SOMI: Shine Your Eye

Somi - Shine Your Eye

When I close my eyes I remember the bright city heat pressing against the knuckles of my searching toes and squinting brow.

I remember kind strangers and brave adventure; the beauty and revelation of dirty drums found deep inside of me and the knowing that my heart’s hand had always rested its palm against their homesick skins.

I remember non-vegetarian pepper soups, month-long rainstorm lullabies, and sleepy traffic thick with hot metal bodies and impromptu window snacks. I sigh… stroking through a sea of dissonant horns and agile bodies that careen between cars hurling both barter and abuse.

Unassuming streetside glamour – heavy hipped women in red and gold; a body of water full of reeds and houses on sticks expands under a concrete stretch to Victoria Island. I remember being told to “pronounce yoruba with my mouth wide open” and to shine my eye.

The fake tears of Nollywood flicks; the fierce intellect and ambition that spat in the face of stereotype; the sighting of East African backsides that saw me too. I remember hungry boys pouncing on car windows and I remember looking away…