Journalism in the service of society

Campuses must reopen

I call the deaf by his name

 he hears me, but I claim

I’m being ignored and shamed;

I count stones on the streets

put them in different pots to heat.

Done, I assume, and ready to eat

But in my rage, I soon chew, and it breaks my teeth.

If poverty was the answer,

What then was the prayer?

Gone were the days we licked the feet of our masters

Just to show our loyalty

We carried thick-fatty Europeans on our back

Just to enter their rich apartments with expensive paintings

Searching for the lost freedom that we never opened our eyes to see.

Sadly, we are now on our own

Miss Independence!

Independent in our own dishonours; 

Independent with our degrading educational systems;

We bask in vague promises and unending hopes

This, is indeed a troubled state.

The disheartening story of ASUU is yet untold

But maybe you could read my mind with these lines of mine;

You know the miseries these students have gone through,

With all the memories they’ve got to leave behind,

All the good plans they’ve let go,

As they dissolve like dust into thin air;

But what would they do?

Than to accept their fate and move on,

Move on with a life of shattered hopes and dreams.

They call them the leaders of tomorrow

 sweet lips add to the sailing sorrows

then, they mutate into the realities;

 moulded in deformity.

The parents and guardians are helpless

They run the streets with banners and placards,

But they forgot the deaf may also not see.

The constituted authorities are prepared for this war

They’re the tyrants of our souls.

They feed on our blood as wine

Our flesh as their meat.

We got contusions in the heart

In the sun, we turned into their labourers 

In the rain, their slaves 

We toiled in hunger;

In our mind’s eye, we hope for freedom

We drank tears by day 

 and sing the song of sorrow by night.
Dear Men and Women in Struggle,

How many more of us will want to die?

What quantity of tears do they want us to cry?

You can see how we’re being butchered on a rate so high.

Look at the sky

Is it not painted red with our own blood?

Are we not being used as sacrificial lamb for this rotten system?

Look at the vultures and the hyenas

Are they not constipating on our flesh?

Do we still sit and watch as we get slaughtered daily?

What will remain of our future generations?

This is my goodbye message

This is me saying my farewell

Putting it down in black and white

Wishing you good fortune and a better victim

Oh, please don’t cry!
This is not a sad song

I’ll be damned if I drop a tear

This is more like a freedom song

It’s a long walk in finding back
The sanity in our educational system.

*Falola is a Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

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