you are sweet rice and stew on a sunday afternoon. you are juju music on a lazy afternoon from the record seller across the street who blasts it without warning. you are street closed for serious owambe. yorubas do not play with parties. you are jumping into buses and having no change. you are “owa!! owa!! na my bus stop be this oh!!” you are the bus conductor who tells the driver not to completely stop after seeing you are not pregnant. you are “make una shift oh! na four people dey siddon there” as you ask yourself why you are crammed in a molue bus. you are third mainland bridge in traffic. you are hawkers on the streets, selling everything. you are muslim neighbors sharing meat after ramadan. you are school closing early on friday for classmates to go to mosque. you are christmas eve mass. you are fireworks and so much laughter. you are dancing in the rain when you are little. you are 4pm, waiting for the television program to start. you are “UP NEPA!” as the screaming turns to “STUPID IDIOTS!” when the electricity gets turned off yet again. you are rushing to grab the iron. you are laughing till it hurts. you are hustling till you see you shine a little. you are sharp mind and no johnny just come movement. you are yoruba mixed with pidgin served with a little slice of igbo. you are sweet pidgin english. you are preachers with bell early in the morning screaming for you to give your life to christ. you are five churches in one street. you are early morning call of prayer from the nearby mosque. you are the neighbor who has three christian wives yet he is a muslim. you are crazy drivers and cursing lips. you are so many languages and so many souls. you are black, hustling, ocean filled souls and historic. you are harmattan. rainy season. sweet mango. agbalumo & seven days rain.
Literally, when I read the “Up Nepa” part, the electricity came back on. Literally.
This is beautiful.