Anthony Azekwoh
My self-portrait

I was walking on the street when the panic attack came, and the sky cried red. The buildings collapsed all around me and every breath was like pushing mountains. My fear, doubt and shame had kept a blindfold over me for years, and with them gone, I woke up to a world on fire. Arrows speared me from all directions, my body was burning within and without, to even stand was an arduous task. And yet, I was expected to do more? It was then I understood what the caterpillars whisper in the sunlight, what the fallen leaves teach the shadows. it was then I gained knowledge. To grow, you must let go. And to let go, you must die. And so, I let the arrows pierce my skin, I let the buildings fall. I let my world burn to ashes. So, my friends: Come, lay your flowers here. Tell me the words buried in your heart that you could not say before. Scream at the heavens for their injustice, and rage at hell for their favour. But not weep for me, rather, rejoice. For I have grown, and so I have died. And now, I can truly live.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.