(selective) Democracy in Niger

Beneath Saharan sun’s steadfast sizzle,
we see the quarrels and hear the talking
drum beats of a nation’s awakening
as they echo the rhythms of resistance.

Amidst the chaos, interests entwined
in secrecy, strategic games meant to
plunder the land’s heartbeat and
power a stolen uranium harvest.

Ultimatums and borders sealed,
a leader’s fate held in the balance.
No more puppets on strings dancing
to a foreign tune while the world
watches the news with pretend disbelief

Yet again.

From the sound dunes, voices of the people rise.
An iridescent symphony, their passion
painting the streets with the colours of change.
A transition’s whisper, a power shift.

As their democracies fail, the truth lies
among the people of Niger.
The smell of hope rekindled in unity.
But as stated by the “guardians of liberty,”
it still lacks democracy’s grace.

This poem is about the ongoing coup in Niger. France and other colonial powers have been stealing resources from Africa for hundreds of years, even under a “democratically elected” government. Many Western nations call for intervention because the coup is labelled as undemocratic, but these countries have no issue with the French economically destroying Niger.

Navraj Sandhar is a fourth-year Journalism and Creative Writing student at Trent University in Canada. He is an emerging journalist, passionate about weaving words into compelling narratives and shedding light on under-reported stories. This poem was written as part of the coursework for the Advanced Seminar in Creative Writing, Professor Diana Manole. Read other articles by Navraj.