Staring At Death

After she returned

I wrote this some months ago but haven't been able to post it. Sigh. I do hope you enjoy it and don't forget to drop your comments and thoughts. 



Man no dey fear…man no dey fear but as I look all the people wey gather to watch the execution, fear enter my body. See that woman wey carry her pikin for back under this hot sun, she no even carry umbrella to cover the pikin, she jus dey wide eye anyhow, I sure say she don strong mind say she mustu see as dem take kill this criminal…

Once upon a time, I be person pikin, my mama carry me for back as this woman carry her pikin. As I dey look am, our eyes meet and she give me hand; shege.

  Listen, dem no born anybody call am criminal, but you see this life, all of us get our own paths, you understand? But because of too much gara-gara, some of us dey leave our own path go join another one, you understand?

I dey see my death, see them, the soldiers dem, they don go smoke weed finish, see as their eye dutty, dey wan come finish my body with bullet. E no go bad if dem give me one last wrap of weed, no be say I wan high, but na to make this execution easier for me, you understand? I go jus high, as the soldier them dey come, ah fit no dey even see them till they begin tear me bullet, you understand? As I dey look them so, fear dey full my body, e dey be like say I wan piece for body. Kai! that one na falling of hand. I dey fear. I swear. I dey fear. 


     Most people dey think say criminals na poor people or children wey their parents no dey together or wey no get parents. People dey always reason say something gats lead person into crime. E no dey always dey like that. Me, I no get reason. Na jus strong head cause my own.  I been dey Js2 when I meet this guys; Akeem, Zebu, Emeka and Ocho. Every time wey I dey go school, I go pass dem, dey go jus dey play. Nothing. No assignments to do, no teacher to worry them anyhow. Small small na im I begin follow dem talk. I envy their freedom. They jus free like bird. Nothing dey worry them. Instead of to go school, I go sneak go dey with them, once time for dismissal reach, I carry my bag go house. By the time my parents find out, I don go far. i don dey enjoy their free life and I feel say my parents no wan make I enjoy my life. My Mama beg me, ‘my pikin, this life no be the kain life wey God wan make you lead, no be the kain life wey we expect, but i no gree.’

    I no go lie. My parents try. But I no gree. I decide say na free life better pass. Even when dey change my school, carry me go boarding house, i run commot from there.

My people say when dog wan die, e no dey hear the smell of ‘im shit. Na true talk be that. Na from picking pocket, na ‘im Oga Sidney come begin train us on how to use gun. By the time I reach 18, my name don begin put fear for people body. My teacher for school that time dey tell us say ‘the pen is greater than the sword.’ Na lie. Nothing like gun to put fear of God inside person body. You go see man wey senior my papa dey beg dey cry. Ah! That life! Everything jus dey move voom voom. We dey feel like say na we dey on top of the world. Gehs. All those gehs dem dey follo us upandan dey call us ‘sweetie…honey’.

 Ah! If say ear ‘gree me hear my mama cry, I for no dey this kain situashun. Life for the fast lane dey sweet. As we dey make money, we dey spend am, more dey come. We dey feel like supermen, nothing fit touch us. Na jus wetin three minutes everything change… One of our people give us news say one contractor jus withdraw plenty money from bank, we go visit am that night for ‘im house for Ikeja. Everything bin dey go smooth like better pounded yam but before we fit escape, na ‘im police full everywhere. E dey like movie wey dem dey fastforward, bullet jus dey fly anyhow, dem gun down Ocho and Emeka… Till now, I still dey wonder how come I no get any injury that night. Even Zebu get bullet wound for shoulder.


We go court, the judge sentence us to death by firing squad. Ah! Na that day be the first time I see Zebu de hard man cry. Zebu begin cry like pikin. Ah! Nothing fit humble hard man like death.


  The soldiers don line up, cock their guns. They no dey see us; me, Zebu and Akeem as human again, to them, we fit no dey different from the small tank wey dem tie us to. The Priest come pray for us, say make we confess our sins. God abeg, abeg, forgive me...

They say just before person die, ‘im dey see ‘im life flash for ‘im eye. My own dey different, I dey see my mama, she carry me, like say I be pikin, she dey sing ‘Omo mi seun rere - My child behave well and it shall be well with you…’


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