SALAAM TO RICHARD ALI

When next you run into Richard Ali in Nigeria, salute him with a “Salaam” and a kiss on each cheek.
The author of City of Memories , who went for a summit on combating terrorism holding at Rabat, ends up touring other memorable cities of Morocco including Casablanca ( which didn’t impress him), Marrakech ( which he found ‘seductive, magical’). Marrakech must have been more enchanting than Richard cares to concede, otherwise, Continue reading “SALAAM TO RICHARD ALI”

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SALUTE TO TRANSLATORS

I have come across a lot of people, mainly English-speaking Nigerians, who consider themselves knowledgeable and widely-read without knowing, or knowing but choosing not to care, that millions of wonderful literature exist in other languages, oral and written, that have not or might never even get to be translated into the language they understand. It makes you wonder how much they have read compared to the ones they have not read. It makes you wonder how wide is “widely-read”. Such display of arrogance and ignorance is flabbergasting.

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RIVERS OF BLOOD

rivers of warm blood

coursing down from the hilly plateau

to the swampy lagoon;

cabal of horned beasts

baring iron fangs

squatting along the riverbank

drinking to their surfeit

polishing their wrinkles therefrom

with tributaries from all over the land

daily swelling its basin

this river might someday burst its bank

and deluge the entire country

arise, all you who’re of pure heart

and build a righteous army

to shut up the river’s mouth

and hound the beasts into the abyss

SAVED FROM A CONFUSED STATE

Last night, I got a better understanding of how Hamlet’s uncle felt, celebrating his marriage to Hamlet’s mother while still mourning the death of his brother, the former king. I pretend not to know that he’s the one that murdered his own brother. I pretend that he is a genuine mourner. Here him in Act 2 Scene 1:

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SHOMOLU CANAL

(This write-up has appeared in Monochrome Lagos Project, Issue #1)

Large bodies of water have always fascinated me, which is why I would pay any price to sit by the window side if I knew I would be riding past one. I like to amuse myself by thinking that a million diamonds lie just below the surface of the shimmering water at noon and a million gold pieces at sunset. But I prefer to feel this fascination from a distance, a safe distance, because I find that I still grapple with aspects of aquaphobia. Like many other skills, swimming has refused to let me master it.I think it is because I haven’t shown enough practical interest in the art. Continue reading “SHOMOLU CANAL”