A poem by Aare Tunde Dawood-Akerele

(Tribute to my friends in the Diaspora)


Where are my childhood friends?

Fired by nostalgia, reminiscence

Memory would not forgive me

If I fail to remember that

We've shared a lot in the past


Scores of children cannot play for twenty years

What a bitter true!

This, we didn't want to hear

When we were teenagers

Never wished to miss any of my friends

For whatever reasons.


Childhood is an ineluctable stage 

No adult could afford to skip it

Then we're more than a score

Even up to hundred in the Lilliput 

We're brothers and sisters

Love reigned supreme

Dined and wined together

Hatred had no space.

But what a bitter truth!

Scores of children would not play for twenty years.


Ere Omode nko?

Played with sand

Built next for imaginary birds

Jaunts to the river

Swimming before fetching dirty water.

Boys acted like fathers

Fend for the family

And girls like mothers

Took care of the home

Backed effigy, dummy called baby

Others played kid's roles.

Scores of children cannot play for twenty years.

What a bitter truth!


What a sweet morning journey!

Going to school in group

Carrying slates and portmanteaus

Keeping food inside Fuji coolers

Singing and praying on the Assembly

This and that no one could ever forget 

Where are my childhood friends?


Inside the classroom

From poetry to subjects 

Fear of Oga's cane is the beginning of the day

Vernacular speaking is prohibited

A common slogan from the class captain

Tintinnabulation by the timekeeper

Break time must come and go

Not only for feeding

Children must play too.

Football was the main sport

For the male

Girls loved to go into talking

Discussing like parrot.

Scores of children could not play for twenty years.


After school hours

Christians went to 'singing'

Muslims must carry their tira to Alfa

Some helped in hawking

Some stayed in the kitchen

All must eat

Lead fowls, ruminants to their cages

Cats and dogs just begin their day.

Removed dry clothed from the rope 

Cleaned the shade,

Lite the lantern.

Scores of children could not play for twenty years.


It's time for Ere Ale.

Played different games

Night is the right period

After sunset, after supper

Within the family compound.

Scores of children could not play for twenty years.

What a bitter truth!


Nature did its bit

Many had died early in teen

Hibernating inside soil since then

Continue till the day of reckoning

Adieu! Adieu!! Adieu!!!


Economy played its on role

Several could not attend college

And Went to learn trade.


Education created classes

Ego set in

Complex brought discrimination

No more affinity.


Destiny is another factor

Distributed all to different destinations

Few flew to foreign farms

Searching for survival.


Marriage is a must

It took many ladies far away

Settled among the foreigners

Only to remember home once a while.

Oh! Where are my childhood friends?

Score of children could not play for twenty years.

What a situation no one can alter!

What a fate no one won't accept!

What a journey one must go!

What a life one must live!

Wishing my friends all the best

wherever they are

In whatever they do.

Tribute to my friends in the Diaspora