The boys without smiles

It’s a tragedy. It was never meant to be like this. Limbs as gentle as those were never meant to wield such cold, callous vessels of death. Their eyes were never meant to wear the stink of vengeance so sweetly; it should never be this way.

It’s like a disease that’s consciously infected the inhabited wilds of Africa; an infection that’s marred an already frowned upon bloodline and a burgeoning, hidden sect, festering proudly in plain sight. These boys, these children, were never meant to bleed into the darkness with death glazed eyes and steal breaths, pillage homes and howl to the moon like wolves drawn to the liquor of blood. They walk around, weighed down by the pull of the underworld, with ghosts tattooed on the faces and yet they stain their tender blood with burning shots of invincibility like they’ve earned the right to almost recognise the screams, the cries and to almost remember the blood, tears and slaughters in the wake of night.

These boys drag their armour around, without smiles. These forgotten children, these fatherless, motherless wonders are no longer part of a secret society. They’re no longer hidden beneath raw earth and unseen while moulded onto the thick jungle brush. They’re no longer a unique brand of existence, unchartered, misunderstood wonders of a silent culture; they’re a growing village. They’re the rising tide and they’re the entitled mushrooms that have come to inherit the earth.


These boys that no longer smile, no longer exist. They’re trained, lethal and living ghosts and they’ve been redesigned to singe their hollow cheeks and vacant glares into the dying memories of their victims. They were never meant to have victims to begin with.

This cannot continue.

We’ve heard the stories, read the atrocities and we’ve prayed for the victims, but have we asked ourselves, who the victims in these wars are?

The homes reduced to cinder and rubble? Of course. The mothers, fathers and children committed to their early graves? Certainly. But the forgotten children, the deceived boys, those are victims too. The argument of who the real victims are shouldn’t be the focus. We’re programmed to believe that life is a tale of binaries; where there’s a victim, there’s only ever an oppressor, an evil born from fire and brimstone.

These boys without smiles, they’re victims too. They’re the ones stolen, stripped and deceived and they’re the on1011521_650282551657193_942106908_nes being led towards a cold fate. They’re the ones that continue to suffer, they’re the ones in over their heads and they’re the ones who’ve been convinced, persuaded into wielding a machete as a vessel of change. They’re the ones poisoned by violence.


I can’t force you to see what i see, to feel what i feel and to fight against the same demons i battle. I can only tell you about the boys who could have run away. I can only tell you about the children that still have a fighting chance and about the people that are willing to place themselves at the brink, only to fight for us, for the boys.

The power of your convictions can be greatly underestimated. Don’t make the same mistake many others make of you; saying something, screaming it out or writing something is as great a weapon as any currency is.

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