Area Boys

Living in slums like leeches,
Wandering about like a bird without shelter.
Area boys, sons of the soil, snail has no blood;
The senior brothers of mendicants,
That is what you call us.

You say we are drinkers, patriotic smokers,
You mean the drunker that speaks mumbo-jumbo
And spank gutter with puke uncontrollably?
The neglect of the society which you created,
Will soon ripe when your offspring are of age.

Some say we are insane, the street madness.
You mean the handsome man on rags,
That share garbage with the dustbin?
Enough of the insults you vicious aristocrats,
We are better than your compatriots in government.

Even though we harvest unplanted as you branded us,
We didn’t do all that you nailed us for.
Of course we ramble about like district heads,
But not like the police and politicians that corrupted
Our lands with extortion and acquisitiveness.

We are the street hustlers, the entertainers,
If today has given you all its privileges,
Mind what you say about us,
For a second which you don’t know,
Might revert your steps to be in our shoes.

“Area boys” also known in Yoruba as agbèrò are loosely organised gangs mainly composed of street males of different ages that notably operate in cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Aba, Enugu… – mostly in the southern part of Nigeria.


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