‘Put your left foot out and pause for a second’ Taiwo said to her fellow dancers ‘Then bend your hips and swing it up and down four times and fast. Your hands should be kept like you are playing a drum and there must always be a smile on your face’
They were practicing their new invention…the Independence Day dance and Taiwo was the chief inventor because, of the three girls, she was the only one that actually knew how to dance.
‘why are you taking this too serious Taiwo… nobody will notice if we make a wrong move… everybody is so excited that we’ll become independent today, the princess has arrived and I want to go and see.
It was Aisha complaining. She knew a lot about the independence process because her father was a Politian. Frankly she didn’t care. As long as Taiwo and Ijemba remained her best friends, she didn’t care what happened to the world.
‘Is it true we’ll have our own flag?’ Ijemba asked, still trying to master the steps Taiwo had just displayed
“Better… we’ll have our own National Anthem and pledge. Our fathers get to rule the nation. We get to call our own shots’ Aisha answered as she took a sit on the sandy ground.
‘Oh… that’s good I guess. But do our people know what to do? Did the white men teach our fathers how to rule?’ As Ijemba asked these questions her eyes widened at a horrible thought
‘Are they going to break up the parts of the country!’ she exclaimed
‘Will you relax’ Taiwo intercepted stopping her dance for the first time ‘All I know is there is a celebration that we are supposed to dance for, you girls should get up let’s practice’
Aisha got up and held Ijemba’s hands
‘They are not breaking up the country dear… instead we’ll be more united than ever because it’s not by force anymore. Besides they are making space for different tribes in the government… they’ll rule together in peace and we’ll be fine’
‘Yes’ Taiwo added ‘and there’ll have so many celebrations and we’ll dance in all of them’ She hugged Ijemba and Aisha at the same time making them fall on the floor. They all giggled
Sule, Aisha’s elder brother shouted at them from across the road that the ceremony had started and they all ran to see. They ran together, holding hands and telling jokes. Laughing. United. This day, 1st October 1960, would indeed be a blessed day, everybody thought.
The new Nigerian President began his speech
‘TODAY is Independence Day. The First of October 1960 is a date to which for two years every Nigerian has been eagerly looking forward. At last our great day has arrived, and Nigeria is now indeed an independent sovereign nation…’
Had they been able to look into the future, would the three girls have danced as hard as they did during their performance of the Independence Day Dance?
You tell me.