I always knew that I was not me

Not because you couldn’t stand me

It was because I couldn’t be me

Sometimes I want to flee

But you always punched me

Telling me

I was stupid to be me

My mind is always at sea

If only I could feel gleeful

But I only feel sorrow

He tells me to sit in a corner

And listen to the wind

Hoping I could feel better

But he doesn’t know i am a prisoner

My thoughts engulf me in a circle of no confidence

If only you could let me breathe

If only you could let me think

If only…

If only you could understand my pain

If only you could let me float

If only you could make me feel like a queen

If only you could let me rule my life

That would be the best gift you ever gave me



My life fits in a rucksack

I said to him ‘I cannot carry your sack

It is just sand and rock

I listen to the cock

And the ticking of the clock

I hear the alarm and jump

I took a shower and walked out without breakfast

While i hear you snore

You came in last night drunk

I heard you knock

Although you had the key to unlock

I covered my ears and looked at the clock

It was already four in the morning when would this stop

I was sleeping and you just could not stop

I came back at four

You were watching Thor

Life is really a war

I can’t take this anymore

Everything is very sour

I yelled at him and called him useless

He didn’t move

My feet were sore

And i still needed to get to my next job in an hour

The kids came home hungry and there’s more

I need to cook before i leave this is a war

It’s like a video game without no score

Pa mow the lawn and throw out the trash

Amy peel the carrots i am in a rush

Sally tell your dad to turn down the TV i am on the phone

It is always like a zoo in my home

I carry all the baggage like i am the only one

He quit his job because his boss was a bad one

I told him to find a job but he rather stay at home and sleep at one

I threw away his cigarettes so that he would stop smoking

But he bought more

It hurts to see how life had changed him

I carry only a rucksack and a phone

So that people won’t know there are baggages that i carry which aren’t my own

I just left them at home

And i wore a smile to cover the cave i own

It hurts really to see him suffer endlessly

But i kept smiling because i still loved him and he never hurt me no matter what i said he still loves me dearly.



Eat up my brain like a worm

Slowly but you shall surely take it to the end

I always thought that I had brains

But nothing

It’s all gone

I can’t think for myself

I followed you every where you go

You command I obey

You hit me I cry

I walk the next day trying to cover up the wounds

I hope no one noticed my red cheeks

It’s no secret

He was a devil

But I was told to keep secrets

They said that’s what makes you a better woman

Your kids would prosper in future

Because I was a slave

Physical abuse is the art he mastered

He makes sure I never smiled

I thought I couldn’t leave

I thought I had no voice

But I gathered courage and fought back

Society calls it disrespectful

Society calls me a coward

But I did it for my children

I can’t let them see me cry

I can’t let them feel threatened

I can’t let them live life feeling sad forever

I left because I wanted to be free

I left because you never made me happy

I left because I needed to grow

I left because I want my kids to have a different life

I left because I am a hardworking woman

Yes! I can fend for myself and my family.

Growing up

Dear parent

I have a message for you

I was born a very happy kid

I loved to crawl and grab my toys

I loved to draw and colour aliens

I loved to build sand castles

I loved to play in the rain

I loved to play football

I loved to hold my doll

As I grew older I had to go to school

I had to follow rules

I had no freedom

I had to memorise

I had to pass exams

I had to be what you wanted me to be

Dear society

I know you said If I failed maths or English my life is over

No profession!

Everything would crumble

I am telling you I followed my dream

No one was born with calculus in their heads

Or with an Oxford dictionary

No one was born knowing everything

Although I don’t wear suits and go to work

I cook the food you eat

I drive the taxi you take every morning

I control the traffic

I guard you from danger

I clean your office

I pick up the garbage

I draw that painting you admire everytime

I design and sew your clothes

I am the farmer who gives you food everyday

I fix your appliances

Yet you said I won’t make it in life

The truth is everyone has a gift

And everyone has a dream

This is my life I am happy



Hours of silence

Hours of staring at the ceiling

My eyes would blink every two seconds

Then my tears flowed like a fountain

I know the pain I feel

But my eyes are tired

They are red and itchy

I made a mess

My pillows are wet with tears

My makeup smeared on my white t-shirt

My heart pumped

It’s over

I could not take the pain anymore

I took pain killers

Cause my head won’t stop banging

It seemed like it was about to explode

I thought and listened too much

I accepted their blames

He accused me

He abused me

I fought alone

It was hectic

But I made it

The road of freedom was never far

It was always near

But I never knew

I was blind

Blind but seeing the daylight

Blind but seeing the colours

Blind but seeing the wounds and scars

Blind but trying to make you happy

Even when I had to kick a stone or carrying it over my head

I found freedom

I believed in me

I dumped those bad memories

Yes I was with you

But I was never happy

They told me to stay

But they never felt the pain

Les enfants avaient faim et j’étais fatigué
Nous avons vécu dans une coquille
Oui, oui, oui Tu m’as fait pleurer

Je suis retourné à la maison à ma mère

It was too much

But it’s over

If my eyes could speak

They would tell you the pain I felt in the hands of a heartless human.



The painted picture you keep poking

kicking and knocking it down

Tearing it into pieces

Till you fell down

And stood again

I look at you wasting your energy and time

It hurts me to see my image dragged through the mud

My life is society’s talkshow

They follow me like a watchdog

Sniffing and following the trails i leave

Can’t you mind your own life?

Don’t you have things to do?

Moving from door to door

Talking and talking

I still can’t understand why you don’t have time for yourself

Stop tearing my image

Stop trying to get information to sprend

Get a life!

You are killing me bit by bit

I hide my face in the streets

Because everyone seems to know about my life

Even when the words they say is not the truth

They won’t see me as the same person again

I am not facebook

I don’t ask you type

Don’t write or comment about my life

I am not Google

I don’t need you to search

For God sake my life is not your game

Do you know how it feels to be innocent ?

No! You don’t

Because you are always guilty of tearing lives apart

Destruction is the art you have mastered

Every family you walked into falls into pieces

When would you come in peace?

I feel so broken

I don’t think you could fix me anymore

Why did you do this to me ?

Do you hate me that much?

And everytime i pass you smile and pretend as if you said nothing

Imposter! I wish i never bump into you for the rest of my life

You have stabbed my life

One millon times

Now it is dead

What can you do ?



The world thinks that i am strong

But they don’t know that they are wrong

There is someone inside

That no one sees

He tells me to smile

He tells me to walk with the good crowd

He tells me not to stay out late

He tells me not to smoke

He tells me not to get drunk

He tells me to stop fighting everyone

But i always tell him to stay quiet

I don’t need you now

I don’t want to be shy

Do not make me weak

He just whins like a puppy

And stays mute

Behind close doors

He needs air i let him out

I listen to him

He tells me my faults

He tells me to change

He tells me that i need him

He tells me We should be free

I cried in the cold quiet room

Why do i do it everytime?

Why do i hate everyone around me ?

Why do i move with the wrong crowd?

Why? I keep asking myself everytime

But the question is

Why can’t i change?



I crawled into a corner covered with no courage

An entourage full of spirit passed by

They won’t let me be

I can’t be a copycat

I can’t let you jumble my humble heart

I can’t pose like a model

I can’t be who you want me to be

I am ME

I am not perfect.

I am a size sixteen

But you want me to be eight

You hate my size

You want me to diet

I was born this way

I won’t let it go away

I love chocolates

I love cakes

I love anything that you are scared to eat

I am ME

I am not perfect.

I don’t pretend

I don’t move with the trend

I wear what I want to wear

I keep myself occupied with relevant things

While you try so hard to get the perfect selfie

I roll my sleeves and did my homework

You try so hard to get into a musical concert

Everything has its time but you can’t tell the difference

I am ME

I am not perfect.

I kept my toes deep in the soil

I was mad at myself

For listening to their roars

Their constant plots to change me

To make me like them

I fell into their traps

But no more pretending

I became better than before

I saw life through a different perspective

I am ME

I am not perfect.

The beauty line they drew

Is taking away the true you

Can you remember when you were yourself?

Can you remember walking out without makeup?

You lack self confidence

You hate your skin so much

That beautiful shiny melanin skin

You bleached it

Now you can’t have it back

No one is perfect

So are you

Say I am ME

I am not perfect.

MJ 09/05/18 GM


She crossed her arms inhaling as if it was her last

Streams of hot boiling tears rushed down her cheeks

Loneliness wrapped her tight like a blanket

The curtains moved slowly as the breeze pushed them to and fro

Her feet on the ground cold as ice

Pieces of papers placed near her feet by the unsteady breeze

A smashed picture frame on the floor

She caressed her arms

And sobbed

Her tears dripping

What have you done?

She got used to you

But you left as fast as her breathe

You shattered her heart

You meant the world to her

The memories fresh like the evening breeze

Your face in her dreams

You were like a drug she can’t stop taking

Everyone tells her she was just a fool

To fall for your cute face

And sweet phrase

What have you done?

You shut down that smile

You promised

But you never did anything

Her heart bleeds in pain

She swears to never give it away

To anyone even when they care

You have killed the princess in her

Now she is stronger than ever

Please don’t come back begging

When you find out you left a princess for a gold-digger

What have you done?



I woke up early at 5am to take a bath knowing i had to walk fifteen minutes to the main road to get a van or taxi if i am lucky. I know i am not alone when i stare from left to right everyone stands in a queue waiting for a van to turn and move into the crowd while everyone rushes to get a sit. The conductor yells out that he does not have change for a higher denominations like one or two hundred dalasis sometimes they won’t have change for even fifty dalasis so we are forced to get at least a twenty or you might have to stay and wait for another van after you have struggled to get a sit. You are at risk when you board this commercial vans you might lose your money or phone and other valuables if you are not careful because not all people trying to board the vehicle are really wishing to get to work or school on time, for some it’s time for business.

Watch where you sit!

Most of this vehicles spend most of the day going from town to town so they are at risk of constant breakdowns on highways so they spend some time in the mechanics workshop. Check before you sit because most of them don’t clean the sits at all. Oil and dust might stain your clothes,please do clean before you sit or check if its clean.

Watch where your legs go!

Most of this vans have been running for years, they are noisy, the metals are all corrosive, it might tear your cloth or skin be careful because the leg space is terrible if you are more than 1.65m in height your legs might be right next to the sit before you and your head might be hitting the roof.

You might be sandwiched to a corner!

Don’t be puzzled this vehicles have a certain number of passengers to carry most of the the time its 14 to 16 passengers, but this phrase is commonly heard pushal tohti y fofu four la meaning you should give space because the sit takes four.

But the truth is it’s for three passengers.

Only few have the guts to protest but why bother because it’s not yours and you might end up arguing with the conductor the whole journey while the driver stays mute. So most of us have been sandwiched in vans and we pray the person next to us drops soon so that we can get some space at least. They are taking that space from you for extra fourteen dalasis or more.

They don’t care!

They are after money to get more trips so don’t be puzzled if they tell you to board another van because they need to turn.

They waste your time by stopping another driver to take you along this practice is common among the backway drivers.

So if you are the last or maybe there are three more in the van, expect this to happen when they reach the bakau police station if they see students waiting to go to westfield.

Gambians have to trek or wait for hours to get to work and when it’s 4pm everyone starts to go home. People from work, students from school are all standing to get a van or taxi to get home most of them might be there till 6pm before they can reach home or some might trek if their homes are few kilometres`away.

Most four passenger taxis queue waiting for someone to pay them hundred dalasis or more to get home early or run some important errands. This is where they tap most of their income because the seven dalasis trip does not make much money.

It takes four trips to get a hundred dalasis. So they say it saves fuel to go for one trip and get a hundred or more than to go for seven dalasis per passenger.

This is affecting most people because not everyone can afford hiring a taxi.

So what can we do to help us get a better transportation system in The Gambia?