I had this dream last night. Somehow, I was in Gambia. Not South Africa, not Ghana, not Nigeria, not Ethiopia not anywhere else but fucking Gambia. Who even knows anything about Gambia. Who knows what happens in Gambia save for Gambians? Who can pin-point it in a map? I have crossed the border to Tanzania briefly and that’s just as far as I have been to Kenya. The air didn’t even taste different . Here’s to my Gambian dream.
For long there had been a protracted palpable political ambience between the oligarchs, aristocrats and the plebeians; common citizens. The potent in the government had been repressing the commoners – who were as poor admit could get.
Children walked around bare foot, the soles of their feet akin to parched earth. Their lips chapped dry. Colossal pieces of fabric missing from their clothes. Clothing to them was trifle in comparison to food. Men moved about with anger on their faces; frustrated by their inadequacy. Their inability to provide. Emasculation smothering their existence. Women had pesky children on their backs. Hunger dwelling in their stomachs. A knell ringing over their heads. They were desolate, poverty had obliterated dignity off their bones. Subjugating them. Oppressing them if I may.
All this while, corruption was rife in the government. Corruption Scandals ubiquitous in every sector of the government. It was so common that it stopped bothering the people much. The noble lived in a separate gated part of town. Complete with a high concrete wall bolstered with electric fences; to keep off the fetid whiff of the poor as if it was communicable. They dissociated themselves from the third tier citizen. Bottom of the barrel folk. They plundered public coffers. Drank exquisite wine from hour glasses. Held plush parties, those ones with dress codes. Every one coming looking dapper and chic. Their paunchs threatening to pop the buttons of their shirts. Women refined by good grooming, their perfumes thronging the air.
The citizens had had enough. Tolerance evaded them. They felt drowned to the chin. They gasped for air. Ruckuses broke out in miniscule sections of the town. This instigated a chain of reactions, soon, it morphed into full blown riots. The city was burning down. Expensive cars driving around town were stoned. The young citizens channeling the anger in their systems to the rich. With each throw came a release. Cathartic yet defining riots.
You know how it goes. Police were involved and boy they game guns blazing. Frothing at the mouth. Livid. Vexed. Their armoured cars trudged the streets. It was an archetypal David and Goliath situation, only David stood little chance in this one. Rioters were peppered with live bullets from what seemed like a shoot to kill order. Bodies lay on the streets. There was a carnage. The callousness metted upon them unfathomable, gory.
The riots abated, there was no one to take to the streets. Fortitude had been driven out of their minds. They mourned. Cried.
Then came this light-bulb moment. A genius like discovery. There was a silent riot. A cold war. No commoner sold anything to the rich. They would turn them away. Asked folk to lower their face masks and ask them to leave if they fell on their bad books. They had cut off supply to them. The noble had all the money but nothing to buy. Workers downed their tools enmasse and walked away. They forced the government out of their comfort zone. Things started looking up, the god cleared.
I woke up. Never got to see the how it panned out. Now I’m seated researching about this country called Gambia. Did y’all know it is the smallest country in mainland Africa? Cool, eh.