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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

My Country: A Giant of Many Things – Abdulkareem Abdulkareem Oladimeji

my country: a giant of many things

the gullet of my country’s throat
is the one that channels food into its belly—
why won’t we uplift it? Aren’t we giants?

a boy’s dream to become someone adorned
with a wig & black robe, with the court-room in his hands,
or to become a doctor and save his mother from
cancer, is charred by a litre of petrol.

There is a new trend in my country—
you could stream on YouTube or
search on Twitter — boys and girls
become birds in a cage, through aides
that brided their cheeks to thick palms
and make the beneath of girls
a field for banana plantation.

voices are gagged
with something as fat as money—or was it money?
“change” is something I just knew— its skin and how meaty it is.

my country is groomed to gloom, so
it churns the belly of its citizens uglier
than how a rejection letter churns the belly of a writer.
Poverty alleviation hangs
on the face of my mummy’s phone,
the stomach of my daddy’s newspaper
and on the lips of the mics from Aso,
but on our street, it is scarce as Christmas day.

on the 29th, my mother’s eyes sunk into the
paper she held, this one whispering my name into her ears.
30, 31 & mother continued to wait

on the 12th of the following month,
her rubber-taped phone plunged
a feint happiness into our home, but did it?
WAEC and NECO is 35K and mother is staring
at a 10K salary as a level 10 civil servant.

the next day, my mother’s knee held the ground
as a tight friend, “let my son register for WAEC, please”
& the palm of her eyeballs opend a heavy downpour of rain.


Abdulkareem Abdulkareem Oladimeji is a young Nigerian writer who wants his voice to go beyond the thatched roof of his father’s house. He writes fiction and poetry and studies Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. He is fondly called ‘Panini’ among friends. He writes from the ancient city of Ilorin. His works are have appeared or are forthcoming on Poetrykit, and ARTmosterrific. He tweets @panini500bc.

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