Treasure Island

Babatunde Idowu Ebenezer


The Monster And The Empty Promises (Part 2)


A smile formed on his dark lips,
Reminding of what
Danueli once told me about a weed
That turns lips colour to black.
How a man can consume weed,
Like the rodents in our cassava plot,
I never would understand.

And again, the monster spoke:
'Yes, vote for me and be free forever,
For I am the messiah you need.'

Later that night,
Upon the rising of the moon,
Its half yam shape faintly illuminating the sky,
My father sat silently on his sofa,
Gently rocking to the smoke
Of the folklore drifting in from the village arena,
Sitting quietly by the legs of his chair,
His silence, experience had taught me meant deep thinking and reasoning.
Then suddenly, he looked down at me,
And with hurt in his eyes and voice declared:

'My son, that was not the messiah.'

Then came the election day,
People swarming to the arena like locusts,
Painting their thumbs with dye.
Like Nneka, the beautiful maid from the East.
So as to make the monster our chief.

And so the monster became our chief,
But years after ascending the throne,
No yams in our barns,
No teachers in our schools,
No more lands for our youths to cultivate,
Gorillas with four round legs
Were brought from the city to destroy our huts,
They cart our meagre resources to the city
And sold our inheritance to the people from the city,
And to add insult to our injury,
Today they cancelled our ancient local school.


The chief said he wants to make our village looks beautiful.
But where is the beauty of a village when people sleep in the streets?
When we have no food to entertain Abeli,
The new boy from the East.

And so we live our lives on,
Under the monster and his empty promises,
And turn back our faces to heavens,
To send us the messiah
The people are waiting for.

Submitted: Sunday, August 04, 2013
Edited: Monday, August 05, 2013

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