The paino was the size of a living room. The man sitting behind it in his Lilliputian MAJESTY was almost lost in the monstrosity of his own instrument.
But when his rich baritone voice roared alive this morning at the parking lot of C-palm gardens, every mouth was left agape and all eyes were frozen in his direction.
He began by singing in Urhobo, his native tongue of South-South Nigeria. None could understand his lyrics but not an eye was spared of mist.
He went into memory lane.
From the birth of the nation;
To its journey through the evil forest of death in 1966,
To the jackboot patriots who claimed they had come to rescue and heal the land but left it drained of every pint of blood,
To the smooth blabbers soaked in cold barrels of lies who claimed they spoke for themselves and everyone else because they were hoisting the flags of freedom but scooped all leftovers and hung the land on the stump of a dead iroko tree,
To the foolish drummers who lost their drums and their voices but still want the people to dance to songs of hay meant for goats,
To those who raped young ladies, pregnant women, the under aged and the aged,
To those who plucked children from their mothers breast and flung them into the rivers of blood,
To those who defiled their lives with the proceeds of kidnapping and ritual killings,
To those who chased tillers of the land from their farms,
To those who rustled cows belonging to the migrants.
To herders turned terrorists,
The judgment patchment opens.
When he translated the song into English, every listening soul was stung. They raised they voices and wailed until the heavens thundered and broke down in grief.
And in one accord they asked:
What shall we do, Great Singer?
Serve the land, share the havest, abhor greed and let peace prevail, he responded and hit the last note.
As they left the scene, they remembered John Lenon’s beautiful old song “IMAGINE”:
“Please, Peace, sing along with us”, they chorused. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bvFLKyAGzzI
January 9, 2019.