Ekosodin.. Ekosodin
The Nigerian Iraqi zone

How great men art fallen in thy streets.
How precious destinies have ended in thy stalls
The dirge people raise up at the funeral of your victims are heart wrenching.

There they are,
Dark hooded fellows waiting,
Different colours and banners flying,
Assorted weapons hidden,
All waiting at every corner to make trouble.

*oboy show*
*baby show*
Subtle whistle calls to unsuspecting victims.

Like a rattlesnake, they strike.
Carting away all valuables
Leaving behind a stunned victim with a face peppered with hot slaps.

The den of Strong men.
Too old to remember their admission dates.
Too fearful of facing life outside the small village.

At every hostel they wait.
Long term tenants overdue for eviction.
The landlords agent comes knocking.
A distinguished lawyer in his own right.

*The landlord said you people should pa.*
The words froze in his lips.
For sight of the gun was enough to shut him up.

*Landlord say make una take good care of the hostel*
Quickly changing the content of the message meant to be delivered.
Who could blame him?
For a wife and three kids awaited his return home.

To the primary school field I went.
Hoping to enjoy a bit of banter among social gathering.
The shirtless team was winning and the game tempo building.

Midway through the game,
A harsh tackle ensued against a shirtless player.

The referee feigned ignorance.
The spectators maintained their silence.
The shirtless team maintained remarkable muteness.

They all knew who the referee was.
I did not.

There I was.
Yelling with a maddening roar at the injustice ignored.

A side step, two side steps,
Friends around had began to distance themselves from my location.

The referee blew a halt to the match.
In short strides undertaken with dwarvish legs,
He raced down to my location.

*Who you be*
He asked.
Blurting our the most idiotic question I thought anyone should ask.
For I was a Jew in the country of Rome
And a spectator in the midst of initiates.

*Well, I am kosilala for your information*
I replied while lacing the words with an exuberant tone.
For I thought he was just another student.

Within a fraction of a second,
An eclipse occurred before my eyes.
For the afternoon sun became obscured by a dark cloud.
Bright stars appeared in my vision that moment.
And the chirping sounds of birds around became more audible.

Two more slaps followed in quick succession.
Two more tsunamis that eroded my calm and beautiful face.
Two more hands in my pocket relieved me of my new phone.

A baptism of fire,
I called it in narration to friends afterwards.

Your first lecture in Ekoso 111,
My roommate called it.
And the second lecture came that Saturday.

At the viewing center I sat,
A yearning expectation swelling in my heart.
With a win from Manchester United over Arsenal,
My betslip winnings of #4000 would be guaranteed.

So the match began.
Rooney bumped in the first goal.
Danny Welbeck supplied the second.
Ashley Young added a third with a sublime curling R2 goal.
And the floodgates slammed shut at Seven-nil.

Ecstatic described my state.
Wilding jumping and hugging unknown strangers.
For winning in football always elicits a joy universally shared.

While exiting the door,
The minions gripped my hands.
And with unspoken threat escorted me to the lair of oga at the top.

Oga was very angry with me.
For he was a fan of the loosing Arsenal side.
And my jubilation had inflamed the sadness in him.

In the middle of the slapping and kicking session,
My orientation changed.

Whilst spending my last #2000 buying beer for everyone around,
My support for Manchester United rescinded.
And my dire love for the gunners was born.

With deep seated thanks I hail thee.
For my fears you heightened
And my belief in God you strengthened.

To Him I ran to secure me.
For I could do nothing to secure myself from the chairmen.

In God's presence I found true peace.
And in His word I found true wisdom to moderate my associations within  that dreaded place called Ekosodin.

okonta kosi