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Protesters in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, being blasted by the police with water and teargas canisters. Source: Blaze Otokpa, Twitter

In the span of less than a week, several Nigerians — in and out of Nigeria, scattered across the world — have been formidably engaged in peaceful, powerful protests towards achieving 5 goals; the principal one being the elimination of the SARS Unit Force. From Lagos to London, Dublin to Texas, Berlin to Toronto, and across over 12 Nigerian states, no single Nigerian youth is taking this matter sitting down, nor with an apolitical stance. …


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Davis, following Luke and Evan.

Davis glanced outside the window with resentment in his eyes. The neighbors’ kids were carelessly playing on their new swingset in golden hour’s glow: joyful cries were voiced up and down as they took turns on the slides, climbed up the poles, and jumped off the monkey bars. Sarah, the youngest child, moved in tow with Luke, the middle child, or ‘instigator’, rather. Evan, the babysitter (being the oldest of the three) didn’t move with as much glee or enthusiasm as he always ended up caring for them if they were to get injured or recklessly hurt each other. It was forty degrees in the summer, but not a bead of sweat could be found on their unblemished, flawless faces. The constant yelling of imperatives from Evan “Sarah, stop swinging too high! Luke, don’t run barefoot!” …


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We spend thrice the time online than we usually do with ourselves on a typical day.
  • *click, Instagram opens, taps on stories; swipes past, reposts, swipe down to timeline, double-like, comment, swiping continues*
  • *scrolling down responses, swipes left, keeps scrolling down timeline*


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the world is beyond repair. everything is broken and beyond repair.

For any sort of change to commence, the earth must scream. Shatter. It must lose balance.

The winds must roar. Loudly. violently, with the alto of a thousand beasts in tow

Followed by the maniacal crying of the sea, opening itself up to land through wild-spread erosion

Ripping the very foundation we stand on apart, piece by piece, fragment by fragment

-

This is reality.

Our world can never be the same again.

Not until the earth shouts at its inhabitants, with a voice of anger and justified rage

With the clouds weeping, tornadoes cackling, and the ever-present cries and pleas of the catalysts…


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There are galaxies and constellations that only come alive at night.

On certain late nights, being outside is more favorable than staying in. During those nights, the sky awakens. Stars collide. Constellations form. Myriads of horoscopes become alive in the vast, endless space covered with dots of light. Curious minds are already at alert, moving outside to their telescopes and blankets, staring in awe of the beauty of work nighttime is.

But what if this wasn’t just an allusion to darkness, constellations, and negative connotations?

What if the night held more in store for us that we just aren’t willing to come to terms with and accept? What does nighttime really mean for us beyond the ambient period where our bodies slowly drift into the next day through sleep? …


Elizabeth loved winter.

It was that one time where nature could go nude without losing its aesthetic. Where the kids could make versions of themselves in the snow. Where families could willingly confine themselves at home with warm chocolate, cozied together around the fireplace. The one period where the sky embellishes the earth with the prettiest of snowflakes, leaving streets and cars to be covered, six inches deep of it.

Contrary to popular opinion, Elizabeth loved winter for the iota of solace it brought to her every year. In one of the corners of her spacious living room, there is an étagère with an array of different things placed on it: a key box, graduation pictures, the house landline, and a picture at the far-end of her husband. It is a single portrait and it bears no one but him, dressed in intimidating camouflage with a gun at his back. …


Mike wanted to write a story, his own story, but he knew better because these types of stories never go right. They were always lacking simpler things. Those little things that made life just a bit more bearable. A quiet home, a family that loved one another, decent friends, mental stability. This was, or still are, what we (Mike) perceive when we think of simpler things. Things like that. In the quaint, metropolitan city of London, this was not the case. Everything was just too much and never enough.

It was 11:30 am. The sky was empty, the streets were kissed with sun rays so intense that made you feel like you were walking on hot coals. Swarms of bodies were draped in ostentatious clothes and corporate ties; pushing and clashing against each other in rapid, fast-paced motions. The traffic from the other end of the main road was coming in, putting Mike, along with the sea of unknown faces, ensembled in front of the pedestrian crossing part of the road. He felt like a sardine in a tight can. The feeling of elbows brushed against him, slight kicks and lower leg jabs felt from down under, made him dizzy and irritated. The musty, perforating smell of odors and pungent perfumes irritated his nostrils, while the blazing sun with its powerful rays brought his dark, rich, ‘melanated’ skin into the traffic’s attention. …


I speak to my grandfather with my ears tied

His fingers are loose, Italian-like, a successional rhythm and vim enlaced within

Whereas mine, stiff in solidarity, silently swinging behind me

The sky is purple-red. It’s late. A cold, callous wind embraces the world with a wicked laugh.

My grandfather looks at me with eyes piqued

To the corners of my scalp, from my ears to the crevices of my nose

Watches the weak Yoruba dance haphazardly off my tongue

Like a battered drum being beaten with sticks made from metal, he says

I watch him with the purest green envy

The eloquent, effortless ease of familiar words rolling down the…


You can find me here, at the crossroads of it all

Where the weary, exhausted sun lies its fatigue behind the moon’s shadow

With swarms of bodies draped in corporate ties, in winter’s fall

Commuting, trekking, displacing themselves away and back into tomorrow’s afterglow

You can’t find me there, not at the centre

The birds and bees, in tow, move, live not long to see what happens here, all foreshadowed

Slyly sneaking, quiet as a corpse, to find what’s sweet in the middle

Hovering, diverging, fluttering broken wings, arrested by the silence and shortly then, disemboweled

You can always find me over there, far within the…

About

Temilolu Awofeso

j’écris. nigerian, and other associations.

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