Is this why we have nightmares?

Sometimes,

When I stand up on a rooftop at night,

And watch the lights go out,

One after the other / I ask myself,

Are we really going to sleep?

Is this why we have nightmares?

In the days leading up to July 10, 2017,

Some boys in the Abule Ado area of Lagos state were disturbing Obiamaka,

She was just 14,

They would catcall on her way to school and whistle on her way back,

She ignored them like she had been taught to,

She told her mother who thought to herself,

‘Boys will be boys’ ignore them,

On July 10, 2017, those boys climbed the fence into Obiamaka’s compound,

She was home alone,

They raped her and killed her,

She was just in JSS3,

Obiamaka’s killers have not been brought to justice,

Everyone in this room knows a story like this,

So sometimes when I stand on a rooftop at night and watch the lights go out,

One after the other, I ask myself, are we really going to sleep?

Is this why we have nightmares?

A Nigerian man on Twitter says – Men want peace, but women want love,

If women can give men peace, then men will give women love,

Who told this man that women are born with peace,

So they do not need it too,

And how many wars have women led us into?

But I do not engage such men,

Because when they say they want peace, what they want is a woman who does not speak,

Even when a boot is placed on her neck,

Even when a knife is passed through her heart,

Even when she is raped in the back alley on her way from school,

They keep using women’s bodies as soundproofing for the ignorant bubbles they live in,

Well I say fuck your peace and fuck your quiet,

Fuck your bubble and I hope it chokes you,

Our daughters are being abused from the streets to the classroom,

The pastors want their bodies for healing,

The professors want their bodies for pass marks,

The priests want their bodies as vessels for their gods,

How long will they be martyrs?

How long will they put their bodies in the front line for your peace and quiet?

So I say thank you,

To the women who refuse to keep quiet,

Who refuse to give peace,

Who ask the difficult questions and make everyone uncomfortable,

What is there to be comfortable about in a world where women cannot leave their drinks unattended at a party?

So sometimes, when I stand on a rooftop at night and watch the lights go out, one after the other,

I ask myself,

Are we really going to sleep?

Is this why we have nightmares?

It is easy to ignore,

Turn our eyes away from the fires,

And say in my own house,

We have enough water,

But one day you will have to teach your daughter to run when she sees,

Two men in a dark alley,

To avoid her own uncles,

And even if you do not have daughters,

Remember, the skin is not a wall,

Obiamaka’s screams will find their way in.

So sometimes, when I stand on a rooftop at night and watch the lights go out,

One after the other,

I ask myself,

Are we really going to sleep?

Is this why we have nightmares?

Is

this

why

we

have

nightmares?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *