Jimeh Saleh from BBC Hausa returns to his home town of Maiduguri in the far north-east of Nigeria for the first time in almost a year - to find the city is a mere shell of its once lively self, following a spate of deadly attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist group.
As dusk falls in Maiduguri, and the bright afternoon sun gradually turns orange and slowly dips in the evening sky, a muezzin leads the call to pray.
His spirited voice echoes from a pair of loud speakers on a minaret atop one of the oldest mosques in town.
The faithful observe the evening Maghreb prayer - and then have to go straight on to the Isha, the late evening prayer, because Maiduguri has to live under a strict 19:00-06:00 curfew.
Today’s quiet nights - the uncertainty and the insecurity - are a far cry from the Maiduguri I grew up in.
Firmly padlocked houses
My home town, in the far north-east of Nigeria, is also the stronghold the country’s radical Islamist group, Boko Haram.
And in the past few months, the group has carried out a number of violent and devastating attacks in many parts of Nigeria - including drive-by shootings and bombings in Maiduguri, even the central mosque in December.
Back from London in Maiduguri for the first time in almost a year, the town is as dusty as I left it - but it appears poorer - and so do its industrious and boisterous people.
No more do buses, taxis, beggars, vendors and shop keepers hustle for business late into the night.
Families are no longer able to afford three meals a day.
Property speculators are complaining that business is down, and some are suffering losses.
"Closing shops at 7pm is just like working half-day," said an economist with the University of Maiduguri who, like most people I spoke to, asked to remain anonymous.
"The economy here is driven by the informal sector which has no closing hours," he added.