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