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(As we take remember our broda, George Floyd)

I go buy sometin for area wey I dey stay.
The moni wey I know; e don tay,
Naim I give dem. Maybe e no legit!
Whether na my fault or no be my fault,
Dem no even allow me talk!
Na so olokpa dem stand for my front!

Dem carry my hand go my back.
Lock am with iron; d thing sef make me shock!
Everytin surprise me as d matter just
Dey happen fast fast.
I dey vex, but I still maintain!
Even sef, those Olokpa dem no even
Do wetin government talk for
The coro disease wey dey kill kill people.
Na so dem carry me commot
Like goat wey dem wan go butcher.
I open my mouth, but I no fit even talk plenty!

Na wetin dey happen so?
Na becos of my colour?
Abi na becos of my blood?
This one na see-finish ooo!
My papa; oh my papa dem don fight, fight
So tay, their blood sef enter for the matter.
Dem no want make dem pikin suffer like this!
But the matter still dey be like say e no wan end!

Plenty plenty eye catch wetin happen.
From every which way, every corner,
Everybody now, don see am!
Wait! Abi na punishment for my sins?
Dem no even allow me hear am!
One eye! One eye catch am gbam!
The time wey my heart don already dey fail.
As all of dem press me put for ground!
One sef stand dey look as if e no consain am!
Inside my neck, the other one plant im knee.
Small small, my strength don dey finish!

I no fit breathe; I no fit breathe!
Yet, inside my neck, olokpa still bury im knee!
I no fit breathe; I no fit breathe!
Seconds don turn to minutes o!
I no fit breathe, I no fit breathe!
Abeg, somebodi, give me sometin, anytin!
Mama! Mama! Where you dey, abeg help me!
Na so my last talk take pour for ground!
Just like dat, fiam! My spirit don comot for my body!

Which kain witchcraft be dis?
Many people don kpai like dis before o!
Which kain world be this?
Wey man go kill im fellow man like this!
Like play, like joke, my life don end
Like say e no even first start!
No! No, my blood go cry out!
Justice! Justice, where you dey?
Justice abeg come!
Justice, abeg, come do ya work!
Na only den, naim I go come talk say
Las las, I fit breathe now!


*Note: the poem is rendered in the Nigerian style of West African pidgin English.


Image by andres musta via Flickr.


About the Author


Lizzy Pereowei is a native of Uokha town in the Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma. She loves to write, sing and motivate people with inspirational quotes. She grew up mostly in the Southern part of Nigeria in Rivers State and Delta State. She currently resides in the United Kingdom with her husband and two children.

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One Response to “I No Fit Breathe | Nigerian Pidgin English Poetry | Elizabeth Oshuare Ombor-Pereowei” Subscribe

  1. Onnegiye-ofori Joseph Boyle July 21, 2020 at 12:44 pm #

    I loved reading this!

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