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I AM CHANGE; POEM BY DAMARIS AKHIGBE

I come from Jos.

A beautiful little city in the heart of Nigeria,

dotted with mountains, hills and plateaux.

We were once admired, but there has been a turn in our fortunes.

For too long, gunshots have been our alarm clocks,

waking us into the nightmare of terrorism,

 the horrors of religious violence.

For too long, fear had been a companion

 and pain, our friend

we had no shelter for from our homes we have fled

I want a change, because I’m tired of being scared!

It’s time we bridge the divide of ethno-religious lines

it’s time we set aside our opinions or doctrines or rules or creeds

and realize we are pawns manipulated by the high and mighty.

We have nothing to gain by these killings and fightings

it’s time we drop swords, rebuild our lands…

it’s time for a change.

I come from Nigeria

the giant of Africa.

The most populous black nation.

A land of interesting people, beautiful cultures, natural

endownments and corrupt leaders.

Leaders of today who do not value the leaders of tomorrow,

who siphon monies, using it to build their companies

coming up with policies that favor them

leaving us with dilapidated laboratories and archaic school buildings.

Leaders who mortgage the future of the country for personal gain,

who fight to get in to vain positions of power

so they can keep manipulating us, using us

but I say enough!

I want a change.

Lets get up! All hands on deck to save this crippling educational system.

No more voting based on tribalism, no more yielding to their sentimental cajoling

we must put the right people in their right places,

no more ‘godfatherism’, quit trying to get in their good graces!

Its time for a change.

I come from Africa

54 countries, over a thousand languages.

It’s funny when we think about Africa, we think exotic drums

and wild animals and malnourished children and corrupt leaders

and HIV and poverty and ignorance and cowardice…

I say Enough!

Its time for a change!

A new Africa

We must show the world that we are truly people of color

that our ideas and innovations can paint the world with hues of progress,

that we blaze the trail in business, in our economy, in our society

our voices need to be heard in places that matter,

 becoming problem solvers not  issues of concern.

I come from this world.

A world of young people trained by technology

raised by social media,

so close to our phones, but so far from reality

so self-absorbed, so ill-informed.

Young people obsessed with image

in a world taken over by greed

but I want a change…

So I’ll be the change!

Having more empathy and kindness,

caring for those who have no one,

advocating for those who have no voice,

empowering those who have no hope,

making the world a better place for those yet unborn!

I am here

I am change.

Written by

Damaris Akhigbe

Program Officer, BBFORPEACE

Posted in GENERAL