The Score

Two drowned kings once met on Death’s island,

a boat to share for them to steer for the shores of life or the bliss of heaven,

yet they fought each other on the sands of time to be the sole buccaneer towards life’s vanity,

knowing that neither would triumph, they tore the vessel apart.

Alas left with,

 purgatory for home and hell for company.

starved off their selfish love to a hating cycle,

they begged for a swift end from the bed of eternal torment they created,

but Death..

Death has never been known to be merciful 

He sailed to Life, grim with his task to deport more souls,

with Death, it’s never personal. 



She was jealous of my music, constantly worrying that I valued its taste,

more than I did her lips.

So she prayed for the words of affections she whispered in my ear

to hold sway than the rhythms of songs in the seesaw of my heart when they take wings.

A true thespian, but I hate her drama.

If only her man could see her now,

brewing a mug of hot tea and emotions for me,

he’ll probably leap on things and spill my Lipton.

She said I was a better liar than I was poet, more than she was a nympho in a demure lady’s skin.

The prelude to our duet intertwine as we drink a draught of oblivion in the peaceful lies,

we sleep in

and awake in dreams of lost blues.

Let that beat drop,
this may end but our symphony is as fluid as the soul,

even when we cease to exist,
cupid’s arrow in it’s countless cliches may never glaze our heel.

If it does,

 may our song expire with the glory of Achilles with a move-on partner,

insomnia for company and a late playlist at 3am.


The Sigh.


without searching,

we stumble upon the lyrics of an obscure song,

or a well worded sentence from the odd novel,

that describes us so perfectly that in them,

we feel a sense of ease and home belonging with or without life’s complexities.


Photography by Nadia Assad

No Care

She expected smiles filled with warmth and echoing laughter,

so loud that it would awaken and rival the joy of lunchtime in nursery school,

for in her mind, h
is textual attraction was the fuel that lit up her days more than her phone charger did.

Two blue ticks worthier than 50 greys,

late night convos laced with kinky words,

dressed up sexier than honeymoon lingerie.

She found solace in the drifting space of his words even if they were lies,

and his tongue took her to places that tornadoes could not when they touch down.

Selective amnesia for the half truths, because all she wanted was the moment with him


nothing else.


The Word. Poets.

We bleed in multi colors of timeless moments in the caverns of gold and coal of min’d thoughts,

Painting a canvas of emotions so bright that a dying star going supernova will blush as it kisses a black hole goodnight.

If and when the block kidnaps our muse,

We’ll chisel out of it’s prison bars and sculpt images better than Michaelangelo’s David.

From giants weeping to kids laughing.

Let our words be the slingshot that serenades their hearts and lighten the burdens of the daily hell of life,

Or the stress of living morally to win a lottery ticket to heaven.


Choose hope or wallow in the despair of pain in its dreamlike inception,
 or embrace the loving escape of the refuge we breathe into existence with our writings.

In a universe that began with a Word.

 Let there be Poets.

And there was.


Peasant Dreams

In an alternate warped life, I must have been a farmer’s son,

who nodded and hummed in tune to the rhythm of bird music.

A gifted playlist from nature to salve my boredom,

no money greased Dj palms to repeat my favourite songs.

So under a palm tree I lay swooning,

a lazy past time in windy harmattan,

then I whipped up that palm wine with orinch(oranges) cocktails,

a ‘munku’ fruity punch concocted in a time before bartenders uplifted souls with that extra liquor drop.

You see,

 my avian artists lure me to dreamland with lullabies,

then feast on my rice and corn fields like insecure actors on weak drama.

As I drowse of, 

gifted with the curse of sleep.

They munch and harvest months of  labours with their innocent beaks into the welcoming pit of their stomach quenching their gnawing hunger.

Rows go.

Me, in Rated M dreamland go;

strokes, strokes, strokes.

In a siesta wet dream of Sata,

the shapely village belle with the sexy tumba(behind),

 soft lips, dusky sunset eyes and coconut sized bosom.

A week or two back with a wry smile and the ghost of a laugh dancing on her fulani fine features,

 she granted me a peep or two,

 down by the village stream as she bathe.

Memory saved and aids the megapixels of my noon imagination.

Almost in… 

So close.. 
Then comes the pain.. 

A falling tree branch 

ends my vision hub; no pun intended.

The birds, they’ve 
stopped singing when the cello-like twang of

my catapult ends their cereal buffet. 

‘R must continue

me dream, I must continue my dream’

Then I slid back in to the 

DM of my slumber like 
  ‘where were we?’ 



These days to keep pace with the ‘social mediaverse’ and the endless debates that rage within it on issues affecting our world is almost an impossibility. The various hashtags and trending stories with newly coined phrases to describe things and make sense of them has accelerated.
Recently, I was surfing the web (is surfing still the right word to use?) when I happened upon the phrase “Performative Allyship”. It was mentioned in a post bashing the content of a certain tweet. From what I could gather, this was based on the need to differentiate between genuine solidarity and pretentious allying to a cause or plight of a set of people.

In essence, performative allyship is doing that minimum bit to gain approval and escape the tag of a silent neutral or a bigot. 

The stark truth is that what we call performative allyship now predates social media. It’s just a fancy way to describe hypocrites who want a pat on the back for their actions supporting a cause.
Solidarity in itself doesn’t stem from the need to put up a show but rather it is based on the honesty to stand with a cause to push for changes with or without an audience. 

Solidarity is activism. Yet it also involves knowing  when it doesn’t require your reaction when an oppressed individual expresses their distaste of the bias and uneven treatment they deal with. 

To play a role just for approval suggests at a deep seated self serving interest in one’s pysche. Whether it is based on the need to save face or ride on the wave where the wind blows, it hints at double standards.

In most cases these set of people who project this fake form of allying are likely to be upset when they are told of their actions and its harmful tendencies. These are the people who hop on ‘hot’ topics by sharing or retweeting but never calling out the same act when its done where there is no audience . What they care about is the fifteen minutes in the spotlight and not the issues at hand. Standing with an oppressed group requires listening, engaging and learning about their experiences. 

Mostly, performative allies tend to make statements which are counterproductive to the cause of oppressed groups and then feign ignorance. This hints at a either a failure to properly understand these issues and a lack of sincere solidarity. When one stands with a cause, the onus is on you to properly and thoroughly understand and grasp it. To project concern when you don’t really care, just to get off the hook makes your sentiments unhelpful. 

There’s a tendency for many people who belong to the oppressive group to think that distancing themselves from acts done to the oppressed groups exempts them from responsibility. Statements like ‘not all’ , ‘some’ , ‘tell us more’ ,’we are on the same side’ are a dead ringer and they do nothing to help groups that are marginalised. Systematic oppression is real and trying to detach yourself from the privileges you benefit from belonging to the oppressive group with these half hearted ‘not all’ phrases reeks of downplaying, diverting and glossing over the realities of the conversation.
I live in a side of the globe where many have still not come to terms with the dangers of oppression. In fact even those who profess to be ‘allies’ still hold some negative views towards those they claim to ally with. I once knew a certain individual who would rant on Facebook about the rights of women but was known to be domestically abusive towards his wife and also held the misogynist view that the place of women was in the kitchen. 
Individuals flick on the mask of solidarity as and when it is beneficial to them and their interests.

The bane of hyper masculinity and it’s privileges is soaked in deep in the fabric of Sierra Leone. You are bound to hear statements from males that ‘ a woman’ deserves a back hand once in a while when she steps out of line’ which is followed by gleeful laughter. The brainwash is such that  certain women have been so attuned to this brutal idea that they consider it a norm, sadly. Women are mostly not allowed to tell their stories. Incidents of rape are swept under the rug with blame cast on the lady of her ‘improper clothing’, mostly these women are married of to their abusers.

Oppression is a disease to society. If  any society utilises the denial route to deflect responsibility and not come to terms with their oppressive mentality towards the oppressed, such a society supports systematic oppression.

Solidarity is paramount and doesn’t equate to only displaying it to get a nod of approval. Doing it to be defined as the ‘new cool’ , or garner more followers/likes for selfish purpose is not solidarity. The singular purpose of standing with the oppressed is for them to achieve equity and equality. Doing the right thing doesn’t mean you deserve to be praised, hailed and then gifted with a bag of goodies.
Solidarity is not for  show, it’s a duty.


Artwork by Morrison Jusu (Emjay)