Boom! We all heard it and panicked, for the sound was unfamiliar to our young ears
Smoke rose on that sunny spring day, amidst the chaos and the confusion
Boom! It went again and the class was brought to a complete halt
Gunshots filled the air, punctuated by the loud sirens of the ragged police cars
We were lost, confused, terrified and drenched in a sudden outpour of sweat
Covering us from head to toe, as realization hit us hard.
It was time to act, and the stage was open for us; for all
With hurried footsteps, we moved towards the chaos.
Drawn by a loud voice, calling us to join our compatriots in the fight
A voice so loud it drowned out the calls from friends and loved ones
Our youth wouldn’t let us turn back and head for safety
Our conscience guided our footsteps as we walked into the unknown.
Clad in our uniforms; a costume worn by hundreds of actors that day
Regal in our eyes, but also the signature on our death certificates.
Together we marched on, hand in hand, heads held high
With somber faces, we broke into a song, demanding justice.
Young, angelic voices filled the taut air for a moment
Ignoring the threatening frenzy around us
As demonic faces lay in wait, behind deadly weapons
Waiting for an order to put a finger to the trigger.
After filling our lungs with uncountable measures of teargas.
Resilient in our struggle, we still marched on; then it came
We felt a new set of hands, guiding us peacefully towards the heavens
We looked down at the chaos and saw friends crowded over our bodies
We screamed, yet none but our guardian angels could hear us
We begged to be set free to wipe the tears off our loved ones’ faces
They looked at us with smiles, saying we’d finally come home to rest
And our fight shall be picked up by another just like us.
It’s been 12 years and we still search for that peaceful rest we were promised
We wander in the world of lost and cheated young souls
Hoping and wishing, crying out loud for our death to be avenged
Many like us roam this world of souls, consoling each other
Our families still mourn for us; our friends too
Complete strangers demand for justice and pray for our souls
We hold on to the thin ropes of hope; faithfully.
Our cries may be stifled, but our memories are still fresh
Our graves have grown old, but our blood still covers the land
The years have gone by, but the wounds are still fresh
Our troubled souls still roam this heartless Earth
We take comfort in one thing; prayer and knowledge that
We were young; we were wronged; we were maimed and killed
Gambian angels silenced by the demonic traits of the souls of men!
In loving memory of the April 10th and 11th 2000 student demonstrations