By Shehu Mubarak Suleiman, Kano, Nigeria

I rise at aurora,

to roam and wander,

foraging for food and shade,

predator, in search of a prey


a plate is enough,

from the leftovers of supper,

else I’d ransack your dustbins,

for the remnants of yesterday


when the rains come,

I’d have nowhere to go,

I’m a hopeless low born,

a seed that does not grow

when my tears drip,

I may need your sorry not,

for some crumbs would be fine,

or some of your tasty groundnuts

from a land far away,

here, to you, I have come,

no friends and no relatives,

I’m groped by the searing sun

away from loved ones,

and from where I was born,

to seek some good knowledge,

I never planned to take this form

I am an Almajiri,

I live like a fugitive,

a boy with no dreams,

unkempt and so unclean

I’m clothed in rags,

I’m bare-footed and sad,

I’m a victim of this society,

no one stops to hear my cry

I am an Almajiri,

I’m a stolen boyhood,

I’m a friend of hunger,

the agony of a lost brother.

Shehu Mubarak Sulaiman®


2 Responses

  1. This is a pathetically beautiful presentation of one of the pains and evils of Northern Nigeria.

    Thanks for letting the world know of this plight that millions of children face in that region.

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