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An Inventory of Thoughts (2)

Lokoja.
First act was to wake up to a view of the city. Somewhere behind that view is the confluence of the Rivers Niger and Benue. Some time around 1914, a certain Flora Shaw stood at the peak of Mount Patti (with her view a good part of the “Niger-area”), from where she exclaimed: “Nigeria!” A country was born – from an amalgamation of kingdoms and cultures.
Here – once a capital, but today no less than a transit point for hurrying humans and vehicles – played host to sojourners looking to find that which never existed before it got lost: What is in the name Nigeria? This collection of images do not pose as answers. If anything they are precipitates of unresolved impulses. At most they serve as a record of an attempt to leave an invigorating dent on an ossified notion of who we are to ourselves.
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Rashidat. I remember our conversation. It began with asking her how she came about the tribal mark on her face. “I don’t know o”, she first replied. But then continued, “my mother told me I was always sick”. “Ahh! That was my case too, my own tribal mark had to do with being sick as a child”, I chipped in. But before this, I remember side remarks made by a certain man standing at the corner: “Make her photos so that you can show her in the newspaper…say that she is one of the Chibok girls and everyone will believe you”. And I wondered for whom I was more worried, him or “everyone”. Stereotypes feed us with appearance, and like a trapped fish we swallow – hook, line and sinker.

 

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On a mirror is inscribed “Beware, God is aware, Everywhere you are and whatever You do”. A play of words etched on this medium of replication. How far is infinity? What is the distance of enternity? If your fears are God.

 

My Head is the size of my world
My head is the size of my world.

 

 

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Until now, I had thought history to be a closed door, and only kings had the keys.

 

 

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What is the size of your courage when hope is ever receding? How do you measure resilience when despair is uncountable?

 

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For what it’s worth, rest.