28th May, 2015
Today, it is one year since your absence. The violence you so much decried still ravages us. Brothers still fight brothers, friends stab each other’s back, earth is raped and bleeds. We look at the rivers, trees and rocks and do not see the oneness in them. In us.
The blinds of false dedication to our faiths are yet to fall off. So many mouths hang open in hunger, while others yell hatred and their hands strike out lives. Innocent lives that cannot fight back.
The earth weeps. Your precious little ones go to sleep and wake up stiff, covered in dust. Do you remember the Chibok girls? You prayed endlessly for their safety just before you left. Oh dear Maya. They are yet to return. We wailed and wailed, soiled our beautiful shirts with tears. Ruined our expensive makeups. Believing they would return. But not our tears nor the hash tags could do the miracle. Distant friends gave up sleep and watched sorrowfully, helplessly, as the flames from their lit candles wobbled and wobbled and died. So we forgot about them. We lived on like they never existed. We found new topics. New hash tags and took delight in them. We sought for humour in everything and left no space in our hearts to think, to remember, the captive. We do not even pray anymore for we have lost faith in its efficacy.
Dear Maya, daily, the world loses gems like you and we dress in black as you ascend gloriously to your maker. We cry, because we are afraid. We are afraid because while you toiled to make things better, we slept away. But your departure shook us to reality and now confusion reigns. We do not possess such energy as you did. We escape when we ought to stand and speak and fight. Our walls crumble and fall on us and we skelter around, seeking for shelter.
The world misses you. Bravery. Love. Grace. All that you were. It deepens, this void. This realisation that there is no Maya Angelou speaking up for the voiceless. No Maya Angelou striving to create a balance in this stricken world. So we simply trudge on. With the pain of your absence in our hearts. Seeking solace in your words and literature and as the night gets longer and tougher, all we yearn is your voice, your voice saying to us…