My Country

January 2rd, 2020

By: Kishi Akinsunmade


‘my country, my country’

the start of every poem for every kid in grade three,

the start of my poem

my country…

their country.

i thought i dreamt of the gunshots,

and the wondering eyes when my justice shirt would catch the light;

i thought i dreamt of being pulled over,

feeding a policeman's ego so we wouldn’t lose the thousands that translate to cents,

i thought i dreamt the gate and the locks and the keys

the sign that read “beware 419”

funny, i did dream of the robbery,

watching it get stolen before my eyes.

the city that never sleeps

yet haunts me in my sleep,

the sweat from the heat or maybe from my dreams,

i think my country, my country…

their country,

when did your secrets of the night become one of the day,

when did you stop hiding,

how can you step out when the whole world steps in,

my country, my country

end it all

my country, their country

....at least you stepped up

#EndSARS.

Author's Note

This poem addresses the massive protests going on in Nigeria regarding SARS. SARS stands for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and their primary mission is to act as a part of the Nigerian police in order to deal with crimes like robbery. There has been an immense abuse of power, and now the squad has become a killing machine. SARS police target privileged youths and aim to collect money. They harass youth and collect money aggressively; sometimes, these situations lead to the death of young individuals. This has been ongoing for a while but has reared its head on social media in recent months. The poem opens one’s eye to the secrets hidden in the night, it mentions the things that we choose to look over in blissful ignorance. Nigeria harnesses magic, but it also has problems that need to be talked about. The momentum that the movement has gotten is incredible, hopefully, it acts as a means to an end.#EndSARS.

References

The Women of Nigeria's #endSARS Protest Movement | Time