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//TOMORROWS

#4 | December 2013 www.klorofyl.com

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captain’s log//

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captain’ captain’ss log tolu oloruntoba

editor-in-chief

I suppose the very act of visualizing or observing the future, like Heisenberg's particles, makes it self-aware, tips it into change those things you thought you knew taunt you, the wind titters and snickers as you fall stumbling, grasping after it. Will the future bring us a harsh nuclear poor dusty chaotic cannibalistic apocalypse? Will the worst part of ourselves win, like in our dark fiction? And what is their

strange allure of dark science and futuristic tales, anyway? The Road. I am Legend. Bladerunner. 1984. Terminator: Judgement Day. Elysium. Resident Evil. Contemporary seers, just like John the Revelator, think we are heading for much worse, on an express train. But could there be hope in carnage? Can we avoid carnage? Are our lofty goals- equality, justice, liberty, fulfillment, friendship, family- just that, simply lofty? Will we barrel by bootstrap propulsion and serendipity, past our many woes? Where will our searches for global and personal dynamic equilibrium and forward motion towards ideal take us?

We only know the future imperfectly, but we can let the parts teach us, we can let the path show us where it's going. We can decide if we want to go there. We can say where we'd rather go. We can ask difficult questions. We can strike out, as prepared as we can be, towards an ever-nebulous future, with never-nebulous resolve to get what we need- that better life, here and after. This issue of Klorofyl, therefore, is not an exercise in soothsaying- a dubious art many times, but an examination of cause and effect. Where are our decisions taking us? What does, could, tomorrow hold? What lies within those gearboxes of yearning, longing

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captain’s log//

and nostalgia? What are the infinite possibilities of our infinite choices? How differently could our humdrum turn out? How much can we do, or low can we go? How will we perpetuate the sameness of humanity tomorrow, or the refreshing flourishes of human difference, on other tomorrows? Klorofyl brings, as a small beginning of an answer, the Tomorrows Issue. What we present are our stories,our imperfect views of possibilities, real and fanciful, as through a glass. I think dark words push us to find clefts of safety, evasion, alternate possibilities, and imperatives for action, just as bright tales renew our ideals, our quest for light, and if possible, our hope. We have lovingly coaxed this issue forth, as usual, distilled it from the aether of grave maybes, and purified it seven times. We give you this answer- blurry, sometimes fantastic, always striving. I thank the contributors, collaborators and editors that have slaved over this issue, and have given more, more, and even more- simply for the joy of art, our story, and our partnership. Thank you,

thank you, and thank you. I thank you, reader, for stopping by this fourth issue of ours, incidentally coming in our fourth year. In this issue is our mix of poetry, photography, prose and digital art, all in pursuit of our answer, our question. We are also experimenting with a slightly different presentation. We crave your feedback as always, so do drop us a line sometime: feedback[at]klorofyl[dot]com, and @klorofylMag, on twitter. Tomorrow beckons. Come, let's. Onwards, onwards!

Tolu Oloruntoba Ibadan, Nigeria.

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."- 1Corinthians 13:12

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about// The views expressed herein are those of the corresponding authors, and not necessarily those of the publisher. ©The Klorofyl Press, 2013. Some rights reserved. ISSUE #4

| December 2013

the tomorrows issue

This publication is offered free and may be distributed, whole, worldwide, without modification for non-commercial purposes only. No part or constituent portion of this publication may be used, modified, published or distributed without the prior written consent of The Klorofyl Press, and the respective copyright owners. Editor-in-Chief Tolu Oloruntoba Editorial Board Olukemi Lawani Abayomi Ogunwale Namrata Singh Osemhen Akhibi David Olamide Craig Business Olatunji Ajani Operations Caroline Latona Design and Layout Ethan Torti Obasi Send us your feedback! Email: feedback[at]klorofyl.com Twitter: @KlorofylMag Submissions: sub[at]klorofyl.com

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On this Cover: “Tomorrow” Model: Toni Hassan Cover Design: Torti Ethan Obasi @tortiobasi Concept: Tolu Oloruntoba

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navigation//

navigation

DUSK Indigo #08 The Colour Of Darkness #09 Vignetting #13 Precognitive #15 Zombies #17 If Tomorrow Comes #19 The Writer #21 We're Talking, But Not Enough Trash #25 Dear Doctor #28 Recall #29 The Sense of an Ending #31 Night Of My Journey #33 All The Things I Would Say #34 The Siren Song Tomorrow Sings #37

DAWN #39 No New Day #41 Don't Touch The Dystopia, Bro. #44 A Memory Of Warri #48 Gregor Samsa #51 Fufu & Oreos #53 Surface #57 The Death Of It #60 The Groom #62 Birth #63 The Book of Jamiu #65 Naked #66 Mail From The Past #68 Yes-ter-day #69 Wartorn Me #71 A Thousand And Ten Linkages #72 Yam And Fish Pepper-soup #73 I�m Rising

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dusk// in ode to indigo, I hold the flame on my tongue to stop it from weeping. teach it of peace and lie that it is the colour of sky. and when the night points us to another hiding place, I let the stars steal the flame in exchange for tales from home.

beyond the cosmos is a pocket of marvel of violet. with a smell of petunia and a grip of lilac which chokes the soul not used to sweetness. wives gather them; it reminds them that midnight will always come, man will always buckle under the fruit of a woman's sweetness at cost of leaving the branch unfruited.

indigo is a heartbreak.

how quick a fear of loss engulfs me. magnifies my weakness in the scarlet of a morning. indigo looks like the tears of a father who has lost his children though they stand before him. indigo is a heartbreak.

indigo is a heartbreak.

a girl once told me her indigo with her eyes. most of them do with the loud of their smilesshe taunted, circled paint around me with her rushhour stare. her lips were pressed but her eyes, they let the sorrow free without a tear to shed. they said this morning, the flame is gone gone with a man but look now we have a garden full of purple bruises. the train shudders indigo is a heartbreak.

indigo Sũtra

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dusk//

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When you are as old as Mma-mma is, and you can feel the life smouldering underneath your skin, there is nothing left to do but wait for Death to visit.

She usually waits in the backyard every day, where she can feel the sun's warmth on her face and heart, listen to the birds and leaves exchange gossip in whispers, where she can smell the rain from a distance, before it arrives, and inhale the heavenly perfume that rises from the soil after the sky has emptied its fury upon the earth.

the colour of darkness Olubunmi Familoni

Klorofyl


dusk// This backyard is nothing but red earth; no flowers, no vegetables, no life, no colours, just the brownish-red, and the orange tree beneath which Mma-mma's rocking chair sits. This is where she sits all day, not rocking, not breathing, just sitting still---a casual observer wouldn't know what side of the darkness she was on behind those closed eyes; whether she was still floating along on the gentle current of sleep, or had slipped into the eternal abyss of death. Her face would just be the same, set solid, a death mask-unmoving, unsmiling, unknowableďż˝ She had known a different shade of darkness all her life ďż˝ blindness - so she considered all darkness the same - empty-whether of sleep or of death; they had no effect on her. So if you happened to pass by, you wouldn't know if she was asleep or dead, the way she looked. But there were no passers-by here. There was only one man. He was not a passer-by. He was Helmet.

One look at the metallic shine and shape of his bald head and you would agree. He was the only one. He would come early in the morning, just as the blanket of night was being rolled away from the face of the heavens and people were still silhouettes against the grey dawn, faceless, shadowless. He would go upstairs to Mma-mma's room, with feathery footfalls, so as not to wake her, but she would be up already, sitting up in her bed, back against the headboard, her head bent forward as if in prayer, waiting-not for Death-for him. 'Why don't you just lie in today,' he would say. 'The worst position for Death to meet you is on your back,' she would reply, in that thin voice that was so strong, so firm, that you couldn't argue against it. 'Let Death meet me sitting, waiting, outside. . .' He knew about Death, intimately; he saw it every day - in people's eyes, in the dark corners of rooms he entered; he worked with it, slept with it. . . He knew Death like that, like a lover.

the colour of darkness Olubunmi Familoni

*** She knew. The first time he had come to her house he was dying, bleeding profusely, from gunshot wounds on his back. He had only managed to crawl into her backyard, and lay there dying, slowly, the red earth absorbing his leaking blood in sips. She had been sitting there, in her chair, between sleep and death, when she heard his dying - the low moans of anguish seeping from his cold lips . . . . 'How bad is it?' she had asked, calmly, almost casually. 'V. . . v. . . verrrr. . . y---' He couldn't move. She rose. 'Wait', she said. She had lived in this house all her life; was born in its cavernous darkness, and knew every corner, every crevice. . .

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In the dim days that followed, while he recuperated, in the deathly silence of her sequestered house, in her father's bed, while the shooters hunted for him outside, they forged an uncanny bond - she, blind and bent with age; he, bandaged and bed-ridden; she taught him about ancient medicine and herbs, and he confided in her his dark relationship with Death, and the black patches of his life. They would talk for hours, into the night, through the day; he would read to her-Machiavelli, Balzac, Freud, Popeunknown men; she would cook for him-lafun, ojojo, agidi-local delicacies. He would stare at her while she worked - she was not blind. He was. Blinded by blood, by Hate, dark hate; living in the blackness of depths of sins, a man of the night. A feared man. She had never had a man in her life; no husband, no son, no brother---only her father, who had been a feared witch doctor. Unhuman. She hadn't known any real men, or what their lives were like. So when this one said he had to go back into his world of wars, she just said, "Go."

He knew about Death, intimately; he saw it every day... He knew Death like ...a lover.


dusk// ***

***

'Oya-'

But he came back every morning, climbed upstairs, softly, like a ghost, tried to talk her into lying in, held her hand, gently, carefully, as if it would crumble, read her a passage, put a little less brandy than she usually did in her tea. . . Then he would tell her about his last "hit" as he led her by the hand outside to her waiting chair, where she would wait all day, for Death, for him. . . .

The night he didn't come back to take her upstairs, Death came. She had gone upstairs by herself and it met her in bed, on her back.

She waited.

He would come back in the evening to return her upstairs, eat dinner and drink whisky with her, in her bed, a candle on a rusty tin of milk the only light in the house. Then he would tell her about his next hit - the target, the sin, the strategy, and he would silkily segue into the latest poem he had written. She loved his poetry. She would shut her eyelids and savour the full, sonorous sound of his voice, a voice that belonged in a symphony orchestra. He would leave her then, in her darkness, wondering whether she was asleep or dead, blow out the light, and enter his darkness, to work.

But it was not her bed. That night, she had a strange urge to sleep in her father's bed - the same one Helmet had used during his recovery. She heard the ominous tread on the steps, not light like his; so she knew it wasn't him. She knew what it was. They were as silent as dead men, but she could sense the evil of their presence. The corporeal stench of menace that lay heavy about them, like a pall; she could feel its dark texture. When they finally spoke, outside the door, their whispers were icy sharp and stank clearly of death--'Na him room be dis?' 'Yes.'

She had been waiting in the darkness of blindness, most of her life, for Death; now that it was here she didn't know what to expect. They entered, blind---the room was black. They stopped beside the bed, both of them, and waited. For nothing. For two minutes. . . . Then she felt the steel coldness on her neck. She closed her eyes. Black. All darknesses are the same- sleep, death, blindness. . . . hate. But before this final darkness, there was a sudden flash - white, blinding - and for that brief moment, she saw. She saw it all: in hate, you can find a spot of love; in darkness, light; in Helmet she had found a good man, something more than a father, husband, son,

She had never had a man in her life; ...hadn't known what their lives were like. So when this one said he had to go back into his world of wars, she just said, "Go."

the colour of darkness Olubunmi Familoni

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brother, something pure. . . Even though he was a man of Death, and his death was upon her now, she had found peace with him, and she forgave him; held on to what he had given her, in that brief time of their association - eternal joy. Only one muted sneeze - a silenced shot - and it was over. Black. Silent. '‌ him mama nko? Make we nack am down sef?' 'No need; she don almos' ďŹ nish‌' They went down the stairs, slowly this time, and quieter, like pall-bearers, and rejoined the night. They were satisfied---they had ended Helmet, the most feared hit man in the university, and his dark reign of terror. Now they could sleep. They were blind.

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even so Bola Famuyiwa

dusk//

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dusk//

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The girl stood outside the rusty red gate, the contentment of a great second date settling in her belly like hot chocolate on a chilly day. They stood together, staring at the criss-cross of the faded interlocking tiles, reverted to gangly teenagers- twiddling thumbs, wondering who would make the next move. They both did, looking up at the same time. She stared into his eyes, he into hers. And it was while she admired the lashes that framed his dark eyes that it happened.`

vignetting Pemi Aguda

It happened slowly. A mist encroached on her vision: vignetting- the edges of her sight blurring away and moving in until the picture before her was replaced. The very man who was right then staring back into her eyes was there but not there. �t was him, but not� now. He looked older- the crinkles around his eyes were even more pronounced by the sinister frown adorning his face. His hands were cuffed and he was being led somewhere by men in blue suits. He had filled out- grown a beard, and a paunch too. He followed the men grudgingly, but at the door stalled and turned around to look back at... her.


dusk// Then it was gone. She was once again staring into his younger eyes which were now mottled in confusion at the life that had deserted her eyes. He asked if she was okay. She shrugged. The moment had passed. Their moment had passed. Flinging a flimsy excuse his way, she fumbled her way to the other side of the gate and left it to clang in his face. But although she spent the next few hours pacing her room, then lying on the cold bathroom floor and then staring intently at the starless sky, she got no insight into the episode. And eventually, sleep eased the furrows above her brows and sent her questions to the planet where unresolved puzzles go to die. But die, they didn't. Ignoring the fellow in whose presence her first episode occurred, her world remained stable. Not until her HST 320 tutor had looked her straight in the eyes, acknowledging her raised hand to tell the class why she thought Abacha wasn't that much of a terror- until her vision faded out and was replaced with a gory picture- her lecturer being knocked over by a speeding bus and being dragged along- a bloody bulk of broken bones. The scream that was rent from her throat was more befitting the corridors of the famous Yaba hospital than a lecture hall. Startled by the horror and potent pity in her eyes, the tutor let her go for the day. It became common after this. She made the mistake of looking someone in the eye and whoosh!, everything melted away- along with her peace of mind and any vestige of normalcy her life could have boasted of. It was always the same, dark clouds moved in from the periphery of her vision and substituted the subject in her line of sight with a future version. Her sister's fiancĂŠ with another woman. The teller at the bank giving a speech in an emir's ensemble. Her best friend kneeling beside a coffin, steel-faced.

vignetting Pemi Aguda

But in all this, she told no one, sure that her claims of seeing the future would be laughed at. Sure that no one really wanted to know what the future held. Sure she would be confined in a white hospital that smelled of paranoia. And so she grit her teeth when she saw the ominous signs- begging them to stay away; explaining her odd behaviour as results of a migraine. They didn't leave. But even she was curious; she was holding on to a huge tin of cookies but couldn't look in. She tried to tell her own future; if she would ever be free of the onerous 'gift'; if she was burdened for life; if she learned to live with it; if she was happy; if she became one of those women who stood at the edge of the market and offered to tell futures for a slice of bread. But when she closed her eyes to see, all she saw was darkness. Her heart hung heavy in its bony cage; an unwanting seer; unheard seer. Trying dark frames, shuffling, head-down, so she wouldn't happen to stare into eyes, her life wilted. So, she decided to know. Standing in front of her mirror, she leaned over; pressing her nose to the cold glass, breathing shallow so as not to fog it up; she stared into her eyes. And stared. And stared, inching closer... And it came. The familiar clouds of darkness seeped over the mirror edges. Just then, she felt a lance of pain in one eye, then the other. Twin gashes. She blinked but the blackness refused to be dismissed. Standing straight, she brought her hands in front of her eyes and saw nothing. It was then she understood. The darkness she'd always seen had been her future.

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dusk//

precognitive

In the volcanic ash of approach, two ruined souls.

They'll call it love.

precognitive Tolu Oloruntoba

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the repair Eleanor LeRnne Bennet

dusk//

The stunning clocks this horologist had within the realm of his shop were quite captivating.

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dusk//

He is going home again. School isn't over yet but he's going home because they called him Zombie again. The word doesn't hurt him as much as it used to. It's the way they say it that still cuts into him slowly, painfully, like a jagged knife into soft flesh. One would not think young children capable of such cruelty; one would not think they yet knew enough of the world to hate and hurt another without justification. One would be wrong. They spitefully spit poisoned words at him with no thought for his feelings. They have ascribed a sub-humanity to him that helps them justify their actions. Zombie. It is such a simple word, is it not? And yet it seems to gain an ebullient energy, an almost animated life of its own, when spoken from hearts full of hatred for what is different; what is not understood. It becomes a weapon; a weapon for dehumanising and inflicting wounds of hate upon others. One wouldn't think simple words could be sharpened so. They are supposed to be just simple words. But aren't they always? Juden, Nigger, Cockroach, Commie, Zombie.

zombies Wole Talabi

He is not a Zombie.

His mother explained to him exactly what he was the first time he asked her why his classmates sneered at and shunned him in primary school. He was seven years old. She'd told him of her malignant ovarian cancer. "By the time it was detected," she'd said, her voice falling, "Many important things inside me ďż˝ my fallopian tubes and my uterus ďż˝ had to be removed to save my life." He'd not been entirely sure the things she mentioned were but he'd known they were necessary for her to have children naturally. She'd said as much and he nodded as she spoke. She told him how his father - a proud man who could bear neither the thought of being left without offspring nor breaking his marital vows - contacted the doctors at the newly commissioned Human Genome Center in Englewood, Colorado.

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dusk// �The doctors there took what they needed from your father and me to make you for us. Our miracle. Our special boy.� Gene-birthing was fairly novel technology back then but his father was confident it would soon catch on. It already accounted for two per cent of all births in the United States at the time. Everyone in the world will soon be doing it, his father had said, and truth be told, the available evidence supported his surmise. It all seemed so rational when she explained it that way, so uncomplicated and logical. But that was when he yet knew little of humanity. Human beings are fundamentally illogical. He first began to glimpse the complexities that his nature could precipitate when children at his Sunday school started to call him a soulless devil. The first to cast the stone was dark-skinned, perpetually angry boy named Femi. Femi's parents had been discussing over dinner, and he had come up. Femi heard from their careless talk that he was made, not born, and so could not have a soul. He doubted that Femi knew what a soul was, or had any notion of sentience and humanity, but with or without understanding, Femi soon told the other children that he was not like them. Femi's rumours initiated his obloquy, the other children only mindlessly followed his lead. Things quickly escalated. He got into a fight with one of the children and he has been fighting people like them ever since. The fights. That's why he is going home again, driven by his teary-eyed mother, his suspension letter on her lap. She keeps telling him not to get into these scuffles. She insists that they don't understand

zombies Wole Talabi

He has studied human nature, navigated his way through the annals of history and come to believe that... They are afraid of him and what he represents.

what they're saying or doing. He tried this time. He tried so hard. His father doesn't say much about them. It seems his father is proud of him in some oblique way. A veteran of a particularly brutal boarding school in Benin, who was always telling him stories of being bullied for being studious and placing first in class, his father would often recount stories of having to fight through school, learning to fight through business, eventually becoming one of the most affluent men in Lagos. Whenever his father tells him these things, he believes the man expects him to do the same and supposes that is the reason he is kept here in Lagos, instead of somewhere abroad where his kind are less persecuted, more understood. But his father was only placed first academically. His is the first of his kind; at least in Nigeria. He is a clone. Since they discovered this, his father's family too, have fractured into little coteries that all refuse to acknowledge his existence for different reasons. They wonder from afar, content to consider him a curse upon the family. One of them came to visit once, an old aunt. He'd lumbered downstairs to greet her as was expected of him but she just took one look at him and hissed as she dragged his father away to speak privately. She has not been welcome in their house since. Sometimes, he wonders if she even knows what a clone is and why she hates him so much for being one. He has studied human nature, navigated his way through the annals of history and come to believe that it is fear that does this. They are afraid of him and what he represents. Difference. Change. Anomaly. Social Mutation. Technological

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Evolution. Fear is a powerful drug. Even the Pastor at their old church refused to baptise him, calling him an abomination. These people - his extended family, his community, his church ďż˝ have chosen to deny his humanity. He knows within him that is only the first step. First they label you, then they dehumanize you, and finally, they kill you if you don't fight back. History is clear on this. He has no doubt that they will continue to persecute him if he does not resist. But he has been battling toy soldiers, engaging the children at his school, because they were the only ones within his sphere of influence. Now, he is deciding there will be no more of that. This will be the last time he goes home like this. He is deciding to no longer engage the infantrymen of ignorance. He is resolving within himself to endure the wounds of their words and ignore the injuries inflicted by their ignorance. He will keep his anger to himself and let it simmer in stoic silence. He will seek out more of his kind beyond the shores of his homeland. He will grow the seed of his sphere of influence. He will nourish it, below-ground, with their hate and water it, hidden in the soil of deception, with their insults. And when it is ready, when he finally has the confidence, capability and comrades-in-arms to fight back on fair terms, he will let it blossom and weave its way about like a garland of royal black roses. They have taught him to fear them. Now, he is going to let them teach him how to hate them.


dusk// Even dreadlocked soothsayers Make educated second guesses, Let alone baptized apprentices In white coats. No one really knows tomorrow, From inspecting nostrils of intussucepted Infants exuding mucus, One last cry might fall and Another death certificate get signed Who knows tomorrow?

The mournful cry of a pained mother rises, Ricochets on nosocomial Walls of the Paediatric Ward or was It the Male Surgical Ward (?), on Sunday, For Sunday, who gave in to an intestinal condition, Who knows? Not even the coffee-sipping pathologist Who diagnoses the incurable from Cutting thin visceral slides.

Some quietly leave in their sleep, Slip into purgatory; they forget to breathe. The orderly wheels the old gurney Mortuary-ward, death is his business. Death is transaction, bills we Pay, bad debts made good, The law of diminishing returns, Last breaths are gavels at the auction: Going, gone. But if tomorrow comes and your Ailing bodies choose to sit still, It might just be for another tomorrow.

Our world that does not pause To mourn, everyone's in a rush To board the next bus to tomorrow, Who falls short?

If Tomorrow Comes if tomorrow comes Dami Ajayi

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homeward bound Lumi Morgan

dusk//

This image warms and breaks the heart at the same time.

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dusk//

What if, one day… No, that couldn't be right. I pressed the backspace key. Thank God for the backspace key. What would any writer do without it? I wondered if, sometimes, God used a cosmic 'Backspace' key to alter reality.

Imagine if, one day… No, that sounded a little too Hollywood. I wanted to sound unique, like myself. There's nothing like hearing the author's voice in your ear as it paints pictures on the canvas of your mind. Bah, the complexity of words could be an obstacle to the creation of worlds. I knew what I wanted to create, but the words to flesh it out were �ust � argh. �erhaps this is what it felt like to be in labour, with child. I tried one more time. Backspace.

the writer Emmanuel Onimisi

In the future…

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dusk//

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I stared at the blinking cursor as the light bulb ignited in my mind. Yes! I was getting somewhere. The string of words found connectors in my mind. In the future, mankind learnt to rely not on his gadgets, but on the strength of his heart. It suddenly felt like a plane crashed somewhere. It looked lame. What was I thinking? Who would want to read a story that started that way?!Words, words, words. The story suddenly seemed less interesting, less sensible to me than it had just moments earlier. I could always return to this later. Time to grab a bite. My index finger had barely touched the 'Backspace' key when a yelp jolted me. "WAAAIT!!" I turned sharply and ��ASP!� a man was standing right there behind me, his hands reaching towards me. No, really, a man was standing right there! I shot to my feet, plastering myself against the wall. "You CAN'T do that!" His face was contorted in apprehension, his hands now gripping my chair. "You mustn't do it! Please!" My heart was breaking speed limits. It's OK, just be calm. A man is standing before you, which is perfectly normal. But it was anything but normal. There had been no one there just moments ago. "Wh-who are you?" I asked. His gaze softened. "Hey, I mean you no harm," he said. "I'm a friend. All is well." "But � who are you? How'd you get in here?" The bearded man was middle-aged and dressed in a strange grey jacket. His jeans were tucked into black boots. There was something strangely familiar about that guy.

the writer Emmanuel Onimisi

He scratched the back of his neck. "Man, this was easier in the simulations. Uh, see, the less you know about me, the better."

begged� for me to stop. "DON'T!"

"And I'm supposed to be OK with that?"

"Alright! I'll tell you!"

"Look, buddy, there's a lot I could explain, but my top priority here is to stop you from pressing that 'Backspace' key! And, man, it's so good to see you!"

"Tell me now!" I was no Jack Bauer, but for the moment I felt like the interrogator.

He didn't seem to be carrying any weapons. But if anyone could break into my home, then the person was a threat, weapon or not. I carefully gauged the possibility of an escape.

It was working. "Who are you?" I barked.

"You wouldn't understand, you�" My hand shot to the key. "OK! I'm you, OK?!" I stopped. His name sounded Japanese. "Yu, what? I'm sorry?"

Wait, what had he said about the 'Backspace' key? It felt a little creepy.

"Yeah, you should be, kiddo. I may have been a cynic at your age, but I wasn't this obnoxious�"

I stared at my laptop. "What's with the key?"

"No, I mean, what did you just say?"

He looked like I'd just kicked him. "What key? I didn't say anything about a key! No, nothing about a 'Backspace' key. Aargh! Me and my mouth!" He actually smacked his head. This was one funny fellow. "You must continue writing."

The man sighed. "Yup, I guess I was as obnoxious. You probably would not understand or listen to me when I say this, but � I am you. From. the .Future." He drew that last one out as he winced, anticipating my reaction.

It was crazy. It was stupid. But I just had to do it. Staring into his eyes, I slowly bent towards my keyboard. And the backspace key. I should have been calling the police.

I froze. Yeah, right. If I allowed my mind to go so far, I could imagine that he looked like me in some way. But, seriously? From the future? That would have been a great idea for a story, but not in real life.

"Don't �" Fear filled his eyes. They begged �actually

"I'm not that stupid," I said. I should have been

reaching for the phone, but who would I call? Why didn't we have an emergency code like '911'? He sighed. "I don't expect you to believe me. But, whatever you do, stay away from the 'Backspace' k�" "And that's another thing; what's with the Backspace?! It's just a key! How'd you get in here, anyway? I should call the police!" "My presence has already caused more harm than good already. There's not much time! You must return to your writing." I winced. "What? What're you talking about?" The man, resigned to his inability to calm me down, sat in my chair. "Ah, I remember this seat. As uncomfortable as ever. Look, you've got to listen to me, son. You hold the future in your hands. And it all begins with the story you're writing." I stole a side-glance at the computer screen. You're not really believing this guy, are you? "Yes, it is difficult to comprehend. I remember the stacks of forgotten unfinished projects stashed under my bed at your age. Your work. I know it seems impossible, but you're creating the future right there. Right here. Right now. In this moment.


dusk// I should know." In my years of writing, I had gotten no public syndication. No one knew about the hours I had spent drawing and designing the landscapes and settings for my sci-fi thrillers. And they all ended up in the same place � incomplete, under my bed. This stranger knew about my unfinished projects, and was rubbing them in my face. "What else do you know about me?" "I know everyone thinks you're a good guitarist, but you really only play four chords." I shrugged. Any professional could have figured that out. "You still can't really be from the future." "Look, bud, that's inconsequential. You must believe me. Those sketches and schematics will not remain there. The world is waiting for this. And the story you are about to flesh out, right here," he stared at the monitor in wonder. "It's a spark. A spark that will spread and ignite the future, through the hearts of men. The future I am coming from. The future that produced this." I was still reeling. "Time travel is impossible."

"You believed," he said. "You believed you could, and you did."

"I mean, even my five-year old son can write better than�"

I shook my head, but I knew. Unless this was a joke � a really sick one, at that � this man was almost convincing me. "It's hard to believe this. You can't have read my work. It's nothing but�"

"I GET IT, OK!" We both smiled.

"Nothing but the most amazing thing the world has never seen," he smiled. "Not yet. But when they do, they would see just how amazing the gift of the Creator is." I would not cry. "Are you really from the future?" He rolled his eyes. "You gotta be kidding me! I give you an awesome pep talk, and you're still asking me that?" Yes, that could've been me. I approached him to touch him. He held up a hand. "Careful, this is just a prototype. You can't really touch me. I'm what you'd call a � hologram." I stared at the computer. "So, I should just leave the beginning the way it is?"

"But that's no excuse to stop now," he said. "Stay on course. You'll do the future proud." A BEEP invaded the silence that overtook us. "Aaand that's my call," he said. I blinked. "You're going now?" "Hey, I got a family to get back to. And you've got a life to live so that you can make the future even better. Don't waste it, man." "Thanks. But, wait! I got a lotta questions!" "Who do I marry? Does Iran destroy America finally? Do robots rule the world?" It all came out in a hurry and met the man's guffaw. "You will discover in time," he said. And then he was gone. I sat and stared at the computer screen, reeling over the past few seconds. The clock still read 9:39 PM.

"And how would you know? How did I get here?"

He cocked his head. "Well � I can only speak for the future that is. Who knows what the future would be if you chose a better string of words?"

"YOU'RE NOT FROM THE FUTURE!"

"So you like it?"

I set my fingers on the keyboard and typed.

"I discovered time travel," he said. "You did! You already have!"

"Honestly, I've seen better."

In the future, mankind learnt to tap the God-given abilities within.

I had written a story once, involving time travel. But I had stopped when the illogical impossibility was glaring. My eyes were moist. I would not believe him. "How? How did I do it?"

the writer Emmanuel Onimisi

"Oh." "I can't even believe I thought this was awesome at your age." "I know, right?"

Had it all happened?

It began with one person's decision to believe. His name was You.

23 Klorofyl


PhotoRoom

day dreamer Lumi Morgan

dusk//

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dusk//

25 Klorofyl

I go close enough to throw the juice carton into the dustbin and realize that it is full and needs to be emptied into the larger dumpster. There are things like fish entrails in there, a discarded battery, faulty electronics, shoes worn beyond repair and my juice carton. It's refreshing to rid the house of unused and unusable items and it's almost a necessary part

we’re talking, but not enough trash Oluwafunmilayo Olatogun

of the day to throw such things away. But, where is away?


dusk// The moment I stepped into Dustbin Estate, Ajegunle, I knew exactly where 'away' was. I visited Dustbin Estate in February with a group of women from my church in Lagos. When we were told that there were people, in this city, living on top of trash heaps, we empathized with them but never fully grasped the reality of people living on trash piles. In fact, we saw it as a fair exaggeration and a charity opportunity. Then, we got to the Estate and there were indeed people living on trash heaps. Like every other place, life goes on as normal; children make toys of whatever they find around them, grocery kiosks are set up in strategic corners, and lean pet dogs run around. We even stumbled across a cow, perhaps belonging to a resident meat seller. The place is closer than skin to those who live there; it is where they bathe, sleep, eat, wakeup and learn about life. Worst of all, it is what becomes normal to many of them. What's perhaps most mysterious is why these people live where they do. No one really knows but we want to find out. And we will; did they meet the trash or did the trash meet them? Even though Dustbin Estate may be a prime background for a documentary, a poster-child for the filth of Ajegunle-living and an epic storyline for Nigerians and their famed

we’re talking, but not enough trash Oluwafunmilayo Olatogun

create. Their children play in what's left of the wealth that eluded their parents. resilience (or what I'd rather call generational conditioning to suffering and smiling), it is also a pitiful representation of our country, Nigeria. Dustbin Estate is a snapshot of a Dustbin Nation. One of the biggest flaws in our social reconstruction is the conspicuous absence of environmental reconstruction. What we fail to realize is that attaining social justice is incomplete, in fact impossible, without attaining environmental justice. We have externalized our negative contributions to the environment and we simply refer to them as 'away.' Problems have evolved, and continue to do so. Environmental issues are now social issues more than they are just issues about the planet. In hinging our environmental discussions on trash in Nigeria, we meet at a fine junction between injustice towards the Earth and injustice towards people. Marjoram Carter, the phenomenal environmentalist from the Bronx, famously said that environmental justice demands that no one should live with more environmental burdens and less environmental benefits irrespective of age, class, gender, socio-economic status, and so on. But in Dustbin Estate, people live with heavy environmental burdens BECAUSE of who they are in society. They sleep and eat in trash that they did not create�could not

We're talking a lot on social media, especially Twitter. Twitter, the popular micro-blogging platform, was aptly likened to a 'village town hall meeting' and to a 'bizarre radio channel'. Yet, we're not "talking enough trash." We may quickly running out of time, however. This is neither a doom prophecy nor a peptalk, it's a reality check. We don't have enough time to continue to wallow in declining development, environmental unsustainability, environmental injustice and poor education. So, we must re-orient ourselves, starting with our young. In Nigeria, it is difficult to relate to snowmelt in the American Rocky Mountains, as disastrous as that is, and depleting wildlife in the Amazon, as damning as that is for us, but we can relate to children, shovelling for old syringes and scraps of metal instead of grasshoppers and Ixora flowers. We can relate to Makoko, to Ogoni, to Dustbin Estate and to Bagega. If we can relate to one, we can relate to all, because all environmental problems are connected: climate change with floods, pollution with depletion of wildlife, and so on. They are also connected with other things: climate change with climate change refugees, pollution with loss of livelihood, and so on. Several Nigerian youths are addressing the

26 Klorofyl

problems in their own way, but for the same purpose. Bailiff Africa, for instance, a youth-run organization, I recently founded has the goal of somewhere, somehow, marrying youths with art, culture, literature and media and using whatever baby they produce to educate on environmental issues as they relate to Nigeria and Africa. Yet, these initiatives aren't enough. Top-down and bottom-up sustainable development must meet half-way. Our generation has been handed over so much technology, educational opportunities, information and even problems. But for every problem we've been handed over, we're very much equipped to create a solution. When we're fifty or eighty years old, we're feeble and frail, we will have absolutely no excuse in the eyes of history for having not made an impact around. So whenever you throw something away, think about it for a minute, "where is away?" Think about those before the product, behind it and beyond it. Think about who really paid for your product and with what they paid for it. Then start "talking trash".


PhotoRoom

renewable Bola Famuyiwa

dusk//

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dusk//

Dear DR.,

Why do you run away everytime? Why do you pronounce your verdicts and take to your heels? Are you afraid? Are you in a hurry? See, there is so much I want to know. Many questions I would ask of you, If only you would wait and not hurry off so soon. That condition you told your boss I have, Will it kill me? Can it kill me? How many people has it killed? This my sick mother, Do you think she could die tonight? Or tomorrow morning? Do you feel it is better she dies now? And save you the stress, And me, the expense? The test you requested, How much is it? Does daddy really need it? Or you just want to confirm if what you read in the books is true? When I say I need to see you, And you tell me 'later', Does 'later' mean 'shut up'? Do you say 'later' because you can't face me? Or because the truth scares even you?

dear dr., Tunde Yusuf

And so again, you have run away, And I watch you scurry down the corridor, You and I, united by fear, You are afraid to tell, I am afraid to hear, But I don't know what you know, And how much you don't know, So, I think you know it all, Or, maybe, nothing at all. And then I envy you, And how you say 'later'.

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dusk//

29 Klorofyl

I visited the neighbourhood I grew up in, a few months ago. It felt so good to walk along the same streets where my childhood memories were formed, and the joy of seeing old friends again was quite literally beyond words. I found myself strolling casually along the many routes I had run through as a child: the route to school, the route to my best friend's house, the route to the playground... and as I walked each path my memory would dig up fascinating events from my childhood. As I reminisced, it was almost as though I was transported right back to those moments, reliving them vividly, complete with sights and sounds and smells. Ah! Third Avenue! I find myself having to contain bubbling peals of laughter. One of my most horrendously embarrassing memories occurred here. Imagine me, in my school uniform, running frantically, yelling at the top of

recall

David Olamide Craig

my lungs, tears streaming down my face, being chased by a puppy. I walked past a house that seemed strangely familiar, and as I inched towards the wrought iron gate, I was filled with a deeper sense of nostalgia. I remembered a pretty young girl in a

beautiful yellow dress that stopped short of her knees, spinning in circles on the green grass of the lawn, her hair twirling as she did. I heard our screaming voices as we chased after the rickety ice cream van on a hot July afternoon and her ringing laughter filled my ears as I remembered our games of


dusk//

hide and seek and hop-scotch-jump. I struggled to retrieve her name I took a long, hard look at the large white duplex, soaking up my bright and sunny reverie, half expecting to see my friend bounding through the front doors, running out to greet me. The doors stayed shut and when after a few moments no one came, I contented myself with attempting to squeeze out any more delightful memories that lay behind those double doors. Instead, ominous images flooded my mind in crisp detail, images I had long forgotten, images I am glad I can now recall. I remember walking into that same house as a child; I remember the peculiar sensation of my naked feet on the threadbare rug. Her father had insisted that everyone take their shoes off at the door. I remember thinking then that this was because he didn't want his already worn carpet to get any worse. Thinking about it now though, I reckon it was more for religious reasons than for housekeeping. Usually, there would be no one in the living room, but the television was almost always on. We would come in and sit down at the foot of the old box, my friend and I, and try to keep the giggles in as we watched cartoons. On this day, I took my shoes off at the door as usual and tiptoed into an all too familiar living room, and as expected; it was empty, or was it? Slender shards of amber sunlight, muffled by the thick green curtains barely lit the room and the dimness

recall

David Olamide Craig

took a while to get accustomed to. When my eyes adjusted, I saw what I'm certain was the silhouette of two people hurriedly putting clothes on. It took quite a while for my brain to compute what I had seen, and I dare say only now, a full twenty three years later, do I really understand what happened that sunny afternoon. "What were you doing?" I asked her innocently later that day as we sat in front of the television, watching Super Ted. "Oh! nothing..." she said smiling, "I was just playing with my Dad, we do it all the time" I remember her name now. Her name was... *A tribute to victims of incest and childhood abuse.

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dusk//

The Sense of an Ending

Two shadows lean into each other For a hug and find Nothing. Love-weary, Beans of a war-torn pod; Grief-swollen.

Fingertips numb from trying, Thoughts cross our locked hands No more. Our love gasps for death; Hallucinating On a black hole's brink.

the sense of an ending Tunji Olalere

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PhotoRoom

staying mobile Bola Famuyiwa

dusk//

Pubic mobile phone battery-charging booth in Nigeria.

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dusk//

Night of my Journey

The river dries again And my feet trek this gloomy road Between now and then I have tattooed my names on the sand of tales Listened to stories of forgotten fugitives Dined in same calabash with dying men The world is a sea; I have done my part Paddled my canoe on the sea of tears And on the night of my journey Do not sing song of darkness Nor wet the pillow of dreams with tears Do not carry my coffin on the sea Nor bury me on the mountain I have gathered my own victories My kinsmen know I am not new to the funeral I am a waiter The town-crier of my tribe I have couriered my messages With the scions of the village I have partaken in manifold feasts Of pains, tears and joyďż˝ Now, let me goďż˝

the night of my journey Rasaq Malik Gbolohan

33 Klorofyl


dusk//

My sister Zaynab was in one of her restless moods. She skipped over to the other side of the road and grabbed Papa's free swinging hand. My father was in no mood to be disturbed, I guessed, as he wriggled free of her grasp, turned and scolded her. �'�ayna�� You have started again uhn? When it is time for school now, you will start holding your head.'' He held his head in mockery and began to imitate some of my sister's best acts.

�'�aaadi, please, my head dey pain me.'' Papa mimed in his best feminine voice. His hands on a totally bald head and the sight of his knees bent to one side underneath his cream cotton jalamia sent Mama, Aunty Sefina and myself into a prolonged round of laughter. Zaynab's pride was hurt. She frowned and crossed over to our side of the street. Papa crossed too, and continued walking ahead as if nothing had happened. He had a lot on his mind: due rent. Grandma's burial. School fees. All kinds of trouble. Maybe. Aunty Sefina and Mama soon lowered their voices and resumed their never-ending chatter. Zaynab came to my side and held her arms to her chest. Her face was knotted up in the fiercest of scowls. I understood her message: do not come near me, or you will cry. I reduced my walking pace and allowed the brooding cloud to walk two steps ahead. As we approached our compound, Zaynab turned from following the others and made in the direction of her best friend, Laraba's house. Laraba lived just behind our compound. Papa looked back briefly. His eyes met mine. Then he looked over to Mama, who was looking at Aunty Sefina's restless mouth, and

all the things I would say Abayomi Ogunwale

34 Klorofyl


dusk// then back to me. I could feel the irritation oozing out from his skin, as I stood back trying to decide whom to follow. Zaynab promised pain, but she also guaranteed fun. He said nothing as I made to follow my terror of a sister. Zaynab walked like one who needed to use the pit latrine. I hung back, and talked to my doll, Queen Amina. ' Go back home.'' Zaynab turned and commanded, with a flare in her eyes. I stopped walking and looked to my feet for inspiration. ' Plissss, I want to come to Laraba's house too''. I pleaded in my boldest voice. Zaynab was not listening, or did not care to listen, as she had continued her march. ''Why doesn't anybody ever listen to me?'' I asked Queen Amina. There used to be a small wooden gate at the extreme end of our compound. To get to Laraba's house, we often had to go through the gate and walk right across Buraimi's kiosk and house. I hurried through the gate and walked in on Zaynab and Buraimi talking. From the tone of Buraimi's voice, I could tell that he had been touched by Zaynab's poisoned tongue. ' Come and take some sweets'' Buraimi offered as he rose from the bench beside his kiosk. As he stood, Zaynab stepped back in fear. I hung back in the shadows too, unsure of what to do. All the children in Sabo feared Buraimi. We feared

the Buraimi we had created. The Buraimi who had used his wife for money rituals, and had pounded her head into a paste; a paste which he had then rubbed on the poles of his kiosk to attract small children like us to buy his wares. We feared the Buraimi who had stopped talking to everybody else since the wife died in the big hospital carrying his ugly baby. I stood back as I watched my sister taking on the most feared man in SabonGari. ''I don't want your sweets!'' Zaynab screamed in her characteristic manner. Buraimi stopped walking and looked on her with surprise. He knew we all loved sweets. For a brief moment, he seemed unsure of what to do. Then he smiled and limped back towards his bench. ''So what do you want?'' He flashed his brown teeth at Zaynab. She had no answer for him. I wondered why she was still standing there, talking with evil Buraimi. ''Go Zaynab, go.'' I whispered in her direction. She did not acknowledge my presence, but Buraimi did. ''Hey, Fatima, come here, you fine little girl.'' He suddenly turned and spoke in my direction. I found myself walking towards his voice. His unexpected friendliness drew my feet to him until Zaynab called the world to a halt with her booming voice. ''Leave my sister alone!'' She shouted, as I began to wonder if she could say anything without using that shrill tone. Buraimi was tired of the drama. It seemed he was not expecting such hostility. But Zaynab was not

all the things I would say Abayomi Ogunwale

done. ''I will stone you!'' She announced. Stone Buraimi? Why would you stone someone as powerful and wicked as Buraimi? I asked with my eyes as I turned to look at my sister. Buraimi was amused. ''Stone me?'' He tapped his chest and asked. ''Why?'' He didn't know who he was talking to, but that was not the time to lecture him on what and what Zaynab could do. If Zaynab promises to stone you, you had better go buy yourself the biggest helmet y o u c a n afford. There was no need for

35 Klorofyl


dusk// clarifications as Zaynab stooped and began to gather as many stones as she could carry.

to back every word that she spoke. Buraimi hadďż˝; well, Buraimi had nothing.

I think Buraimi realized the futility of his questions too, as his eyes betrayed his fears. With his bad leg, he was an easy target, even for a little girl like Zaynab.

And when Zaynab mentioned something about Buraimi asking her to come into his house, Aunty Sefina's voice became a death knell. There was no going back for Buraimi, no redemption, no possibility of a fair hearing. He was the widowerturned-aspiring-child molester deserving of all the scorn in the world. And watching him as he tried to accomplish the impossible task of out-shouting Aunty Sefina made me sad. I could see the ending: he would lose that match, and worse still, lose every chance to ever state his own case to an unbiased audience.

The first stone hit him straight on the forehead. The second missed him, but not the third. The third, a very big, flat stone, hit his chest and sent him sprawling. Zaynab laughed for the first time in days. A high-pitched, unnatural laugh. Then she turned to pick more stones. Sensing the danger in remaining in front of the kiosk, and the futility of trying to outrun Zaynab with his bad leg, Buraimi began to pick some of the stones Zaynab had thrown. I pitied him as he scrambled on the ground. He didn't look all that evil again, only miserable, with his walking stick and bad leg. I hoped for his sake that Zaynab tired soon, or that he got a stone big enough to scare her away, or else we were all in for a very long evening. As Zaynab turned back and prepared to pick a good position to restart her attacks, Buraimi was waiting for her. Before she could swing her arm to release the biggest stone in her collection, I heard a stone whistle through the air, and thud; it hit Zaynab between the eyes, and all the blood in the world began to flow from her head. Then I ran. Aunty Sefina's loud voice summoned the whole community. And in the midst of all the noise, the truth stole into the night. Nobody listened to Buraimi's account of the events that had transpired. Zaynab's story seemed more believable. She had the voice, the tears and the blood

Papa tried to calm everybody down. He had known Buraimi from childhood, when they were both Almajiri pupils at the Quranic School. But Papa could say very little. Mama's eyes made sure of that. Aunty Sefina's voice did the rest. As the crowd began to ask for Buraimi's head, Buraimi suddenly began to cry. He knew his fate was sealed. I looked at Papa and for the first time, I saw tears in my own father's eyes. He looked desperate and his desperation took my affections for Zaynab away, like white flesh from a coconut ball, leaving behind an empty shell -my total indifference towards all that pertained to her from that point onward. Buraimi did not die that night. He survived with a broken skull and multiple injuries. His kiosk was burnt and he was chased out of the community. Some say he went back to Kano; some say he wanders the earth. Nobody knows for sure what became of him. But later that night, as I sat in the shadow of the

all the things I would say Abayomi Ogunwale

wall, petting Queen Amina and watching Buraimi's life go up in flames, I rehearsed all the things I would say when I was called to talk.

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dusk// The thing about dreaming, About any kind of living, really Even this half-dead kind That we do here, Hearts in mouths, Souls in pockets, Brains on the lam (For I must be honest) The thing about it Is that today is always That bit less Un - palatable, endurable, Dis - heartening, comfiting, For the thought of The ticking clock We dream in future tense, Spinning Earth Torpid, listless, Setting sun; Stirring to be squashed. For the hope of Gorged on 'we get by'. Tomorrow. Stuffed with 'no be me kill Jesus'. Lulled by insane whispers Of'our children will save us'. Sitting on our fathers' trunks Full of faded once-upon-a-times, Five-parts-forgotten, Three-parts-mistold, We peer over the fence At our neighbour's flourishing garden And long for the nebulous better, Easier, happier, brighter - the More Of tomorrow.

Living, laughing, dancing on Stick-thin, trick-thin, ice-cold Hope It warms our hearts, Soothes us to sleep. So we sit, spread, Counting on our good luck Our patience never wearing thin, We lie, bald-faced and grinning, Hopeful Headless Yellow-bellied Fools, Hands outstretched For the dripless drops The half-chewed crumbs for the dogs, 'Tomorrow will be better'. And we forget, With our tied hands and our Selfishness-silenced mouths, Hoarding our meagre happinesses, We forget

e go better na im go kill us Olutimehin Adegbeye

That today, yesterday, tomorrow Are just pretty clothes Made-up faces Glossy boxes Fancy time-stamped names For the scant, struggling, blink-brief Feeble flare Of our particular brand of life. Naijal'awa! So we slip in and slide out Of a thousand tomorrows; Cover up the failures, Crumple up the let-downs, Feed the fattening hope that Drags us down and Chokes the living from us. Because how else could we Stay alive If hope weren't there To coax us along and Lead us, with shuttered eyes, Through our no-light no-water no-wayforward Todays?

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dawn// No new day just because there is a break of another day Dawn means that the fever of yesterday is gone with the fanfares of yesterday Dawn means that the darkness of yesterday will truly give way to the sun rays of today Dawn means that yesterday's impostors have all gone to hell and will not come back until God returns to judge the earth again Dawn is victory over myopia over asthma over pericarditis and all bodily plagues that keep the children of sun under night Dawn means this land has got its con-science back and no one, or angel will ever take it from her again Oh yes no new day just because there is yet another break of day

no new day Tosin Gbogi

*Poem from a forthcoming publication: “Came-Bridge Blues"

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PhotoRoom

invitation Bola Famuyiwa

dawn//

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dawn//

Should science-fiction be all sunshine and butterflies?

don’t touch the dystopia, bro. Tolu Oloruntoba

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dawn//

42

Neal Stephenson wants sci-fi writers to stop creating dark worlds, and reach within them to find the molding clay utopias are made of. He'd have us craft more imaginative tales, with less negativity, and more invention. I agree that sci-fi can, should, and does lead the way forward… just don't touch the dystopia, bro.

We like our dystopias just fine. Those

beautiful, dark, crumbling worlds that show where we are going, where we could be going, given that most fantastic and dangerous of things- human nature, with a singularity or two thrown in. Yep, give us those visions choked in volcanic ash, smothered in nuclear winter, peppered with survivalists� give us rank oceans overflowing coastal cities. Give us grey goo. Give us green goo. Give us the surveillance state, the police state� give us thought police. Give us the sublimation of our inhumanity� let our humanity shine through, irrepressible. Our humanity can still survive the squall of existential crises, survivalists, cannibals, zombies, rogue sentient AI, cyborgs, glorious extraterrestrial invasions, and worst of all, the betrayals of our neighbours. Our best can survive our worst. It must. Always.

Give us the logical ends of our book burnings and censorship, give us the resultants of tyranny, or anarchy. Show us too much of a good thing. Show us too much of a bad thing. Perhaps, then, we can learn- simple can be happy. Cant those scriptures for the discerning: V for Vendetta. Terminator. 1984. The Book of Eli. Blade Runner. The Road. The Matrix. Brave New World. Alan Moore. Cyborg. Fringe. The Dark Tower. Minority Report. Elysium. Phillip K. Dick. The Children of Men. Matheson's I am legend. Cloud Atlas. Asimov. Prometheus. Equilibrium. Judge Dredd. Fahrenheit 451. Resident Evil. Ballard's The Drought. Wall-E. Let us Remember It For You Wholesale. Show us at the end of our depleted resource-

don’t touch the dystopia, bro. Tolu Oloruntoba

water, oil, wood, knowledge, food, space�. Show us scramble and kill for a morsel, a drop, a square inch, a smidgen of heat. Show us war, as it reveals our basest selves- our most selfish, our vilest, our most apathetic, most hateful. Show us our devolution within destruction- our descent into feral selves with sticks and stones and nukes. Show us how freedom will enslave us. Show us how political correctness will gag us. Show us how free will won't allow anything of the sort. Show us the us we refuse to confront- our shadowy, shifty alter egos. Show our pretensions of goodness for what they are. Show us the pterodactyl, not butterfly, effects of time travels gone horribly wrong, or of our simple decisions. We must see where our roads lead.

Ray Bradbury famously described himself as a �preventor of futures, not a predictor of them�, and while we must remain visionary, that friends, may be the crux of this matter. Apocalyptic, pre or post, we like our dystopias just fine. Fling reactor meltdowns and terrorism and global enslavement and forced automation at us. Show us overrun by contagion. Show us become caricatures of ourselves. The hero is still us, and how we can, we should, we must. The hero is us, and how we will. Grant us this periscope, while we may yet see. Grant us the exhilaration of vicariously flinging our protagonists where no human has gone before. Let them save, even die, for us. Perhaps then, we can live. But don't touch the dystopia, bro.


PhotoRoom

walking through skeleton trees Eleanor LeRnne Bennett

dawn//

December 2010, Lyme Park, Cheshire.

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dawn//

The day she called, it rained all morning. All morning. The brave souls who ventured into the drenching darkness that is a Lagos thunderstorm were stranded at bus stops, at junctions, at motor parks. Lagos was a mess. From my perch on the edge of my mattress, I watched the water in the street rise higher and higher, a small Bournvita-coloured river. I heard the neighbours downstairs struggle to move their possessions to higher ground. Those were the options this side of town. A flat on the top floor with a leaky roof, or a flat on the ground floor that was flood-prone. From the look of things, I would be trapped in for a couple of days at least. Did I have enough food?

a memory of warri Osemhen Akhibi

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Tobi's wife called mid-afternoon and through her stuy nose and the sobs she was unaware were caught in her throat, I made out the words. Tobi.Dead.Funeral.Saturday. Come. Tobi had the perfect life. A job on an offshore rig. An 8-figure salary. A wife. Three children. He had a life. A life he tried to make me part of. You must come see us in Port Harcourt this year. Every year I promised. He called every Christmas and on my birthdays, his Warri accent dropping his words like coins on a tin roof. Rat-tat-tat. He slipped into the easy familiarity of our youth, reminding me of years gone, of a time when life was simpler and there was a thing like hope. Hope to make it. Hope for a new job. Hope that the present one would last another month, another week, another day. Hope that something would give. I had never met his family. I had an OND and was perennially unemployed. How could I go visit his family in Port Harcourt? When house-hunting in Lagos, you look out for three things. Drainage. Drainage. Drainage. That Friday night, I had to wade through knee-deep water to get a bus to Jibowu, where a seat on an Ekene Dili Chukwu bus bore my name. The journey

a memory of warri Osemhen Akhibi

by road was 10 hours. I would not have made it for anyone else. *** "Emotan?" She looked up, seeing me, but past me. The dark circles around her eyes betrayed the serenity of her face. She was a beautiful woman, and grief could not mask her. "My name is Fela. I'm sorry." "Fela." A small smile lifted the side of her mouth, and she adjusted the black mantilla on her head. "The famous Fela. Tobi liked to talk about you." She nudged her younger son. "See, TJ, your Daddy's friend, Uncle Fela." "Hello, TJ." "Hi." He didn't stir from the niche he had carved by her side on the pew. He had his father's intense gaze, and large eyes that stared from beneath heavy lids, made even heavier by the tears he had already shed. They had dried on his cheeks, and no one had bothered to wipe them.

"How old are you, TJ?" He turned his head away. A bell tolled in the belfry and the congregation stood as the entrance procession began. Two altar-boys about his age appeared, swinging silver thuribles, and the scent of frankincense filled the small chapel, hazing the already dim light. "He was ten last week. Friday." Emotan replied on his behalf as she stood, in a voice that shook only a little. T o b i h a d d i e d o n T h u r s d a y . I could see how he would want to be nine forever. "If I were to ask everyone in this room what they remembered about Tobi, I would probably hear things about what a wonderful man he was, how kind he was, how generous... I would hear that he taught catechism on Sunday, was a loving husband to Emotan, and a devoted father to TJ, Ola and Tseye. I would hear that he was a saint. And it wouldn't be an exaggeration; you all would not be here to honour him if he wasn't who he was."

I had just found a seat earlier, at the very back, when Tobi's brother sidled into the pew beside me. "You know you're supposed to say something at the end, right? I don't know if Emotan told you." She hadn't. And I had less than an hour to think of a fitting eulogy for a man I had not seen in thirty years. Who was my best friend for only six. I wondered what they expected me to sayďż˝ "Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but Tobi was not a saint. He was as rascally as they come, a real mischievous monkey, and I have a story for you." A murmur and an uneasy shifting spread through the church. I avoided looking her way but I could f e e l E m o t a n ' s e y e s o n m e . "We were eleven, Tobi and I. Juniors in Federal Government College, Ughelli. Just a year older than TJ now. We had just returned from mid-term, and I had 5 naira in my pocket to buy new books. Warri Wolves were playing Kano Pillars in Warri


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A perfect Warri day... by afternoon, the sky was a deep blue- there were no clouds and the sun blazed on our bare legs and forearms. ...Someday, when we were senior students, we would get to wear white on white....We stepped gingerly around mud puddles, making plans for the rest of term, insulting seniors in whose presence we trembled.

Township Stadium the next day. We met another friend, Mamode, at his mother's shop in Effurun, and he suggested we go and watch the match. We could sneak out of school; nobody would miss us because school activities wouldn't really start till Sunday. I told him I didn't have any money. I couldn't risk spending my book allowance because my father would demand to see my new books when I returned home. Tobi agreed that it would be foolish to spend the book allowance- he could be sensible when he wanted to be." They all laughed and I felt myself relax, warming to the story. The memories assaulted me. A perfect Warri day. It had rained all night, and we had arrived from holiday in the morning, to a Warri that still smelt wet, still felt cool. But by afternoon, the sky was a deep blue- there were no clouds and the sun blazed on our bare legs and forearms. We wore white shirts and green shorts; standard issue for junior students. Someday, when we were

a memory of warri Osemhen Akhibi

senior students, we would get to wear white on white. But that afternoon, we were juniors. We stepped gingerly around mud puddles, making plans for the rest of term, insulting seniors in whose presence we trembled. "Then we passed Baba Ijebu with his red lottery machine, and loyal followers carefully writing out lists of numbers. That was the beginning of our troubles. What if we bet on the match and win? We would have enough money. To pay for your books and cover up the ticket price. ďż˝ Tobi said. What if we lose? (I too, used to be sensible). If we lose, it will be bad o. Tobi went quiet. I should have just kept quiet but then I said, If only there was a way for us to know who will win. We can find out. Mamode was very excited. How, I asked him. Let's go. That's how we followed him. But he was going to consult a seer and Tobi and I were altar boys- we

felt it would be wrong for us to enter a native doctor's house. So he went alone, while we waited at the bus-stop. He took one naira from me." At this point, I realized that perhaps I had picked an anecdote that was location-inappropriate. But apart from a small gasp, my audience didn't seem to lose interest, or get offended. Even the parish priest was transfixed. "Mamode returned an hour later. He said that Warri Wolves will win! So we went and bet 2 naira on the Wolves winning. I had never been happier in my life." What happened next was the stuff of urban legends. I never forgot that Saturday. The thrill of escaping school undetected, the electric buzz of the stadium, the crowd's delighted roar when the Wolves scored the first goal, the collective groan of dismay when Pillars equalized. And then a defensive tackle in front of the Wolves' goal post.

We watched in horror as a Wolves defender scored an own goal. "This time, we followed Mamode to the native doctor's house." A low chuckle rumbled through the congregation, even Emotan was smiling. "He wasn't much of a native doctor. He lived in a normal house, not like those huts you see on African Magic. He didn't even have chalk on his face, and he didn't do incantations. I was nearly in tears- my father would have killed me. Tobi didn't waste any time. He seized the doctor's mirror and threatened to break it. You told Mamode that the Wolves would win! Give us back our money. No. I told him Pillars would score once, and Wolves would score twice but he didn't ask in which net." TJ was the first to burst out laughing, and this time the congregation didn't hold back.


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above the eyo festival Bola Famuyiwa

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Lagos, Nigeria

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Gregor Samsa,

Or, The Complete Transformation of Greg I

On the counter, when counting sales of the day, he is as meek as a cat and as gentle as the breeze blowing over a ďŹ eld of swaying tassels. Out on the field, with the ball just a few yards away from his holy boot, Greg is a brute. When he tackles John and dribbles Amara, his graceful sways can be likened, to that of a cheetah in the pursuit of its prey. After dismembering the net, where the keeper goes right the ball goes left, and the post falls down in a symbolic declaration of surrender. I see a fuller transformation of Greg: A living god. The Adonis of Soccer. Michelangelo's David, in flesh and blood.

the complete transformation of Greg Umar Abubakar Sidi


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II I can make him the next conqueror of the Empire of Ball, someone with the strength of Drogba, the skills of Messi the humour of JJ, the luck of Papillo the dedication of Ronaldinho and the utter guts of Zidane, if only I am on first name terms with the President's son or a nephew to the Honourable Minister of Notes. III (The eve of UEFA Champions League Final 2017) I made a promise to the Spirit of Whiteness Destroyer of Lies Custodian of Smiles Guardian of the Sacraments Slayer of every crook, deceitful bloke or cheat, that: I will never steal a glance at her, or register the benevolence of her fingers as she caresses a glass, half-full of St. Remy, every Thursday at her usual stand, the 9th in Bush Bachelor's Bar of Victoria Island, Lagos, if we win this match. IV

This match is emptying me of every creative throb. No metaphors. No fluid imageries. No hypnotizing symbols. No mental jerks. No fits of madness. No spark of any repugnant idea or thought. Even banal words like: Lumbago. Cantankerous. Convoluted. Concocted and Tame, seem to be on strike. I am in doubt, even afraid that I may no longer be able to lose myself to the latest activity of my fascination: Tai-Chi with Poetry of the Absurd. Or more clinically, whirling freely in fast flowing prosaic poems which, in order to pump my deflated ego, I sometimes vaingloriously qualify in private as: Precious Cherubim of a Dilettante and Little Diamonds of the Rosary of Words. This match is emptying me of me. But it has graciously left me, thanks to the mercy of God with four agonizing wishes, dressed up as; a rechargeable lantern, a sheaf of papers, an obscene even pornographic telephone directory and a dream.

(UEFA Champions League Final 2017)

the complete transformation of Greg Umar Abubakar Sidi

V (Dreaming during the last 10 minutes of the match) Greg is injected into the field. He tears down nets, plunders the stadium and reduces the spectators to mere thirsty, hopeless admirers. Within two minutes, he scores four goals thereby equalizing. By the 9th minute, Baldrog a cousin of Drogba on his maternal side, scores the winning goal as a result of his lay. By the 11th minute everyone in the world is witnessing the final transformation of Greg: He raises the UEFA Champions League Cup to the skies, a place somewhere between the earth and the region of light in heaven. The sun, is wonderfully in the background coloured golden with a dint of bronze. While I was sitting and smiling next to a stature of Sir Alex Ferguson, wishing I could still tip-toe stealthily, to steal a glance at her as she raises a half-full glass of St. Remy to her lips. That image I will impress on a painting, which will be the lead piece in my upcoming exhibition at the crazy world art gallery. Or better still, I will render it as an illusion in a graphic book soon to be entitled-Tapestry of Words.

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I am still smiling, staring at Greg in the skies and whispering to Ferguson. Are you a believer? Do you believe in salvation through soccer? Are you seeing? Do you believe in Truth? But I am also a little bit worried, fearful even, that after he returns to his hotel-the legendary hotel du lac in Madrid with his Chinese beauty, Lian Hu, after receiving a call on a mysterious number X8CB6780X from Havana, probably from a fan. And after making a re-affirmation of faith: I am the new God of Soccer, before a wall mirror while admiring his muscles. Greg may fall off to sleep only to wake up the next morning to discover most astonishingly, that he has metamorphosed into a giant bug. The stature of Ferguson beams to life, it smiles mockingly and whispers back: Oh, yes, this is The Complete Transformation of Greg. *JJ and Papillo are nicknames of the legendary Nigerian footballers Okocha and Kanu Nwanko, respectively.


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alone Lumi Morgan

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dawn// “Where I'm From" She takes out a big drawing pad and a black crayon and begins to draw and talk. In 1995, I was eight years old. In 1995, I knew I was Black, but I didn't know I was dark. My Mommy works at JC Penney Beauty Salon in the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, NH. Do you know the jingle? She sings the old JC Penney jingle. "JC PENNEY, DOIN' IT RIGHT!" My Mommy is more like a model. She grows people's hair. All people's hair: White, Asian, Spanish, but she also does all of the Black women's hair. I love watching her make people look beautiful. I help her out by cleaning. When I am not reading or drawing pictures in the

corner, I fold towels and sweep. And as reward, I get tons of Taco Bell from the Food Court. I love Taco Bell.

looking at me looking at the dryers looking at me

My Mom's co-workers don't know my real name. They all call me Janice.

and finally they all said, "Interesting."

They are so weird and�interesting. One woman has big hair and has finger nails THIS LONG! Today, I don't know what's wrong with me. Last week the salon got six new, carnation PINK hair dryers. They're beautiful. They placed them in the center of the salon, back to back. I figured I would help the salon out so that they could better organize. So, on every arm of every dryer chair, I wrote a command: "Only WHITE PEOPLE: Sit here." "Only BLACK PEOPLE: Sit here." "Only SPANISH PEOPLE: Sit here." "Only ASIAN PEOPLE: Sit here." And so on. I just wanted to help. When my Mom saw what I did, she didn't say much. She didn't even yell at me. Her co-workers kind of laughed at me. The boss and the co-workers gathered in the center of the salon looking at the dryers

This semi-autobiographical one-woman stage show stages the journey of Obehi, a (sub)urban twenty-something artist, and her attempts to negotiate and narrate multiple identities: Black female, Nigerian-American, Christian. When she finds herself recounting memories of home, school, and church in therapy and on stage, she discovers there is more to her identity than simply performing it. Fufu & Oreos stakes a claim for the power of voice in our search for self.

fufu & oreos Obehi Janice

I didn't get in trouble. I was a good kid. They replaced the chairs with Black ones because pen doesn't show up on Black chairs. Yesterday, this old lady with silver white hair told me where I came from. She looked like an angel, talking over me. She patted my hair, looking down on me while I was coloring a picture of myself near my mother's station. This was before I knew that white people weren't supposed to pat a Black person's hair like they were a puppy dog or something, but this time I didn't mind it, and I didn't know because I had beautiful smooth, relaxed hair. My Mommy did my hair every four weeks so it always looked nice and new. I nicknamed my hair Silky Smooth. I imagined that I was one of the Black girls on the box relaxers they sell at CVS. She patted my Silky Smooth hair � OLD WHITE LADY You have beautiful skin and beautiful hair.

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dawn// OBEHI/JANICE Thank you! OLD WHITE LADY What's your name? OBEHI/JANICE Ummm. Janice? OLD WHITE LADY Janice. That's a beautiful name. (to JANICE's mother) Rose, she has beautiful skin and beautiful hair. Did you know that?

She looks at the back and the palm of her hand. They are two different colors. She finishes her drawing and shows the audience a portrait of herself. Black skin, Black eyes, Black lips, Black braids. fufu. A staple dish of West and Central Africa. In Nigeria, it's made from fermented and then pounded cassava. oreo. "America's Favorite Cookie." It's black on the outside and white on the inside.

(to JANICE, patting her hair) Do you want to know where you come from? OBEHI/JANICE Sure. OLD WHITE LADY Well a long time ago, your people used to be my skin color. Then one day the sun shone really bright over your country, Africa. Because the sun was so bright and strong, their skin turned dark and smooth, like yours, see? Do you understand? OBEHI/JANICE Uhhhh, yeah? OLD WHITE LADY Good. Such a beautiful, smart little girl.

This semi-autobiographical one-woman stage show stages the journey of Obehi, a (sub)urban twenty-something artist, and her attempts to negotiate and narrate multiple identities: Black female, Nigerian-American, Christian. When she finds herself recounting memories of home, school, and church in therapy and on stage, she discovers there is more to her identity than simply performing it. Fufu & Oreos stakes a claim for the power of voice in our search for self.

fufu & oreos Obehi Janice

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surface Tegbe Obaitan

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He sprinted for the shadows, heart pounding, and crouched behind a junkster, trying not to breathe too noisily. The overwhelming stench from the junkster was all around him. It had been weeks since the last collection vehicle had bothered to come all the way down to the Surfacethe lower reaches of the colony. He sensed rather than saw the figures that came to stand at the entrance to the alley. He shrank further into the shadows, listening hard for onward footsteps. If they came down the alley, he was a goner. He doubted he could evade the Mithri'ka at close quarters- not a second time. He squeezed his eyes shut, wincing as something slimy ran over his foot- too petrified to utter a sound. �Did you hear that�" one of them asked. "Probably just a mutarat. Whole place is full of them. He's not here, let's go" another growled and stalked off, footsteps ringing down the metal walkway.

Ad'ith waited in silence and eventually heard another pair of footsteps shuffling after the first, at a quick pace. He listened hard for a few more minutes, clutching the vial around his neck tightly. When he was sure he was alone, he slid noiselessly from shadow, cautiously ventured to the mouth of the alley, and headed north at a brisk run, toward freedom. It was 3275 A.D. A millennium and a half before, a huge asteroid collided with earth, severely damaging its atmosphere. Gases had bled, and boiled off , oceans submerged huge swaths of continents and weather patterns had been in chaos for decades. The vast majority of land became uninhabitable, and billions died, but the wealthy families and corporations were able to retreat to a small slice of land in subSahara, out of the path of the ravaging eco-disaster, and to start afresh, building a new government and economy. The first century had been hard on the less-privileged. Those fortunate (as it seemed initially) to have made it to safety were thinned out in time- by hunger, disease, and total anarchy, before things levelled off.

surface Tegbe Obaitan

The Coalition had eventually entrenched some sanity. Functional colonies were set up, industries rebuilt, but as crude oil supplies ran dangerously short after a century, desperation bubbled up again. Until the accidental discovery of a new metal deep within the earth while fruitlessly hunting the dregs of crude, Hansen, , came up with a simple and elegant solution to provide cheap clean energy. Only it wasn't so cheap. Mithrium was very, very rare. Ad'ith slipped past another two sentries patrolling the entrance to the industrial complex and found another patch of shadows to crouch in while watching the massive steel gates patiently. Floodlights lit up the entire area, moving slowly in intersecting arcs. There was no way he would be able to cover that distance unseen, He should have been heading down the valley to safety by this time, but the intensity of the manhunt had slowed him down. He began to despair of ever getting out. He briefly contemplated giving himself up just so it could all be over. The shift to a Mining economy was rather abrupt following this discovery and gradually the elite constructed higher and higher housing, removed from the noise and mining of the teeming surface. As time passed, the

societal class system continued to evolvethis time based on how far above the surface one lived- the bureaucrats below the elite, and various other professions cascaded all the way down to the surface. Mithrium was power, and the elite mine-owners hoarded it feverishly. A few grams of the precious metal could transform the life of a surface dweller forever. Burnt in the cheap and ubiquitous Hansen reactor, it could provide clean energy for years, and was worth a fortune on the barter market. The Elite would rather remain elite, and provided just enough Mithrium, and hope, for surface dwellers to eke out an existence. Hard, dangerous mining work was the best paying for those born into harsh Surface life, and ensured a steady supply of willing workers. This of course also led to a need for Mithri'ka, specially trained to police the mining complexes, and make sure not a drop of Mithrium went missing. Miners who dared to steal even a nanogram were swiftly and terribly dealt with, to stamp out thoughts of future attempts. This didn't prevent the occasional desperado, but none had gotten away with it. Until now. His attention snapped back to the gate. A cargo vehicle honked impatiently on the other side, its driver probably eager to discharge his


dawn// cargo of nightshift miners, and return for the night. After a short pause, one guard came out of the sentry post and stood by a small side gate. He could hear the heavy magnets on the gate hiss slightly as they were released by switch. The miners were brought through in a straggling line. They hadn't opened the large gate- he wouldn't be able to slip out unseen. The new class system suited the elite, and newer policies trapped people where they were. Dissent was often fatal- Protesters were swiftly suppressed, their families made examples of. Lower castes seethed, but what could they do? Survival came first He could see the line of miners Mithri'ka patrols and crisscrossing Mecha-vehicles dotting the floodlit arena. He looked more closely at them. One of the stumbling shapes looked familiar. Right on time! The shape glanced over suddenly right at the patch of darkness where he was, two hundred meters off, and locked eyes with him, even though he was sure he was invisible. Then Mered'ith looked away, moved a few more steps and began screaming. His heart sank. He thought he'd convinced her. He closed his eyes in despair. But when he opened them, to his relief, she was pointing to the far end of the industrial complex, away from him, gesticulating wildly. A couple of guards stepped close to her and conferred with her for a few moments. One of them lifted his radio to his mouth and gradually the

surface Tegbe Obaitan

organised chaos that was the manhunt swarmed from the shadows, moving quickly and purposefully towards where she had pointed. He glanced at the gatehouse, but whoever was in there obviously had no intention of leaving. He saw Mered'ith glance there too, hesitate, lean forward to whisper to the miner in front of her, and then collapse to the ground in a heap. He watched in fascination as the other miners huddled around her. Some backed away uncertainly, but others began to wail loudly. The last sentry at the gate stepped closer for a look, and then shouted something through the comms unit of the gatehouse. The door creaked open and a guard appeared at the top step, surveyed, and then hurried into the scene below. As soon as both guards stepped into the semi-circle formed by the miners, they closed in on them, and a silent struggle began. Ad'ith looked at the unmanned gate. It was now or never. A few meters stood between him and freedom, freedom from the life he had been born into. He hurried out into the open and sprinted over to the now silent group of miners. He briefly embraced some of the Resistance sub-leaders beside the dead Mithri'ka and then stretched his hand out to the still supine Mered'ith. She pulled herself upright, and gave him a fierce hug. "I never doubted you Ad'ith". He gave her a crooked smile. For one second he hadn't been sure about that. But no need to let her know. "Score one for the resistance eh?"

The whine of mecha-engines became audible, and a few people glanced up, but most were staring at the vial around his neck in fascination, hardly breathing as the milky metal swirled inside. Whispers travelled down the line. The rest were beginning to realise that they were looking at the 'Shadow of Hope', fabled leader of the resistance. He looked round at the few brave loyal people he had met with for months, and hatched this plan with, in secret. Many would die for what had just happened, but looking at them, his heart swelled. They faced their fate stoically, willing to do it to give hope to their children, and their children's children. Grasping Mered'ith's hand, he sprinted past the still open gate and guardhouse cameras and into the darkness, not once looking back. There was an Elitocracy to overthrow.

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we took it on the road Jide Odukoya

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the death of it

India's caste system is made to ďŹ t into four basic hierarchical varnas (Sanskrit for 'colours', sometimes translated as 'system'): Brahmans (priests), Kshatriyas(rulers/warriors), Vaishyas (traders) and Shudras (servile labourers). The ďŹ fth class, the Dalits/Harijans (Untouchables) is not included in the varnas, and is reputed to be of such 'impure' past lives that the Varna has completely rejected them. th

14 November, 2050- 10:00pm

the death of it Namrata Singh

There is a district in the town of Bihar- Kishanganj- where it all began, sixty-eight years ago, with the birth of a boy. There was no celebration because an extra mouth to feed did not call for jubilation. His mother had looked at her ordinary child, sorry that he had been born into this life.


dawn// Today, though, the district is alive with activity, celebrating that ordinary child. Sounds of beating drums and joyful screams fill the air. Roads are littered with glittering confetti. The night air implodes with the loud cracks of numerous fireworks. The sky is blotched with green, red and orange. Prasad stares longingly at the pile of firecrackers. He wants to light one, run and play with his friends in the street but Mama is punishing him for pilfering laddoosᶧ at the bazaar. He cannot remember their sweet taste and he doesn't want to. He is really sorry. Tears fill his eyes as he listens to his friends' joyful shouts. 24th May, 2013- 3:00pm The thick glob of saliva hit him square in the face, but Chand did not flinch. He continued sweeping the street as the boys moved away, eager to get away from the Untouchable. The Mumbai sun was at its peak, and he longed to sit under a shade. He scrubbed off the spit with a banana leaf. Beneath his eyelashes, he looked at the Kshatriyas who would kill him at the slightest provocation.

the death of it Namrata Singh

Chand made his way down the winding path, oblivious to the crisscrossing streams of faeces. He avoided the open, clear paths, wheeling his cart with dexterity; he could not aord to touch anyone. He did not wish to die today.

Sometimes for no reason at all, as they had done to his sister. Paralysed by fear, he had escaped Bihar thinking he'd find acceptance in Mumbai. He didn't. Those who Varna rejected were despised by all men. They were less equal than others. His stomach growled as he nibbled on the halfrotten apple. Where was the smiling white woman who brought him hot chapatis and paneerkoftaᶧ? She brought such sweet food yet spoke of things that confused him. All his years he had never heard of such love that she claimed existed. He scoffed, there was no such thing. She was a liar, but for the hot chapatis. Dharavi was a descent into the bellies of impoverishment, the huge blemish of Mumbai that the government sought to erase. The air was heavy with smoke, sweat and the incessant calls of traders. Chand made his way down the winding path, oblivious to the criss-crossing streams of faeces. He avoided the open, clear paths, wheeling his cart with dexterity; he could not afford to touch anyone. He did not wish to die today.

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He got to the mouth of the river and upturned his cart, emptying its contents. He watched as Apam Napatᶧ divided his treasures, the plastic bags remained floating but the apple core and heavier innards of Dharavi were his for the taking as they sank below the water. He thought about sweeping an extra plot, perhaps Masterji would add an extra Rs. 5 to his daily Rs. 15. His reverie was broken by the loud hubbub of heated voices. He made to get a clearer view, but was deterred by a young, sneering Brahman. He turned away then; he did not wish to die today. Pushing his cart, he continued his uphill journey. He heard her voice before he saw her, only this time, her soft voice bore anguish. He swerved, eyes locking onto hers. Her pale skin was marred with bruises. Sweat and blood darkened her brown hair and her blue eyes were cradled by deep, black welts. He had hoped she wouldn't go about telling everyone the utter nonsense she so strongly


dawn// believed in. He had tried to warn her but he knew she'd pay him no heed. Now she was going to die, it seemed. He could hear the sickening thud of stones as they hit her. He had to leave; he could do nothing to help. At that moment, their eyes met and a look of tranquillity slowly crossed her face. As she smiled at him memories from Kishanganj flooded in. He watched, for the second time as his fourteen year old sister was beaten. He looked on helplessly as Vijay and his friends took turns desecrating her. Lastly, the smell of his beloved sister's charred flesh assailed his nostrils. They say 'It is but tiny drops that make an ocean'. A meshwork of all the antagonism he had faced, his impotence as his loved ones were killed and his fury at the tormentors of the one person who had showed him love, propelled Chand forward. At that moment, Varna ceased to exist. His past, present and future folded into each other. Today, for her, he was willing to die.

the death of it Namrata Singh

14 November, 2050- 10:05pm th

"Today, the nation celebrates the passing of Sir. Chand Dhasal. Nine years ago, Chand Dhasal and his wife, Catherine perished in a car crash, leaving behind young Prabhu, their only daughter. Details surrounding the crash remain a mystery. In a surprise turn of events that eventually catapulted him into the spotlight, Chand recklessly saved American slum missionary, Catherine Stewart from an irate Hindu mob. The Hindus were completely thrown by the gall of the young 'Untouchable' who addressed them. Stunned by this ground breaking affront, they had remained dazed long enough for the arrival of state police. It is still disputed whether it was the element of surprise or the weight of Chand's words that saved both their lives. Dhasal was a powerful wielder of words, and successfully weaned the hearts of men to embrace equality and do away with the age-old caste system.

He collaborated with the Dalit Christian Movement, revolutionizing Dharavi, then India's largest slum, into the mega-city it is today. In 2020, Chand became the first Dalit in history to be appointed as Indian Prime Minister. During his tenure, empowerment through educational reforms broke the cycle of poverty amongst Dalits. Overall literacy rates shot up from 42% in 2013 to 98%, proving to Indians that indeed their greatest problem had been the inhumane social stratification. Today, the term Dalit has become redundant. According to John Warwick, then U.S. Secretary of State: 'Chand Dhasal showed through his humility and service that all men are indeed equal. A prime minister that lived amongst the poor till they were no longer poor speaks of a leader with ethereal vision. He showed us the essence of humanity'. Chand Dhasal was…." Prabhu switched off the screen, her eyes coming to rest on Prasad. He reminded her so much of Papa, she wished they were here with her. Blinking

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her tears away, she picked up the firecrackers, she could not deny him this joy. They had a life to celebrate, mother and son.


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the Groom

“Maa jo sibi to wu e Maa jo sibi to wu e Nigba too yawo lowo Baba enikan Maa jo sibi to wu e" They egged him on his dance. After all, he had borrowed money

from no one's father, they said. Ade turned round, sweeping the floor more with his flowing agbada, and showed them a few more of his prepared moves. It was his day. The wedding he'd been preparing for for months was coming to fruition. "Ade, no rival o No rival" The traditional wedding hosts that conjured these songs

the groom Rolayo ‘Mide Williams


dawn// sounded like they had gone through special training and had been handed certificates after mastering the skill of altering popular medleys to suit the events, names and vanities involved e a c h w e e k . None of that mattered though. He was having his day in the sun. He threw some thousand Naira notes in the air, again causing the women t o c h a n g e t u n e y e t a g a i n . "Maa jo sibi to wu e..." Oh, the irony. The song mocked him but he was too drunk on the sounds of the bata drum. He owedseveral people, in fact- two banks, his big sister and half the friends there to prostrate with him. It didn't really matter, as long as he looked good in front of his in-laws. A fine man, and a banker, a degree from overseas... He did have to represent. He had been one of the most eligible bachelors in Lagos- until some minutes ago. How could he come here and not show what he was made of? He had another wad of hundred pieces tucked in his inner trousers. That was for his wife when she knelt before him with her head covered. He hoped the photographer would get several good shots; he had not paid six figures to see unnecessary guests in his wedding album. But he had to find a way of

the groom Rolayo ‘Mide Williams

making sure all the notes were intact by the end of the spraying session. To reduce the amount he would have to refund. They were going to make it back, all this money. She had hinted him about all her uncles and dad's friends in power, and how her father had sent them invitation cards with bottles of champagne, to ensure that they honoured the occasion. And they wouldn't come empty handed, of course. He smiledďż˝ And even if they did didn't make enough, they would survive the first six months to a year while trying to settle the bank and family loans. Wasn't that part of the vows they were going to take tomorrow? "For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer"? She would thank him later. But till then, he would enjoy today and dance all those pesky thoughts away. It was his day. Tomorrow could wait.

61


dawn//

I waited Patiently With hope To see you

birth

Jane Agomuoh

J o y bubbled up my soul At the movement of your toes Heavy arms ached to hold You, in linen clothes

I waited, Eager, with Sheer longing To see you

To know how you looked Would you like to cook? Have an itch in your feet? Or have love just for books? I waited, Expectant, Heart throbbing To see you

62

You came Screaming as you did Kicking at your bid Full of life And the promise Of a thousand tomorrows.


dawn//

63

The Book of

Jamiu

the book of Jamiu Yinka Elujoba

My name is Jamiu. I am thirteen years old I have this little red book where I hide my thoughts and words that come to me. The words and I am a 'vulcanizer'. . . And appear to me, suddenly, like LASTMA agents out of nowhere, demanding dues they don't

The above image, submitted by Jibola Lawal, ďŹ rst appeared in Klorofyl #3 page 95

deserve. And I punish them by writing them down.


dawn// My Oga would go ballistic if he found out that I know how to read and write. Yes, ballistic. One of the BIG words I learnt from the old soldier that used to beg for alms at the edge of the street. That was before a trailer without brakes ran into him and the woman that sells tiro. I used to love her daughter Selimo too, before a strange man came and took her away. All I have to remind me of Sergeant Tintin are his rusty helmet and torn boots. And all I have to remind me of Selimo is a kiss, stolen in the dark, behind Baba Sadia's Molue bus. It was that night too that I found out that Baba Sadia actually lives in his Molue. And he would have broken Selimo's pretty head, or mine, with his 15 inches spanner had I not spotted him faster. . . Oh. I have run off again. Yes, it is a mistake that I know how to read and write. Usually, children from homes like mine go to Government schools, and some get something else from education, e.g. pregnant, marijuana, e.t.c. Unluckily for me, my parents are poorer than usual, and cannot even afford to pay for notebooks and the little expenses a Government school would require. So my father, after one of his nights of cheap tajutaju at Mama Pupa's shed came home one day and screamed 'Jamiu, Vulcanizer l'omo'. Then he fell on my mother and beat her. As usual. . . Perhaps, more unluckily for me, my oga's shop is in the middle of a motor park and a market.

the book of Jamiu Yinka Elujoba

Oshodi market. So I am exposed everyday, to this life that Sergeant Tintin told me was a 'corroder of futures'. It took me two weeks to find out what 'corroder' means. When I found out it made me cry and cry for plenty plenty days. My future will wear away gradually-it took me three days to find what that means too-like the tubes in okada tires? I tried to tell my mother, but she just smiled and said I should be a good errand boy for my Oga and maybe one day I will be a big vulcanizer. . . But I don't want to be a vulcanizer. . . I don't want to be a vulcanizer. I want to be a writer. I want to write of big places I will never go to. I heard in Britain, the people speak through their noses. I want to write of moments I will never have. I heard rich people take their children to places with swings and plastic horses. I want to write of people I'll never meet. I heard of a strong man named Mandela, and how he set his people free. I want to write. . . Ten days ago, when my Oga went to Ijaniki to get Agbo for his stubborn back pains, I was alone in the workshop and a white man came to fix his tire. When I wanted to return the faulty one into his booth I saw a box filled with red cards. I took one out of curiosity and let the man leave before removing it from my mouth to see what was on it. It read 'Bill Howards, Senior Publisher, Billoway books' with an address under it. The next day when I went to fetch water from Mummy

64

Jummy's tap, I asked her what 'Publisher' means. She laughed at me and said, 'what use will one ever be to you? Publishers only deal with educated people, or more correctly, writers'. . . Today my one thousand three hundred and fifty naira is complete. Today I have a red book, and a red card. So I will take a BRT bus. And I will go to Victoria Island. And I will go to Billoway books. And I will run through the gates with my thin legs. I will run faster than a Jincheng okada. And I will enter Oga Bill Howard's office. And I will look him in the eye and say. . . I am Jamiu. And I am thirteen years old. And I want to be writer. . .

Notes (for non-Nigerians): 'Vulcanizer' actually doesn't exist as a word in the broader English language. It exists instead as people whose business is fixing tires in Nigeria. LASTMA agents are traffic agents on Lagos roads, some of them extremely corrupt. An 'oga' is another word for 'Boss' or 'Master'. 'Jamiu, Vulcanizer l'omo' is twisted slang for 'Jamiu the Vulcanizer'. An 'okada' is a motor bike. 'Agbo' is a local concoction of various types, usually liquid, taken as medication. 'Molue' is a rickety and excessively large bus, used for public transport.


dawn//

65

Whose idea of fun was this? It all started, as always, with the adverts. Then the mandatory arguments. The talking heads called it groundbreaking, another blow struck for instant communication, world flattening, yadayada. Conservatives advised caution, and then were labelled Neanderthals. Eventually we all accepted it. So the new dimension of social media moved in with us... We became a walking heap of instantly communicated emotions- the last frontier of privacy was breached with nothing more than a sign-in ID and a password. Naked and ashamed. The need to communicate, to be heard instantly, understood constantly, was ascribed to us, and we accepted it, without question. The question "where was this need over the decades?" was never asked. "How on earth did the cavemen ever survive with just face to face communication?!" (Maybe that's why they were cavemen!) In the race to the future, no questions were asked. THE FACE became reality: a 24 hour real time update- "as you think it, let the world see it". We laughed when we saw that Slogan. Dayo swore to break himself if it ever took (Dayo's always swearing to do that anyway, so we just agreed that both this new fad and our good friend were equally ridiculous). Poetic spirits of the last millennium would write "solitude is my prison". Right now, you wish! An outside observer would have seen our threshold for embarrassment increasing, our "shockability" dropping. I knew, but I needed it too. It was important to me, to see what they were thinking and ridicule it, and hold myself as a much loftier thinker with deep thoughts only fellow sages could comprehend. To scoff at the majority of posts on FACE (yes, we still call them posts) and say things like "this is an indictment of the value of all human erudition" - sounds nice, doesn't it? We know it will continue. We know it will eventually kill huge parts of us. �ut in some masochistic �Darwinian-logical way, we have all made the decision. Maybe whatever it kills never deserved to survive anyway. Sent (of course) from my iPad.

naked

Babajide Henry Adeyefa


#LetterBox

dawn//

66

Dear‌umm‌umm. Well, I'm actually not sure how I should refer to you. 'Denise-senior' doesn't seem appropriate and I am pretty sure you will be averse to being called ma'am. I cannot call you 'Denise', for while yes, that is indeed your name, it happens to be my name too and this is my letter so I am keeping it. You are me in the future and it seems a little weird that I would write to you but I've actually got a couple of things to say and I'd better get started; how I refer to you shouldn't hinder me. So: Dear future-me, I am not entirely sure what you're doing reading this. Yes, yes, I know that I am writing it to you and courtesy infers that you should read it but remember that I am young and what seems like a good idea to me might fall apart later on. From experience, however, I know that we tend to look at the past and rummage through keepsakes either because we are bored or (and most commonly) because we are hurt. The urge to look back at a time when things appeared more stable can become overwhelming in situations like those and I am truly sorry that you are there. The past is

mail from the past Denise Kavuma

the only dead thing that smells sweet, like some random British poet once said, and so what you're doing is only human. I will be your shoulder to lean on now, so you can continue to look at me in your past for a while as I look at you, my future; perhaps we'll both learn something. If in fact you are bored, then I certainly hope that you've actually fulfilled all those dreams, tiny as they seem now. Remember the


#LetterBox

dawn//

You probably remember little about the time you wrote this but know that you were scared. cooking lessons and how you'd promised that you'd get better culinary skills so that your children wouldn't get heartburn every time they even thought about your food? Or how about the drawing- you'd wanted to move from doodling cartoons to basic portraits? I know this because I made that promise yesterday as a matter of fact. So many other things, like reading more paperbacks and getting better at the piano and spending less time on the internet. Let's of course not forget these several extra pounds I carry with me all over the place; I sure hope you did something about it because, well, I am simply too busy writing this to even think about exercise. If you're hurting, however, I know just the words that can help. You probably remember little about the time you wrote this but know that you were scared. The next step in my life currently is a daunting one and I am not sure how I will make it. There you are however; having gone through it, and that gives me hope. It is this very same hope that has brought us through more hurdles than we'd care to recount and it will indeed take us further. Remember as well that you're alive and healthy and I need no more proof that God is certainly on my

mail from the past Denise Kavuma

side, for life is what he has given us and life is what we shall seize! The future has never been certain, not for any man but there you are, in my future, living it up (or down depending on how you are feeling but living nonetheless, and that's enough for me). So, future Denise, don't let whatever has gotten you down kill you inside. We have done that on several occasions and it has changed us beyond recognition. I mean really, practically no one else outside the family believes we were once a cheerful, innocent girl and that's getting rather ridiculous! The joy and serenity from the simplest of things that has kept us alive all these years is still out there. From communion with God to seeing sick kids get better and of course those amazingly beautiful sunrises. You remember those magnificent horses you rode that one time and the love that made you feel more alive than you've ever felt? That is what gets us through. Visit mum more often, and don't hesitate to tell the family that you love them. Guard less; always be on time and smile more (I don't want end up with

numerous wrinkles after all.) If this has not helped then I hope that my naivetĂŠ at the very least, has made you smile nevertheless. I wonder if you recall that sweet, innocent girl who had just emerged from her teens?- that young lady who had not yet tasted of the bitterness of life. I sometimes wonder what she would say if she saw me now; if she had written a letter out of her short-sighted, goodwilled heart, would I take her seriously? Well, that's not the question with us; I know you are not taking me seriously but well, even that is enough for me. I may not be able to write as well as you probably do right now and I cannot possibly fathom how you've changed or what you're going through, but I know that there is always hope and you're my beacon of it; you exist, after all. It's not much, but well, what do you expect from a young, less mature you? Your thoughts are my thoughts, and through that, we have a connection; me with you, my future and you inevitably with yours, ours. Keep looking ahead; we're not done yet. But seriously, do something about the cooking.

67


dawn//

In eyes above and below, Shadows glare, From a future that has not given Us right to call it our own. But we have married into its family. we have shared its bed. The winds of tomorrow blow wild Like disease. Our hands veined at the pillars, For the Merchants of Destiny And Curators of Fate. How will the land lie? Will our souls billow like tattered kites in Mauritian wind? Or we will stand like the feet of our fathers, And lay beside women we besought?

We still carry Yesterdays on our backs,

yes-ter-day Joshua Segun-Lean

nor circumstance, Tomorrow is only the outstretched arm of Today, Giving to us a gift, of ďŹ re.

68


dawn//

n r o t r a W Me

The cold breeze fingers the sheer of my shirt and finds the shortness of my sleeve. The bus comes whistling. Pulling, I climb the ramp to see a face: strong angular jawline, hint of a beard and dark blue eyes on a boy. Who reminded me of a man who called me Snow. His clear blue eyes had always emptied me with love. We walked through birch trees and up wooden hills, hands intertwined, barefoot. The wind tickled my skirt as if to carry me away and puffed his black fedora into the vast tide. Which came back with whistling trains and voices announcing destination ports. We had our time. His hands slipped from mine. I had a thought to hold on a little more, but lost the moment. He had come to me a man but left a warrior. I, lady, knew my place: to wait. He returned in a box. The ramp jostles me. My stop is near. The bus comes to a stop. I step off, glancing to the right. I don't have to wait too long— a little red-haired freckled boy runs and flings himself at me screaming "She's here." He's my face, only perfect. "Justin, you don't wanna hurt grandma!" She Says as I follow behind with the rest.

wartorn me Murewa Olubela

69


PhotoRoom

under the city Bola Famuyiwa

dawn//

70


dawn//

There are a thousand and ten linkages to you

And between one turn of your helix and mine

Crowded along the spine of my DNA

Lie all the nucleases I fed myself

And in my mind the diameter

Yet in the hope of inducing a degradation

Of our double helices thin gradually, tend to zero

Of the acridines of your eye reflected in mine

Wide groove and narrow alike are one

That have found a home

By the site-directed mutagenesis

Nestling in our heart of hearts

degrading reason

Do you recall our last Zoology class?

And the length of a citron of emotion is

Hey, I think I like you.

A thousand and ten thousand Ă…ngstrom, infinitely long

there are a thousand and ten linkages to you Olukemi Lawani

71


dawn// He speaks about her in present tense; like the present still holds her presence and there is a future somewhere with her in it. I want to yell at him. I want to shake it out of him. I want to scream at him until his ears are bleeding and the tears he is yet to shed ďŹ nally begin to fall. But I listen instead. I listen to his love for her that will live forever in the timbre of his voice. I listen and sometimes I lay my head against his chest. Other times, I hold his hand and let him talk about a dead woman as if she were still in the room with us. 'Papa, what will you have for dinner?' I ask, breaking his otherworldly stare 'Ada, stop fussing. I am a grown man and will let you know if I am hungry.' He answers, lifting up his gray head to smile at me.

yam & ďŹ sh peppersoup Kiah

72

She comes to me later that night. I open my eyes and there she stands, as beautiful as the last time I saw her. It was at the bus park as I boarded the bus that would take me into the future. A future we had dreamed of together. A future beyond the borders of the village, into the realms of learning. A future she had since left me to face alone. 'I miss you Nne'm' I whisper. She points in direction of my father's room and shakes her head. I wake up and run to the room; my footsteps muted by the mud floor. He stands in the middle of the room, a rope in his hand and a goodbye in his eyes. He stands broken and lost. In the past.

I smile back.

'Papa!' I scream and run to him. 'You want to leave me too, eh Papa? You want to leave me? For whom? For what? If you go, then I go too. If you want to kill yourself, kill me first!' I yell at my father.

'You have your mother's eyes. She always says how she can't wait to carry your children on her back. You must be sure to bring a man home soon.' He says winking at me.

The rope falls from his hand and he clutches me instead. We stay like that as dawn breaks, my head on his chest, his tears receding with the streams of light that filter into the room.

I squeeze his hand a little tighter and join him in his blank stare. Maybe if I sit still long enough, I will see beyond the cold mud grave that sits in front of our home. Maybe if I follow my father's stare, together we will summon life back into the woman that was our soul, our heart, our present.

'Ada!' He calls to me when all the shadows of darkness have found their way home. 'Papa!' I answer. 'Yam and fish pepper soup sounds good.' The present begins.


#folio

dawn// I'm rising, Lord Like the sun that Finds a seat always In the heart of The sky So are your mercies The sky never turns Away its frequent Visitor Likewise you never leave So are your mercies Like the sky, So the heart Like the sun So my heart One in the other Will ďŹ nd a home For always, the other In the one, Amen.

I’m Rising i'm rising Olukemi Lawani

73


contributors//

C1 Klorofyl

contributors

Pemi Aguda Pemi Aguda is from Lagos, Nigeria. She is an architect during the day and a writer always. She writes flash fiction and short stories. She is an admirer of Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore.

Joshua Segun-Lean

Rolayo

Sũtra

Abayomi Ogunwale

Follow JSL on Twitter @_Nebular_

Rolayo 'Mide Williams is a soon-to-be dentist, a writer when inspired, non-apologetic Christian and wannabe chef to a certain few. Rolayo shares her thoughts on her blog www.heartstringsandkeynotes.wordpress.com

S. is a medical studentmusician-writer sort of creature with a passion for Christ and shared healing through literary work, story-telling and art. A British-Ghanaian currently living in the UK, she has been writing for as long as she can remember. You can follow her blogs youngthatiam.tumblr.com and acuriousrevolition.wordpre ss.com and on twitter @iamSutra.

is a writer, medical doctor, poet and social commentator. His articles have appeared in the Sentinel Literary quarterly, Subjective Substance, First editions, the Effectual magazine and the Sun newspaper amongst others. He loves a good read, and is in search of the perfect ‘short story’.

Tunji Olalere Tunji Olalere wrote from Jos, Nigeria, where sandbags and soldiers punctuate life.


contributors//

Dami Ajayi

Denise Kavuma

Dami Ajayi's poetry pamphlet, Daybreak, was released in 2013.

C2 Klorofyl

Namrata Singh

Denise Kavuma is a simple soul stuck in a dramatic life, who started penning her thoughts at 12 years. Since then, she's accumulated a number of skills and quite a bit of craziness too. She's a doctor currently working in Uganda and living life one eyebrow-raising moment after another.

Singh Namrata is a girl seeking to be a tool in the hands of God. Writing is one of the many ways she finds this expression.

Wole Talabi Wole Talabi is an engineer, avid reader and a professional dabbler. He writes and edits forTNCNG.COM.

Tegbe Obaitan

Yinka Elujoba

Kiah

is a physician, a proud University of Ibadan alumnus and a graduate student at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an avid fantasy and science fiction reader and hopes that one day, he'll finish at least one of the numerous novels he has begun.

is an ordinary guy with spasms of madness in between. You can find him on twitter @yinkaelujoba.

Kiah was the winner of TNC's first 'The Writer' competition. She moved to the US from Lagos a few years ago, is still getting used to the idea of snow, and cheese in everything and misses Lagos, every day.

Olubunmi Familoni

Bunmi Familoni resides, rants and writes in the aged village of Ibadan. He is steadfastly dedicated to littering the internet with pieces of colour-full fiction, and has written for various online magazines. Some of his stories have been published in East African literary journals such as Soryzetu and Storymoja Africa. He is currently working on a collection of short, sharp stories, while unfolding a series of irreverent tales of boyhood, Pieces of Rags, on Naijastories, an online literary forum.


contributors//

C3 Klorofyl

Jide Adeyefa Bola Famuyiwa

Emmanuel Onimisi Emmanuel Onimisi is a writer and cartoonist.

Obehi Janice

is an Ibadan-based Medical Practitioner and aspiring psychiatrist. His passions include Health Economics, Arsenal FC, Mathematics and his book, 'uncompleted works', which may someday leave the conďŹ nes of his Ipad.

Lumi Morgan

Peter-Ben Anifalaje

Fufu & Oreos is semi-autobiographical and stages the journey of Obehi, a (sub)urban twenty-something artist, and her attempts to negotiate and narrate multiple identities. It stakes a claim for the power of voice in our search for self.

Tolu Oloruntoba was born in Ibadan, where he was trained as a physician, and captured by words.

Tunde Yusuf

David Olamide Craig

Umar Abubakar Sidi

Pastor. Physician. Photographer. Poet. Playwright.

a writer living in Lagos. His creative works have appeared in Sentinel Nigeria, Jenda and elsewhere. His debut collection of poems, Striking the Strings will be released soon.


contributors//

Olukemi Lawani

Osemhen Akhibi

Olukemi is a trainee-surgeon, poet, and increasingly, editor slash literary critic. She lives and works in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Murewa Olubela

Rasaq Malik Gbolahan Rasaq Malik Gbolahan is a young Nigerian writer who believes in the use of writing, speciďŹ cally poetry, to bring out changes in his society. He is a student of the English department, University of Ibadan. His poems have been published in Sentinel Online Magazine, Nantygreens, and the Blueprints Newspaper.

C4 Klorofyl

Jane Agomuoh

Osemhen Akhibi currently lives in Port Harcourt and is still a lover of alternative rock, books and FC Barcelona. She blogs at www.eurekanaija.com

Jane Agomuoh lives and works in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, a scientist by training but an avid lover of the arts, beaches, photography and meeting new people.

Tosin Gbogi

Eleanor Bennet

Olufunmi Oyatogun

An award-winning photographer and artist whose art has been exhibited globally. She has won ďŹ rst place with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature's Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. http://eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com/

Oluwafunmilayo Oyatogun is the founder and CEO of Bailiff Africa, a youth-run platform to promote environmental sustainability initiatives starting in Nigeria and eventually extending throughout Africa. You may also follow Bailiff Africa on Twitter @BailiffAfricaand join in weekly Bailiff Issues using the hash tag #BailiffIssues.


PHOTO CREDITS Stock Photos on pages 37, 42, 48-49, 57-59, 60-61, & 65 provided by ImageTrolley_ http://imagetrolley.com Photo used on pages 63-64 was provided by Jibola Lawal. Illustration on page 13 by Torti Ethan Obasi_ @tortiobasi


next issue_

nomads

See�ing a light in the world, or some comfort, or some reason, or a meaning� �oving, or moved, refugee or explorer, we are migrant. Chasing opportunity, fleeing hardship, or surrendering to adventure� we are nomads. We travel- down rabbitholes, up space shuttles, or commuting on the bus- for money, for glory, or for a home, or simply going from A to B, just because. So who's really actually from anywhere? Why do we go? From or to what do we run? Where do we go? Where could, or should, we go?

Klorofyl Magazine Isssue 4_ tomorrows  

A peek into tomorrows, imagined and real, in literary and graphic art. Pdf, 79 pages. [Best view- single page, full screen.]

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