Tuesday, 21 February 2017

How to Fall in Love with an African City - Gbenga Adesina

In time, you too will come to learn dear friend, the soft rustle,
Soft whoosh of affection for a city like a lover like a love song: Nairobi, Abuja, Dakar
throbbing in your ribs: Accra, Harare, Port Novo, carving a place for themselves, to nestle
In spite of yourself in the jar
of things you call loved.

I know eyes have their own memories and fears
and you come here seeking only the darkness you’ve been
promised. But come again to Abidjan friend, come to Yamoussoukro, come
to Kigali, to Luanda, to Lagos, where the city vowels sing to you, sing to you.
Sidewalks that are nations on their own. Yellow buses that write you into a story
Wi-Fi spots and shopping malls and smiles that warm your arms and strangers that become
friends in an instant. Grilled meats that introduce your tongue to you.

In time, you too will come to learn dear friend, the soft rustle, soft
Whoosh of affection for a city like a lover like a love song: Nairobi, Abuja, Kigali,
Dakar throbbing in your ribs. What it means for a city to hold you by the hands
and love you and lead you to places you’ve never been inside yourself
again and again at the junction of laughter.

Gbenga Adesina (born 1991) Nigeria
Source: Open Society Foundations

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