That dusk was chilly and grim.
The thoroughfare, wet and unkempt.
The neighbourhood had gone asleep, as usual, with one eye opened.
It was a starless night, dreary and frightening.
Suddenly, a sharp cry cut through the stillness of the night.
It was the cry of a newly born baby boy, born to a teenage girl child.
His mother’s parents named him Aboyowa
but everyone knew him as Boyo, a nickname he came to like.
She broke herself to raise the boy as he had no father.
As he grew up, he became a bone in every throat.
He was fingered at every theft and rape.
His days behind bars grew close to those outside.
And whenever he was out again, he continued illicitly.
He called it survival.
Terror echoed after his footsteps.
The girls quaked at his name.
You could not pass him without missing something.
Then came one night, like the one he was born.
Boyo, with his gang made to bang a store in the neighbourhood.
They were sighted by the law.
A gun bout ensued between the gang and the men-of-the-law.
The rat- tat- tat of their rifles awoke the somnolence of the night.
A police bullet hit him in his temple.
He fell to the ground flat. Others fell, others fled.
So Aboyowa went.
As his blood flowed slowly into the gutters,
Another newly born baby cried out from the tiny laps of yet another teenage girl child.
Thus it starts afresh again.