Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Nigeria, Poetry

Awakening 1: 49 Mean Ness Street

49 Mean Ness Street

I woke up.
Opened the door.
Shut the door and there they were.
The beggars feasting on the remains me the day.
Blind legless armless lepers and assorted deformities assaulted my walled enclave of iron.
49 Mean Ness street had become a beggars banquet.

Beggars eating, drinking, laughing, dancing, loving.

Blind looked at me and spat,
I was the invisible
Alone in Mean Ness Street

Inspired by Nigerian Curiosity “BEGGARS, ETIQUETTE & 9ICE” and the deporting of 160 Lagos beggars to Kaduna State by Lagos State Governor. How do you deport people in their own country? Ahhhh they are beggars!


  1. That the Nigerian society has allowed a signifant segment of its number to live their lives in the destitute, hopeless, degraded and dehumanised state of the beggar, is appalling and a discedit to all Nigerians and more particularly, to those in authority for whom the upliftment of those over whom they exercise authority should be the principal objective.

    “Blind legless lepers” are vulnerable members of society for whose welfare the rest of society ought to be responsible. But rather than take responsibility, what we hear of is the relocating of these individuals to other parts of the country, whereas this does nothing to improve the circumstances of their lives. We have failed them, even as we have failed several other groups of Nigerians in whose lives social support would make a substantial difference. The beggar it is who is at the bottom of the heap, the one who is on the street and therefore the one whose affliction, anguish and wretchedness are most visible. Our attitude towards them it is a reflection of the flagitiousness into which our society has sunk.
    .-= anengiyefa´s last blog ..Alexander the Meerkat =-.

  2. Comment by post author


    Some people are just so callous – without even the basic humanity needed for a society to develop and grow. In the interview (published today on BK) Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o makes the very important point that we can only measure development when the lives of the people at the bottom begin to significantly improve. I notice in Nigeria that development is quite often viewed in terms of the increase in the number of mansions and expensive apartment blocks being built in Lekke Beach or the presence of huge shopping malls for these same people. Even the ‘cleaning’ of Lagos is not a true sign of development as the lives of the majority of people continue to live in brutal undignified conditions.