An Ibadan Girl’s Guide to Fireworks


I’m back with a new story. I had originally written this story sometime in 2020, right before Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations. I never got round to publishing it then but here you go!


I love fireworks. I love the way they light up the sky like it’s the 1st of October. The bright, bright luminescence.

Mama hates them. She hates the crackle and swoosh as the fireworks charge into the night sky. She hates the suddenness. The sudden transition from peaceful darkness to bright light.

I wish Mama could love them like I do.

Today is the 60th anniversary of our country’s independence from Britain. I can hardly sit still. Today, I will make Mama love fireworks.

I have lit up my favourite crackers. Mama lies reclining on the garden chair. I am creeping, inch by inch, to where Mama lies. “Happy Independence Day, Mama” I yell from the shadows as the lights take over the sky with that crackle and swoosh. I watch the lights till they burn out but Mama does not. She glares at the sky with unseeing eyes.

“ … a garden snake” …. “a rare poisonous specie” “ …. not known to be native to Nigeria” Snippets of the doctor’s whispers filter to my ears. “Was it swift and painless?” Baba whimpers back.

I killed Mama. I hate Fireworks.

Thank you for reading!

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