wurukum © Boho Media Ltd 2019, I am Benue

Take Me Back To Makurdi

Arts, Stories 11/03/2019 by Chris Tion

Take me back to Makurdi

To the calm mornings when school children hurried off to school happy and carefree

Where the ubiquitous white painted buses glided from Wadata to Wurukum laden with families who didn’t see others as Christians or Muslims

When a late-night hangout wasn’t a rape attack or death sentence!

Take me back to the Makurdi

Where we played street football without worrying about street gangs or cultists

Where it was okay to take a walk on Naka Street at any time of the day or night without looking behind your back

Where we ate akpukpa and bier without arguing and stabbing each other because of BetNaija or Nairabet

When it didn’t matter whether we supported APC or PDP, Jime or Ortom, Suswam or Gemade, Jev or Akume!

Photography: Blaize Itodo

Take me back to the Makurdi

Where we looked up to Kilometre 5 and Farm Jam every Yuletide

Where Muslims shared their Sallah ram with Christians and Christians gave Muslims Christmas rice without a care

Where Igbos living on Kaduna Street didn’t need to fear

And Hausas living behind Methodist Church, Ankpa Ward were relaxed

Take me back to the Makurdi

Where we ran off to River Benue to swim away from the heat; not minding if we were Idoma, Igede,  Tiv, Hausa, or Igbo

Take me back to the lazy Sundays when we trooped to Swange Cinema to swoon over Indian films whose songs we didn’t understand

Oh, during the humid months of February and March, when it is too hot indoors, I want to lie outside, on my veranda on Kastina-Ala Street till dawn.

I want to drink fura da nono without feeling guilty

I want to buy beef without thinking that I am arming some marauding herdsmen

Makurdi, you might only be this way in my reminisce and dreams

But I will toil to see my kids experience you as I did

In your innocence and splendour!

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