; he was coming back home right after his exams. His home was his happy place.

By Aisha Lawal M. (nana_ai)

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Art and Ideas

Poem: The Odd

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They call me abnormal
Because of my insignificance
They said I’m Alu-jonu (spirit)
Because of my physical impairment
I’ve been totally stigmatized
Because of what they call an unknown terrible illness
They call me abirun (imbecile)
All because of my dysfunctionality
They’ve tagged me all sorts of names
Because of the way I behave
They have concluded that I amount to nothing

Some even call me cause trouble
They see me as nothing but sorrow
Elders despised me
They hated me like faeces
Children have also been trained
To throw spits at me
I’m nothing but a friend of none
An an enemy of all

Come to think of it
What is meant to be normal?
Is it a way of life or a pride?
Does it worth an attitude to imbibe?
But only if humans could see
Beyond the physical
That though I may be abnormal
But I’M ABOVE THE NORMALS
If only the world would know
That I’m just a being
Wrapped in an enigma
For the manifestation of the Most High.

Dedicated to all physically, and mentality impaired people out there. This is just to help them know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and no one is dispensable, everyone is special in their own way. Let’s embrace them whole heartedly because what most of them need is a shoulder to lean on, a heart that cares for them, a smile to awake the giant in them and a little strength to make their eagles fly.

© Jedidiah

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Art and Ideas

Poem: Man Walks

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Like in his life he has never crawled
With his head held high
Looking down his nose, in pride
He has in his pocket some riches
But not as much as the sand in the beaches

He gives in some cases
To hear the song of his praises
He thinks himself self-sufficient
But when drought comes, he is left thirsty and inefficient
He forgets his lord when he builds his ship

Yet, when the storm comes at sea, he prays in sincere worship
Man wishes to live forever
What is death, if not certain for whoever?

Why then does man strut arrogantly
When even the sun and the moon bow to their Lord in humility.

-Man Walks
By: nana_ai (Lawal Aisha M.)

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