I once heard of a nation
I cannot tell where they existed
How they existed or if in fact they existed
But I heard of this nation
And it sounds a lot like mine
It’s people were dancers
Happy, colourful and loud!I heard of this nation!
They dance even in their sleep
So happy; they were adjudged “happiest on earth”
They ate, drank and gave in marriage amid glorious fanfare
I heard of this nation and wanted to be from there!

I heard that in this nation
The dancing was not limited to ceremonies
They danced when they were meant to be thinking
They danced when the birds started falling out of the skies
And taking lives with them
First at Lisa, then in Benin, the latest at the port city
They danced through bomb blasts by a group called MEND
Then they danced the amnesty dance
I hear that is quite nice, like the Azonto

In this nation
Because they danced with the mending group
Better dancers like the ones who forbid study, came forward
Now they dance with those too!
They dance with people whose vocation it is to break the metal that transports oil
Now those breakers take out law enforcement
And enforce their law

I hear that in this nation dancing really is their thing!
They dance when politicians are taken from convoys
And even when children are taken from their homes
They dance when women can no longer drive!
Car and woman! Stolen!
Still they keep dancing

They dance with honesty
To the song of dishonesty
They dance with virtue
To the beat of “anything goes”
You heard of that?
They dance and look away as the envelopes exchange hands
They dance and look away as long as it has not affected them!

This nation!
Hisssss!
I cut the story-teller short
And get up to leave!
Because in that nation
In that nation
In that nation
They dance as if there is no God!

 

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