Does This Darkness Have a Name? – Adedamola Garuba

As I reminisce on the discussion I had with two of my friends last night, this question keeps coming to mind. Our conversation last night didn’t go as usual; instead it was steered by the concerns nurtured by one of my friends. She wasn’t perturbed about the 20 billion dollars or the fuel scarcity; her concern was about a group of secondary school girls that had been kidnapped. The event alone is enough to cause the heart to ache, but what my friend found more disturbing was the fact that this issue like many others wasn’t generating the kind of interest or concern it should. The colossal waste of precious lives in our nation is becoming a norm and the government has become an expert at ‘condemning’ the crime. That line churns my stomach. It’s the first you see after every attack that results in loss of lives. There were days I wondered if their intent was to write ‘commend’ and not ‘condemn’.

And while it seems some of us may yet be far removed from these unfortunate incidents, we should remember that a threat to peace in one part of our nation is a threat to peace is every part of our nation. Many of us in some parts welcome Fridays and Sundays with so much glee and anticipation as we converge at our religious centres, whereas our brothers in some other parts meet the same days with so much fear and trepidation. We drive (with cars and canes) our children to school with the assurance of seeing them return, yet the same cannot be said in some other parts of our beloved nation.

I wonder what has become the fate of these girls. My other friend thinks they are either dead or have been made to face a form of trauma that could be worse off. Does this darkness have a name? This reminds me of a scene from one of my favourite series back then (One Tree Hill) where a similar question was asked in a manner I consider very apt. And I’ve written out the lines below. Read, and hopefully you’ll help with the answer to this daunting question:

“Does this darkness have a name?
This cruelty, this hatred. How did it find us?
Did it steal into our lives,
Or did we seek it out and embrace it?
What happened to us?
That we now send our children into the world
Like we send young men into war,
hoping for their safe return;
But knowing that some will be lost along the way.
When did we lose our way?
Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness.
Does this darkness have a name?
Is it your name?

Perhaps this darkness has more than a name, and the list of names might be longer than we can imagine. Does this darkness have a name? Is it your name?

The views expressed above are solely that of the writer and not of or its associates.


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In the beginning...Let there be Light

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