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Èkò

Maybe one day, the ocean of life will wash me onto the shores of Western Nigeria and I’ll twist my tongue to learn their language.

I look forward to learning to speak like I’m learning to walk.

Crawling until my feet can comfortably grip the grains and stand in the beach sand, long enough to purge my blood of waina and yaji.

My ears anticipate hearing the beat of the language’s loud drums in the beautiful noise that comes with life in Lagos.

Face muscles growing accustomed to the ‘ye’ and ‘ah’ diphthongs ’til I can hold a heated conversation with a bus conductor.

At first, my tongue will definitely miss its steps and dance off-beat but eventually, I will become one with the rhythm and roll my eyes, tongue and hips with reckless abandon to the rhythm of the gangan drums.

Maybe then, I will also beat my aso-oke clad chest and chant, “Èkò o ni bajè” with the rest of the dancers.

One day. Soon. But until then, I am content with my half half English.


📷 Photo credits: @daviddosunmu @fotovangelist

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