Ejiro Elizabeth Edward

The love my country has for me is a gun (2021)

I was trying to present a history of feelings, not the history of the war itself…
Svetlana Alexievich. Granta magazine


Shoes? No ! .                           Tennis shoes? No !
                       Track shoes? . Yes!

I spend my whole life running a race I never wanted in the first place.
My body stretched as a pole, transitioning between the living & dead. In my dream, bodies are piled upon bodies while a Red Sea floods the street & flows into the gutter.
One of the bodies rises from the dead and my body pantomimes in response to the miracle,
                       dry bones are waking up,
but there is a horror , slammed to this boy’s face, in his hands there is a flag & he stretches them out and he questions me ;
“What do you do with a country that is breathing
fire?”,      my lips depart from each other and I say “Run”      but before I do,      the boy before me whose body is too transparent for flesh dissolves into water, water turns into blood, in my country everything you love must surely die.

About this work

The love my country has for me is a gun is a piece dedicated to all youths in Nigeria who witnessed the Lekki massacre on 20 October 2020. We peacefully gathered to protest against the government as part of the #EndSARS movement, but we were greeted with guns. This piece is dedicated to all of us here, while our very existence is directed towards running away from this country.