Dusts, sand, white clouds and falcons
Hawkers, sellers, buyers and people

I see the grin on your face,
One print of queer grace
When you say ‘Sanu*…’
‘And how do you do?’

The days are hot here
So we try to walk bare
Chilled water feel our gullet
And to some balance we set

The modern market center is a small world
I see many race and tongues come around
To the passerby, to the lorry, to the meat cleaving man
We have all come for a purpose; so have become a clan

‘Kei, buy my some sugar cane
Sweet it is, taste it, take one’
Hasslers disturb my peace
Throwing wares in my face

Army of bike riders drive about
With them a cloud of thick dust
Thick silty sand clog my boots
And to it they gave a new look

In the early mornings, the sun rise
A happy glow it spreads upon my eyes
A memory of vast lands and people
And a story I must make quite simple

Salaam alekun

Sanu… A popular Hausa greeting
Salaam alekun… Peace be unto you

Lafia is a city in Northern Nigeria, the present day capital of Nasarawa state. I have traveled to the state and can see how welcoming these people can be.

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at