They watch us burn. Yes! They watched as we cried. They heard our pain but to them, it was a mere story. It doesn’t matter that our lives are hard. All that matters is that they are high and mighty. They said to themselves, it is not our fault that they are poor. We are stronger so we can place the blame on them. So they tagged us as lazy youths and blamed our actions for the stained name we now bear internationally. Sadly, in this strange land, this is how our leaders think. Men who deemed themselves gods, with no sense of justice and shame!
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m simply a boy in a jungle of men. Sitting on the fence while watching the tragic scenes. Don’t blame me for not doing anything to stop these tragic scenes. The last time a friend left the fence to protest on the street they brought to his mother’s feet, his lifeless body. I used to go out knowing uniformed men were on the streets for my protection. Lately, it feels like they are the agents of death we heard in folk tales.
There was a time we used to wet the earth with water, but lately, all I see is blood. Blood of both the innocent and guilty. Mother Earth is stunned but nobody cares about her opinion. Lately, to have a voice you must have money and be connected to the upper echelon. Else all you can make is noise. Over here, a man’s soul and conscience have a price and his life is worth a penny.
From underneath my mother’s sweat, I strived to get an education. Thanks to the canoe she paddles on the river to go plant cassava, I can afford to dream. With the peanuts that fall from the king’s table, and the leftover dad brings home, I dared to dream of a better life. Hey! How dare I dream? Did I forget for a minute, that this is a strange land?
Oh yes! A strange land in which we were told that education was the key to success. We started getting educated so they chose to change the lock. Too bad we weren’t sent a memo before the change occurred.
This is a land where salaries are drastically cut short, but fees are immensely increased. A land where wages are not paid for as long as the leaders deem fit, but fees payment are given deadlines.
Hahahahaha… A land where the youths are asked to drop arms but are continuously frustrated. It seems the biggest lie of the century was told in our primary schools when we were made to sing that we were the leaders of tomorrow. I grew up but that tomorrow never came. Lately, it feels like tomorrow died yesterday.
In this land, the youths are tagged docile but are beaten down when they choose to rise. A land in which fear has reduced many to nothing but keyboard warriors.
In this land, rising for the truth is deemed to be foolish. A total waste of time. A lost cause before it even begins. The child of a poor man is only fully given the chance to become a thug and a whore. Every other thing is each day taken far away from his reach. He has to struggle relentlessly and find favor in the eyes of the universe in order to taste success.
This is a strange land where the gods are dead, and it seems even God Is slowly getting unattached. A land where what I bleed for, is wrongly plentiful in the pocket of a few so-called ‘tough men’. A land where people bath in tears. And swim in their own sweat.
Sadly, in this strange land by no fault of mine, I was born. Cheers to 60 years of being a strange land.
Read More: The Monster We Created (A short story).