Looking over the balcony of my sculpted,
storied building, I sit content,
taking in the balmy, breezy air,
soaking in the scenery of this famed
The camaraderie on the ancient streets,
the smiles, the banter;
Ina kwana? (how was your night?)
Ina gejiya! (hope it was restful?)
Barka da zuwa! (welcome back)
I am proud of the city's diversity;
the clasping of hands, the curtsies,
the fashion, the blend of cultures,
of peoples and destinies!
This is the liberal state!
In the heart of the savannah!
This is Kada city!
Kaduna, my home!
The sporadic violence not withstanding
We always had one another's back
We always remained a people
But one day, gun shots rang across the city
Bombs exploded in strategic locations
Dead bodies strewn all over the land
In panic, I fled to the rain forest
Ten years later, I return to see
what is left of my home
Wayo Kaduna! (I lament for Kaduna)
Things are no longer the same!
The people are no longer at ease!
The hydra headed monster has paid us a visit!
Who opened the gates of Kada city
to hackers of limbs, lives, destinies?
There are now bombs on the streets,
on campuses and barracks!
Is this my home?
Where is the safety we once knew?
Who slaughtered peace as a burnt offering
to fear, hatred, bigotry?
Was Lord Lugard ever here?
Were Sardauna and Balewa ever
the princes and inspiration of this city?
Isn't this the cradle of Nigeria's military education?
Where is the Kaduna Mafia?
Someone answer my questions, please!
I need for these bombs to stop!
I need for the hatred to stop!
I need for us to become a people again!
Because this Kaduna is a stranger to me!
I need the old Kaduna back!
I need it back NOW!
This poem was written in response to the violence that ripped through Kaduna - the Nigerian state where I grew up - ripping it of its sense of community. It also happens to be my very first poem.
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