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    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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Before I Die, I Want To . . .

f94710f6cd05ed28440f6a7067004a53It is public art made of private wishes.

In a phenomenon spreading across the globe, oversized blackboards, painted on buildings and freestanding displays, invite passers-by to complete the sentence: “Before I die I want to …” Answers, some profound, some profane, are written on stenciled lines with pieces of sidewalk chalk picked from the ground below.

“… make my dad proud.”

“… find the yin to my yang.”

Since artist Candy Chang created the first wall on an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood in 2011, more than 400 walls have gone up in the United States and more than 60 other countries, including Kazakhstan, Mexico, Iraq, Haiti, South Korea and South Africa.

before-i-die-i-want-to-candy-chang-12-600x402“… be happy.”

“… see Italy.”

“… eat more everything.”

“… get my wife back.”

“… slow down for a moment and maybe even stop.”

“… brighten someone’s day.”

“… see a cure for autism.”

“… grow a moustache.”

“… get clean.”

“… find alien life.”

“… tell my dad I’m gay.”

”… forgive and be forgiven.” ”

“Some walls reflect the current politics of the region,” Chang said. “For the most part, the walls have shown just how universal our hopes are,” Chang said. “We want to love and be loved. We want to see the world. We want to help others. We want to understand who we really are.”

So, guys, answer me this, before you die, you want to . . .?beforeidieangledwallfeb25_0

Leave a comment


  1. Yemie

     /  December 4, 2013

    I’d love to see Nigeria move from a ‘developing third world’ status to a ‘developed first world’ status. Am I asking for too much though??? *scratching my head*

  2. darlington

     /  December 4, 2013

    eat more chocolates !

  3. abikoye

     /  December 4, 2013

    Never thought about it.

    Will answer when I can. I’ll probably just walk past that wall and maybe hiss the day am angry and the day am really jobless, wait for a few minutes read and laugh #giantgrin#

  4. ary

     /  December 4, 2013

    …Know if there’s really a hell waiting for me.

  5. nik

     /  December 4, 2013

    *scratching head*

  6. Travel the world, win grammys, win Oscars, write phenomenal international bestsellers, raise wonderful kids, fuck with the media, sit on Oprah’s couch and complain about my lack of privacy and the paparazzi, outdo Bill and Melinda Gates’ charity, inspire a new generation of artistes and writers, let the world know how truly wonderful, intelligent, and exceptional Africans and Africa really is.

  7. Michael

     /  December 4, 2013

    Chocolates! Eat chocolates from every region of the world. Go sky diving. Go bungee jumping. Sail around the world. Fly around the world. Visit every country and sample their cuisines and their ‘cuisines’ 😉 . And oh, start my own company. There! Whew! That ain’t much, is it?

  8. chinwe

     /  December 4, 2013

    Hmmmmmm!!before I die I want to be always happy!…is dt weird?

  9. Chinweike

     /  December 4, 2013

    There’s so much I want to do before I die, I probably won’t even do up to half of them.

    But at the top of the list is wealth and charity…simple.

  10. carsten

     /  December 4, 2013

    gain weight 😐

  11. doris

     /  December 4, 2013

    Eat and not get fat
    luv without fear
    write a book
    Travel a bit
    And see God.

  12. mana

     /  December 4, 2013

    …Build schools in villages n rural areas n give free education, (this I wud say is definitely goin 2 hapen, so help me God)

  13. john

     /  December 4, 2013

    Travel the world, see my grand kids and let my parents knw d true me.

  14. …know what fulfillment really feels like.

  15. mesi

     /  December 4, 2013

    …change this world for the best! No, I really mean change this world!

  16. Err…publish a book.

  17. Emmanuel Dan

     /  December 4, 2013

    see an African-British Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, London.

  18. kachi

     /  December 5, 2013

    …Live my dreams

  19. Before I die, I want to make someone happy.

  20. Chalya

     /  December 6, 2013

    … I want to read all the ‘Before I die…’ walls…lol. I want to help make education better in Nigerian, in whatever little or big way I can.

  21. Newton

     /  December 6, 2013

    Visit Rio

  22. Becky

     /  December 6, 2013

    Grow old with Hubby & play wit our grand kids. So help me God.


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