Niger: I’m Scared | Adamou Idé

I’m scared!

Yes, I do not conceal it from you

I say it: I’m scared! I’m scared

Of all anthems you sing

Elixirs vomited noisily

Brought forward

I’m scared of your flags

cracking in the wind of your madness

I’m scared!

To you I confess my fear

I’m scared of your erected tents

Sparse in the flowered gardens

I’m scared of your adult games

In the pedestrian corridors

I know that one day

You will shoot me!

I’m scared

Yes, I confess my fear

I’m scared of your gloved hands

Hiding numerous cactus

I’m scared when a child

Claims for life in his cold cradle

I’m scared when he shows ecstasy I know that one day

You will shoot him!


Adamou Idé is a Nigerien poet and novelist. A native speaker of the Zarma language, Idé left his home in Niamey to study public administration in France and served as an official in the Government of Niger and in international organizations. Idé published his first collection of poems, Cri Inachivé (The Unfinished Cry) in 1984, and his first novel in 1987. He has published both in French and in Zarma. Idé won the first Nigerien National Poetry Prize (Prix national de Poésie) in 1981 And the Grand Prix Littéraire Boubou Hama du Niger in 1996. He has served as a jury member for the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire in 1991 and received the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite (“Knight of the Order of Merit”) of Niger.

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