No Sidon Look
Let’s define a sitter, shall we?
No. Let’s paint one; visualize the sacrosanct action of sitting.
Let’s teach the young how to sit.
Let’s sit while teaching them.
A sitter knows life; enjoys joy.
Yes. Let’s figure out newer ways to plant our asses on chairs
Cheers! “The robber’s getting away.”
Who? Mazel-tov! “Our loot defeats the five-percenters, the ones with the whistles”
Shoot. D’abbord! The portrait of a man in a straightjacket—a greased palm, a scratched back, a sinister smile.
Few knew. Mmamma! To! Oshe! The man we cry for kills the children.
The man we pray for rapes the wives, and the young wives.
The man we yearn for prepares a round table and fills with kin.
The man we aspire to brainwashes the despondent and arms them with world-killers.
The man we know, we only know because he knows we sit.
We are dazzled by certain comeliness that pollutes society, and yet we are dazzled.
Beggars on mats shuffle through town with the swindling phonies who mimic them, and yet we still see beggars on mats.
The cries from the orphan homes deafen the air and fights for breathing space with the Instagram beep, the facebook chime, the twitter tweet, and the whatsapp buzz.
The cries of the displaced too.
And the enslaved, domestic and commercial.
It’s all about you.
The man that screams ‘change’ is stiller than an Egyptian obelisk.
The man that whispers ‘grace’ will pummel scores down with the brute of his fist.
The man that harps on ‘bout ‘faith’ confounds Janus with his multifacetedness.
The man asking you to ‘wait’ advances before you while you yet discover where the destination is.
Do you hear him?
Are you ready to speak now?
To speak, you must stand.
Because no one who ever said anything of meaning sat down.
No one who ever moved peoples with words ever observed.
No one who ever started revolutions watched the guns pass him by.
Because, to sidon look na to dey for middle of room, pipo go dey waka pass you like say you no dey.
To sidon look na to sign endorsement say make slavery continue.
Make 419 carry go.
Make yahoo yahoo de yakpa.
Make poor people dey find beta way to do tif tif
Make rich people dey pack our money dey load am inside house.
Na to gree make our teacher dem wey no sabi wetin dem de teach de carry chalk.
Na to pursue all the girls dem wey wan learn.
Na to bless wedding where groom na forty-sometin, bride na thirteen.
Na to see bad tin comot eye.
Who that character help?
No be you. No be me.
If you wan change as tins take be, begin de hear, begin de speak, de waka, de act.
If you want change, my brother, my sister,
No sidon look.
The poem above is the transcript for the first entry in my new personal podcast on soundcloud (The Bohemian Dilettante).
This poem was written and performed by yours truly, initially slated as an input for the BBC TalkYourOwn campaign #NoSidonLook.
It did not finally make it to publication, so I decided to use it to kick things off at The Bohemian Dilettante.
The poem speaks to the need for members of society to speak up when they see wrong, act right and correct it when they can, and become a little bit of a hero for the next neighbour beside you.
It uses Nigeria as a case study, because, well, I’m Nigerian.
Enjoy, and share
The track on soundcloud:
Photo credit: Bobbiblogger.wordpress.com