Thursday, 15 March 2012


It was never hard to see your charm and the beauty innate within you

It was sun kissed people of all ages, hue and size beaming life and boasting culture
It was big fat women dancing bare feet moving buttocks at the speed of light
It was big outdoor parties where the women cooked and laughed for hours and my mother always told me it was the sweat dripping into the pounded yam that made it taste better
It was days spent on beaches watching Atlantic waves big enough to carry me away
It was swimming in warm springs where hot met cold and the beauty of life was there but inexplicable
It was boarding school days with Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo laughing at our similarities and shaking heads at our differences
It was time spent with family when there was always family and there was always time

It was never hard for my young mind to see your charm and what I didn’t see they taught me
They taught me of oil wells running deep in the Niger Delta
 Enough so we would not have to beg borrow or steal
They taught me of gas reserves, of coal, lead, limestone, tin and gold
They taught me of mining possibilities that could eradicate poverties atrocities
They taught me about fertile lands and how we were once the world’s largest exporter of groundnuts, coconuts, cocoa, palm oil, yams, citrus, and sugar cane
They taught me of a country with over 250 ethnic groups, 4000 dialects and at least 520 living languages, now isn’t that wealth
They taught me of a tropical paradise with rain forests, savannah grasslands, mangrove swamps, waterfalls, rivers, beaches, rocks and wonders that would make an atheist thank/see God
They taught me of a nation rich with people, customs, endless natural resources
And hearts like the sun which keep shining even when monsoon rains fall

If I knew nothing else I knew we were blessed
So how is it
That these days I only see your beauty as one looking through rose tinted glasses
What we exported we import
What we have in abundance we lack
After so many rulers whose only leadership qualities entailed
Leading us to the mouth of the abyss
where we now hang tilting dangerously
Threatening to fall and never return
I can’t see you

What was, has now been looted by corruption, greed and mismanagement
Using your sons and daughters as foot soldiers
Where they should have built they have broken down everything but their castles
Flourishing in stolen prosperity mansions
Enjoying the sight of their brothers begging for crumbs
They handed in their souls for states
And stakes in the stock market
Trading blood for oil
Our futures for private jets
Our education for material wealth stored in hard to reach places
And having debased us
They exchanged
Food for subservience
Money for votes
Jobs for silence
And morals for status

So these days when I picture you, I see you clearly but teary eyed
Emaciated from all those who constantly take and give nothing back
Violated by your own children coming to power just to rape you
And then mutilate you enough so they still get to leave with a little piece of you

I think of you
I’m picturing fish filled waters now emptied from oil spills too many too count
And unjust executions of the Ken Saro Wiwa’s and  the Dele Giwa’s who made their voices count

I think of you
And extra judicial killings come to mind
Like the Odi Massacre in 1999
A whole town burnt to the ground
With 2500 civilians losing their lives
At the hands of police
Doing everything but protect or serve

I think of the absence of accountability
And I think of greed
And a people crippled by poverty
Allowing themselves to be used by those who pretend to have their best interests at heart
Whilst simply inflicting terror
In the name of God
In the name of ethnicity
In the name of justice

Where is justice
When we fail to prosecute those who have sucked the nation dry
Of its hope, its promise its bank accounts
Where is justice
When Boko Haram bombs persistently and the government does nothing?
Where is justice
When the majority live on a dollar a day
And the presidential food budget for a year is one billion naira
Where is justice
When instead of fixing roads, the president’s priority is naming a district after himself
Where is justice when clearly our lives have no value unless they can be bartered like currency?

My country
Land of my birth
I think of you
And water falls from my eyes like waterfalls in Cross River State
But these don’t fall pretty

Struggling to see through the tears
I lift my rose tinted glasses
Trying to spot hope on the horizon
Hoping to see people possessed with that Gani Fawehinmi spirit
That stood uncompromisingly for justice
And undiluted democracy
Instead of just fools demonstrating crazy

Occasionally I see hope
I see her jump
Like January 2012 mass protests
When the people said you may kill me
But I will not be silenced

I keep watching
I watch in hope
And I hope in time
Corruption will be ostracised
Potential will be realised
And my country will again awaken to all its beauty that lies within.

©2012 TolulolaAgbelusi 


  1. With a beautiful diction, you left no stone unturn,from what you heard to what you see.
    thanks for sharing......