Many of us — Nigerians — follow the news of bombings and kidnappings, talk endlessly about current affairs, or indulge social media outbursts.

We may also be desensitized to the bloodshed — considering its frequency. Yet, it ought not to be so. Jennifer Obado-Joel captures these sentiments beautifully in the poem we share here today.

A Nigerian Tired of Crying
By Jennifer Obado-Joel

Tears have ceased from my eyes,
My heart has lost its throbbing
There is no more blood to bleed
My soul is numb and lifeless
My Motswana colleague asks ‘have you heard of the bomb-blast in Nigeria?’
I reply, ‘It’s a daily occurrence now, what’s different?’
She laugh uneasily into my earpiece.

I was at once hurt and ashamed
Hurt that my country has degenerated to this point
Ashamed that loss has lost its meaning for me
Seeing pictures of the car-park and corpses in open vans
My anger seethes.
Do I have to live with the burden of my nationality?
Like so many others, am outside looking in.
I am like the returning spirit, separated from that world.
Peering from another


I have become a chronicler of the decay and descent to abyss
Like the ghost from another era
my hands are tied.
Maybe by documenting this decay
I will gain redemption

 from my own self-loathing and powerlessness
Or from the bravery of future generations
Who can gain the knowledge stored in my painful datasets.
It seems I have lost my nation… And I am tired of crying.


Jennifer Obado-Joel

Jennifer spends her days doing research and her evenings writing poems. She worries about the plight of low-income communities in African cities.