The street is not just a place that connects roads and buildings. As kids, it was where our parents filled on forms that requested our address. It was a name we had in our memories so we don’t lose track of home. It accommodates our homes, schools, churches, mosques, markets, and playground. We grew to understand that the true meaning of the street transcends those definitions. It is an aspect of society that makes up the totality of our inner and outer self, the sociology, psychology, and philosophy by which our thoughts, ideas and beliefs are shaped.

Growing up, it was our third school where we learned by observing and doing, and mastered over time. It taught us what our parents were too cautious to teach and our teachers were too formal to explain. It helped us grow in thoughts and taught us responsibility when necessary. We looked out for each other and practised the chain rule even without knowing the theoretical basis.

The street is a state of mind that nurtures talents, gifts and prepares us for the larger world. It is where we hone our skills and develop ourselves. It is where our rap contests hold, where our dance battles are staged, where we play soccer, hangout, and chase at the girls. The street accepts you, gives you a voice and listens to you. It presents reality in its raw form.

The street preaches many things but violence. It preaches love, loyalty, hustle and respect. It is that aspect of the society that little has been written about, yet forms part of our daily routine. It is marred by the misconception that it has birthed many wrongs, yet more rights have been made from the situations presented by it.

Jahfaith Irokanulo.

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