Tag Archives: African writing

09Jun/16

I Discovered A Bird Of Prey #ItChangedMyLife

By Priscilla Adeboye

…I woke up. I was alone. I tried to sit up, and then I realised I still had some dregs of the jetlag I had contracted earlier from flying 36 hours to this place. And even though my ears were still buzzing, I heard the chirping of birds; there was a lure to it, as if they were calling my name.

So I got up and looked out of the window; the warm rays of the setting sun kissed my face. Nature, resplendent in its beauty. Selecting the room on the fifth floor at a hotel with no elevators, turned out to be a good idea after all. This view was a dream.

I stepped out to the balcony and then I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery: the skies, the sun, mountains, trees, birds, lakes, the natural landscape – folds, twist, bends, curves, and colours. My heart expanded in my chest at the sight of this breath-taking slice of heaven on earth.

That was when I saw her.

As I was still trying to catch my breath, I saw her.

With astonishing speed and manoeuvrability, she swooped by, grabbed what looked like a rabbit from afar and off she flew, without even landing.

I was hypnotised, mesmerised, fascinated, awe-struck. Whaaaaaaaatttt? Diving from such great heights, gliding through the air with so much grace and panache, ‘Swaguuu drippin’, if you like.

The Eagle. When you say that name, put some respeck’ on it. Clocked to fly at close to 200 miles per hour. Impressive both in size and fearsome beauty. Most popular animal symbol on flags, coins, seals, flags, and standards since ancient times. Admired the world over as a living symbol of power, freedom, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination, graceand transcendence. Capable of floating, aka swimming and also ‘walking’.

After what I saw that evening, I had to find out more about this bird of prey. This. This. This eagle of a bird:

·         Eyes – Eagles’ eyes are extremely powerful, having up to 3.6 times human acuity, which enables them to spot a potential prey or enemy from a very long distance. Their eyes have a million light-sensitive cells per square mm of retina, five times more than a human’s 200,000. While humans see just three basic colours, eagles see five. These adaptations give eagles extremely keen eyesight and enable them to spot even well-camouflaged potential prey from a very long distance. Also, eagles have two sets of eyes. The first set is their natural eye which they have when they are in aresting mode. However, when they start to take flight on strong wind thermals, they have a second eye that comes in on them. This second eye enables them to fly on these strong winds without damaging their original eye. You have been blessed with the gift of physical sight but how acute is your mind? Remember ‘the eyes are useless when the mind is blind’. A big focused vision will yield big positive results. Interesting to note however, is that there are some things your physical eyes or mind would not see, you need a spiritual eye which only the Holy Spirit enables.  #selah

·         Fearlessness – the eagle will never surrender to the size of its prey. Eagles have been known to kill animals up to 5 times their size. It is always ‘fight to win’ with the eagle. It has also been observed that most birds of prey look back over their shoulders before striking prey (or shortly thereafter). All hawks seem to have this habit, from the smallest kestrel to the largest Ferruginous – but not the Eagles. No retreat, no surrender. Face problems head-on.

·         Play/Chillax – the eagle engages in some aerial displays, death-defying dives and swoops just for fun. After all, all work and no play… Also, at a certain age, the physical body condition of the eagle deteriorates fast making it difficult for her to fly or even survive. But even at that, she never gives up living. Instead, she retreats to a mountaintop and over a period and goes through a metamorphosis which produces a re-growth of the aged body parts, allowing the eagle to live for up to another 30 – 40 years.

·         Friendship – Eagles can fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet, I have flown in an aircraft before that didn’t even get that high. At 10, 000 feet, the only other bird you’ll find is an eagle. The eagle doesn’t play around with suckers. Dr. Myles Munroe once said ‘eagles don’t mingle with pigeons. Pigeons scavenge on the ground and grumble and complain all day long. Eagles fly and make less noise, alwayswaiting for opportunities to strike their next prey or glide with the current of the storm’. No time to waste time. There is a saying that goes: “the people you hang around with and the books you read eventually determine the person you become.”

·         Tenacity – when the storm comes, other birds fly away to safety. Not the eagle, she spreads her mighty wings and rides on the wings of the wind to soar to greater heights. She uses the pressure of the storm to glide higher without having to use her own energy. She takes advantage of the very storm that would otherwise have destroyed her.

·         Nurturing – though known for their strength, pride and brutality, what is most astonishing about these birds of prey is their ability to nurture. 3 months before she starts to lay eggs, an eagle builds a cosy home for her young. Research has shown that no member of the bird family is more gentle and attentive to its young than the eagle. And when she sees that the time has come to teach her young to fly, she does a great job in nudging it to the greatness the Eagle dynasty is famous for.

·         Lifestyle – eagles live well. They eat well. They don’t feed on dead food. They are ranked at the top of the food chain as apex predators in the avian world. I like to think they sleep well too. They normally build their nests,at a vantage point high in a tree or on high cliffs in a permanent feeding territory. These nests are ‘renovated’ year after year and can become an enormous edifice, measuring up to 6-8 feet wide, 2 feet high and weighing well over 1,000 pounds.

·         Dependence – eagles are superlative soarers, powerful fliers—skilfully gliding over long distances. However, eagles would literally die if they expend too much energy flapping their strong big wings during flight. Yes, they are skilled birds, very talented and strong, but they are also smart enough to patiently wait for a big gust of wind to rise up from the atmosphere; theysoar on the wind currents without having to flap their wings. They do this in order to conserve energy. Sometimes, eagles remain perched for days before they can catch a good, strong, wind thermal. My Bible says: ‘“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord’. (Zechariah 4:6). We are able to achieve exponentially more with God’s help than we can on our own.

·         Loyalty – Eagles ‘mate for life’. Once eagles mate with their partners, they stay true and loyal to that other eagle for life. In the same way, God expects us to stay true, loyal, and faithful to our spouses to the day we die.

Ps: there is a prominent genus in the eagle family named Aquila, by the way

I found an awesome bird of prey and it changed my life. Dear Himalayas, I will be back.

NB: If you’d love to visit Nepal with me next year, please shoot me an email pi.adeboye@gmail.com

Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress,

Priscilla Adeboye


 

Read previous episodes here

Death #ItChangedMyLife By Okikiola Oladele

I Read A Book #ItChangedMyLife by Victoria Akinwande

I Discovered Purpose #ItChangedMyLife by Daniel Otabor

Dr S.O. And His Cane #ItChangedMyLife by Olubukola Omotoso

I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife by Nissi Inspiration

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife by Adekunle

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife; I Received A September 11 Phone Call #ItChangedMyLife by Rev Laurie Idahosa.

08Jun/16

Death #ItChangedMyLife

By Okikiola Oladele

I have learnt to live life without a shade of worry. I mean when you look at it deeply what is the point of worrying. You never know what will happen tomorrow. You don’t even really know if tomorrow will come, so why do you want to keep yourself rooted in the very mystery that tomorrow holds and forget to live life today. Life is right here and now,in this moment, let tomorrow worry about itself. It is non-existent. You see, I am a “cross-the-bridge-when-we-get-there” kinda guy. I still am but then, death changed my life!

Death shouldn’t be new to me, well to many of us but it’s much more real around me. It lives around me, just around the corner. It could jump out anytime with its crooked sickle and snatch a soul. I see it every now and then so I could almost say I’m immune to it…or so I thought!
You see one would think being in the field of medicine makes one hardened to circumstances and happenstance. Ah, well, one might be right. You barely have time to grief for the loss of a patient before you attend to the next one. Nope!
It isn’t that you aren’t hurt but you can’t allow your mental status cloud your judgement so you put all thoughts of grief and sorrow aside! Superman fascie on and ready to go but every Superman still needs a Lois Lane, or how does the saying go? I digress. So you see…Death changed my life! And I will tell you why.
I haven’t talked about this a lot. 2012. It was a time that bent the fabric of reality for me as a person and made me see this life for what it really is. One of my cousins, more like a sister died. I had never felt shock like that before, as my father called out to me as I sat in the car…and you know when Dad is about to break a sad news to me, he gets unusually cheerful. I cried for about one week straight. It felt surreal.
A darkness threatened to engulf my heart and the world seemed bleak! You know after every night, the sun always shine again, right? Right? Oh it did. The sun really did shine! But only for a moment! We were healing and gradually returning to normal programming. The warmth was returning and smiles were becoming brilliant again! Radiant joy. Remember how I said death lives just around the corner? Yep! It jumped out and snatched another soul, specifically the sister this time around! You start asking questions, what is happening? Who did these lovely young ladies offend? That kind of thing messes with your mind especially when you take a minute to think about how the Immediate family members might be feeling. It is quite….crushing!
Fast forward a couple of years and more shocking deaths and you start getting wicked vibes down your spine. Stuff like what I have described are only seen in movies but then it hits close to home and suddenly you know that life isn’t what you thought it might be.
You may have designed a fancy dream of what your life should be. Who you will marry. Where you will settle down. How many cars you will own. These are all good! Brilliant as a matter of fact. Planning makes perfect but somehow we’ve gotten so engrossed in the future and we forget to live in present. LIFE IS FLEETING. Live life now! It goes without saying learn to appreciate people more, do the things you enjoy doing! Don’t keep yourself bottled up. I was discussing, just recently,  with a dear friend about how people tell us how we seem to be everywhere doing everything and my answer is simple. Whatever my hands find doing, I need to do it well!
We were born with so much talents and potentials that need to find expression. I want to be one of those guys who die empty! I want to get real here, I’m not trying to be dark but the truth is you never know when the sand will stop running in your hourglass. It’s something you want to take a moment and think about! You ask yourself, why should you keep hanging on to old relationships that may keep you grounded? Why do I want to keep living life in my corner? Why do I want to keep myself restricted to a particular diet? Why won’t I try out a new sport? Why do I want to keep living in this city?
Interesting to note is that you might have valid answers to some of those nagging questions at the back of your mind and that’s okay! The important question is, How do you see life? Something to just…deal with or a gift! I think we need to come to a realisation of the fact that everyday we live is a gift! Each waking moment is bigger than us and the moment we know or understand that, we step out of the frame and see the bigger picture!
When we begin to honour the sacrifices people make for us by using every waking moment as a treasure to be cherished such that if you were to check out right now and it is asked that what did you do with you life, you will see in that moment, In that instance, that life in itself is bigger than you!
So, you see…death changed my life! Now I am a big picture, tall dreams kinda guy! The goal is to die empty whenever that is.
Peace. Love and Chicken grease!


Read previous episodes here

I Read A Book #ItChangedMyLife by Victoria Akinwande

I Discovered Purpose #ItChangedMyLife by Daniel Otabor

Dr S.O. And His Cane #ItChangedMyLife by Olubukola Omotoso

I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife by Nissi Inspiration

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife by Adekunle

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife; I Discovered A Bird Of Prey by Countess Priscilla Adeboye

06Jun/16

I Discovered Purpose #ItChangedMyLife

I am now an undergraduate. Freedom at last. New friends, new country and new culture. All of these I am going to make sure I enjoy to the fullest. These were my thoughts as I got into school to study Computer Engineering Technology. I am not going to dull myself, I’m gon ball and also gon study. I won’t be left behind. So I can’t imagine being left out either.
So it all began. Went to club with friends, had a couple of bottles of beer, great shots of Jack Daniel and amazing true or dare games. Wow I have been missing a lot Oo. These kept on buzzing in my young mind. But at the end of every day I ‘flexed’, I never felt fulfilled. Something was missing I thought to myself. But what could that be. I am free now, I can sleep when I like and go out when I want. So what’s wrong? Sigh! This kept on happening. 100 level gone, 200 level followed suit and I am about to hit 300 level and my grades are not even encouraging to add to the matter. Mehn I can’t take this anymore. There’s got to be more like Micah Stampley observed.
Then the wake up call came through. It was my younger sister, the fourth child Dorathy Otabor. She called, “Hello Big Bro, How are you na?” She asked… “I am fine O my sis” I replied. She continued, “How’s school na? Hope everything is fine, just thought to check up on you and know how you are doing.” “Thank you so much sweet sis, school is fine and every every dey alright” I said to her. “Okay Bro, I will talk to you soon then.” She said and finally I replied “Thanks Sis. Good night”. As I was about to end the call she said, “Eh ehn Bro, do fast and graduate O, get a good job, own your apartment in Lagos so that Destiny and I can always come spend holiday with you in Lagos”. And then just like a babe whose wig just fell off her head as she’s about to climb a bike, that same feeling of mehn see level O. I realised I had a responsibility to ensure my life was properly fixed.
But what was missing was still the question? But not for long again, and with the help of my faith, I realised that it was a sense of not knowing where I was headed in life, what I was living for and why I was on earth was the reason I always felt something was missing. It was PURPOSE missing all along.
The journey began and I search for my purpose in line with how my faith taught me to. I prayed to the one who created me, God. Discussed with mentors and read books like it was my oxygen and BOOM! I had the Eureka moment. The moment when you finally get the answer to that Calculus question that has made you become someone with amnesia. It was revealed to me in bits that I was meant to live my life ensuring those I come in contact with I help unleash their greatness, build Nations and help grow start-ups to world class. I was meant to speak and lives will be transformed. I was meant to write and destinies will be revived. Finally I had discovered my purpose in life. What a feeling, still in that moment of clarity I got a word that would forever change the way men saw purpose. The word was, “the day you discover purpose should be your birthday.” Because I believe you are not yet born until you discover your purpose and you have not yet lived until you are truly living purposefully.
Fast-forward few years later, I am speaking in conferences, seminars both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria, travelled to 24states in Nigeria for speaking engagements, spoke in prestigious universities in Nigeria and got a book published. Gotten multiple awards, met great men, still praying to meet many and the list of great accomplishments just keeps growing. What’s even more amazing is that I am still in my incubation stage.
Truth is a life without purpose is like a black hole. It can never be filled by or with anything. No matter how much you put in it. It will always get swallowed up. Please what do you call a car without engine or DSTV without channels?
Mehn Fam I won’t deceive you, the day I discovered purpose, my life changed.


 

 

Next Episode

I Read A Book #ItChangedMyLife By Victoria Akinwande

Read Previous episodes below

Dr S.O. And His Cane #ItChangedMyLife by Olubukola Omotoso

I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife by Nissi Inspiration

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife by Adekunle

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

05Jun/16

DR. S.O. AND HIS CANE #ITCHANGEDMYLIFE

By Bukola Omotoso

Looking back over my life, I can think of several moments that were significant. The first time I ate Ice Cream, my first kiss, the day I lost my dad, the day I discovered how depressing Pounded Yam really is, the first time I tried to make Amala, etc, etc, but one day stands out to me. It was the day I got to school late.

Let me give you a little background. I must have been between ages 5 and 6, attending a primary school owned by my grandfather. We lived right in the school compound, so there was no reason for me to be late, ever.

My grandfather was a stickler for timeliness; invite him someplace and he would be there two hours early, waiting for you to wake up. He never, ever showed up late. Ever. So, it really grated on his nerves whenever people would show up late, without regard for time.

Prior to this fateful day, he had issued verbal warnings to late comers, admonishing them to come to school on time. He didn’t flog anyone though, not yet.

On this day, I thought to myself, “I never do anything wrong. I always obey all the rules. I ought to relax just this once. I mean, my house is literally a minute away from the assembly ground; I could still be a couple of minutes late and I would be fine.”

Fam, when you start thinking thoughts like this, beware; the devil has a surprise beating planned for you.

So, there I was, strolling to school, late, and with my belt untied. My grandfather saw me, and I don’t remember much else. All I know is, he beat me so much, I had bumps and depressions on my head. My class teacher was pretty strict, but when he saw me that morning, he felt so bad for me. I could see the pity in his eyes. My whole life turned around that morning.

Later, in secondary school, I became some sort of rebel (emphasis on “some sort”); I sagged my uniform skirt, tucked my shirt in loosely, wore my beret only on one side of my head, so that it completely covered my left ear. I was one of the shortest people in my entire class, but on the assembly ground, I preferred to stay at the very back of the line, behind the tallest boys. I carried a towel (a big one, not a face towel) around my neck for one term. It wasn’t part of the school uniform, but yea, I did it.

In all of that “rebellion”, not once did it even occur to me to show up late. I never showed up late to school again. Because, even though my grandfather had retired at that point, and didn’t attend our assembly gatherings often, the memory of that experience never left me. Also, there was a new sheriff in town. And this one didn’t deal in cane; she doled out slaps that would literally make you see sparks. You could be deaf or disillusioned for a full minute as a result.

Even now in my adult life, every time I show up late, I remember the bumps and depressions and think, “Girl, you know better than to be late. Grandpa’s cane taught you better.”

Talk about a day I will never forget.


Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife; Day 6 I Discovered Purpose #ItChangedMyLife By Daniel Otabor

Read Previous episodes below

I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife by Nissi Inspiration

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife by Adekunle

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

 

 

04Jun/16

I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife

By Nissi Inspiration

Once upon a time, I was so self-conscious, uncomfortable in my own skin and always needing a mirror’s reflection to determine my beauty.

But that was, ‘once upon a time’

It all changed when I met Maria…

On a very gloomy day filled with disappointments, I decided to pay my friend – Tolani – an evening visit, but on getting there, I was unprepared for what I met. I have seen blind people by the roadsides countless number of times, but this is the first time I would officially meet one who isn’t a charity case! And a beautiful one at that!

The lady – whose unfocused eyes pronounced her blind – sat, all smiles, as Tolani fixed her make-up. Speechless as I was, Tolani faced me with a bright smile. “It is good you are here babe, I need you to be the judge” she said when I entered. “Maria has a date and I want to make sure she looks smashing”

I watched as Maria’s face broke into a wide expectant smile. Clearing my throat, I said. “Of course, you have nothing to worry about Maria. Tolani is very good at this” I assured her.

“Of course, with two beautiful women, nothing can go wrong” Maria said in an animated fashion.

I rolled my eyes. “What makes you think I am beautiful?” I asked, knowing she just talked out of courtesy.

She smiled, her eyes unfocused. “You sound like a nice person and nice people are always beautiful to me”

Floored by that statement, I watched in silence as Tolani applied a modest amount of gloss to Maria’s puckered lips. I wondered how Maria must be feeling, unable to personally check out her reflection in the mirror to know if she was truly looking great. Unable to see if the powder blended perfectly with her skin. She just sat there, with a contented smile on her face! How could she do that!

“Yes, I am through” Tolani declared minutes later.

The smile on Maria’s face brightened up the room as we helped her up. The short red gown she had on stopped just above her knees. But the cloth and make-up wasn’t what made her look so breathless. It was her smile. Her smile came from within, making her glow with happiness and confidence.

“You look so beautiful” I said truthfully, seeking to reassure her, but she didn’t need the reassurance.

“I feel beautiful” she responded.

And that! Those three words changed me. Maria, though without eyes was able to change my way of thinking. Though without sight, she was able to look within to find the true definition of beauty. Now I know that beauty isn’t all about the reflection I see in my standing mirror. True beauty can only be felt!

Now, I look less at my standing mirror, and I look more at my inner mirror, because it is not enough to look beautiful. Feeling beautiful is the ultimate!

I met a happy blind lady, it changed my life!


 

Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife; Day 5 Dr S.O. And His Cane by Bukola Omotoso

Read Previous Episodes here

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife by Adekunle

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

 

03Jun/16

I Lost My Phone #ItChangedMyLife

By Adekunle

Should I, a professed Christian, called to be a saint, a child of God, a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, should I be covetous, sensual, proud, or envious? Should I yield to impatience, discontent, or anger? Should I be slothful, unbelieving, or unmerciful? What effects will such conduct have upon others? All that God has done for us, or by us, or given to us, should lead us to watchfulness, self-denial, and diligence. Next to the sinfulness of sin, we should dread the scandal
– Matthew Henry.

I earned N5000 per month for six months as an Industrial Training (IT) Student attached to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Headquarters Abuja. There was a Strike in the period by the Radio Workers Union and because I showed up to assist the management, I was paid an extra N7000. That is a total of N37,000.00

Before I resumed school for my final year, I decided I was going to buy a new phone. The NOKIA E63 (You probably don’t remember what it looks like now but it was a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIG deal then); So on this beautiful Saturday, I drove to Emab Plaza in Abuja -popular place for several phone shops and unloaded a total of N36,000 for my new phone.

nokia-e63

 

 

 

 

NOTE: N36000.00 is just One Thousand naira less than the entire income I received from my workplace throughout IT.

 

I could interest you with the reactions to my new phone (mostly excited with me feeling super cool) or bore you with details of how I got my accommodation for first semester 500 level but I shan’t. I will just go to the point where my life changed.

 

Minna was hot. You know how the heat wave of this year was across the country? Well, that was the norm in Minna. So on this fateful night, I elected to sleep in the living room of the house, keeping my phone among other ‘prized’ possessions safely (?) in the bedroom and the best part of it? I decided not to lock the main entrance to the house. (I don’t think it was the first time)

 

I woke up in the morning for a new day and I saw my roommate, Sogo. He said and I quote “We’ve been robbed”. Now, Sogo typically reacts to bad stuff by laughing- He was NOT laughing that day. By now you have probably very successfully guessed E63 was no longer present within the premises, custody or handle of either of us. In English, N36k was gone!

Those of you who know me know that I don’t collect plenty money from people in any way neither do I “do Yahoo Yahoo” or so, as Sogo rightly reacted, it was not a FUNNY Something.

 

As we all react to issue of stolen/missing items, I went out, looked around [as though the phone merely went out for an early morning jog and collapsed just outside the door] and asked. There was this young guy who seemed helpful (which is probably why I suspect he had something to do with the theft) and suggested that I go meet a “Baba” around some corner of the house that could miraculously do something about the situation and I did something I would NEVER imagined I would do. I looked at Sogo like “what do you think?”, His look like “What are you talking about?” helped bring my brain back home. Now let me be clear, I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN I would NOT have gone to any Baba, whether or not I got that reset but the fact that I didn’t dismiss it IMMEDIATELY it came was a personal disappointment for me but #ItChangedMyLife

 

From that moment on till now, I am not aware of ANY material possession that I have/would value so much as to CONSIDER such error. I have God to thank for that, and perhaps the thief. It was a lesson well learnt. There is nothing that I have received that I shouldn’t be able to give back. Nothing!

 

Now before you get all “touched” by this, Know that sometimes [I SAID SOMETIMES O!!!], I get stuff of value, and while I am immensely grateful for the gifts and show my gratitude, I..errr…don’t treat the stuff with the ‘prestige’ people expect so maybe that is a by-product of my lesson. But I’m certain that the Person (GOD) that taught me not to ‘grab’ anything will also teach me to hold some of those things more dearly than I ordinarily do.


Tomorrow on #ItChangedMyLife: I Met A Happy Blind Lady #ItChangedMyLife By Nissi Inspiration

Read Previous Episodes here

I Fell In Love #ItChangedMyLife  By Tomi Adesina

I Watched Scandal #ItChangedMyLife By LordJosh

11May/16

JUMAI Episode 10

Previously on JUMAI

Mark knew there was no way she would be convinced but he also knew there was no other way to get out of this. He looked at the pill, it was a symbol of hope and a death warrant at the same time. His heart was racing now, he didn’t want to die, he realised. If he waited any longer he would lose the courage to do it. He threw the pill into his mouth and swallowed it.

He walked over to Jumai and stood in front of her. She looked away from him in protest. If only she knew it was done. He looked at her and smiled, she was worth dying for. He brushed away stray hair strands from her face and she looked up at him with teary eyes. He leaned in and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around him and held him tight and his heart broke.

Why did things get good when they were about to get bad?

He felt a pull on his stomach and his eyes went dim; the drug was taking effect. That was it; his fate was sealed. It was time to be the hero.

 

Mark looked at Jumai then moved his attention from her, she wasn’t his focus now; he had men to deal with. He was not sure exactly how many of them he had to deal with or how armed they were. Did the drug prevent bullet penetration? Would he be able to dodge the bullets? He had too many questions. He would have to find answers to them behind the door.

He felt a surge of pain go through his body and he screamed.

“Mark, are you okay?” Jumai said, grabbing his arm.

He pushed her away and flexed his muscles. For a few seconds he waited as a wave of heat swept across his body; he could take on a thousand men if they stood in front of him right now. He looked at the girl on the ground at his feet, was she an enemy or a friend? She would be so easy to break in two. He laughed. That is Jumai, she is the reason you are doing this! He looked at the girl again, she looked so weak it made him angry. Pick her up and get out of here. He grunted in disgust and picked up the girl.

He stood in front of the door, hoisted the girl on his shoulder and punched the door with both hands. It flew off the hinges and into the room next to his. There were about… – he did a quick scan of the room, there were five soldiers in the room and now their attention was on him. He dropped the girl in a corner and faced the men. They stood slowly, curious about the door that had flown across the room. One of them recovered from his shock and grabbed his gun. Mark jumped across the room and with one blow knocked him unconscious. Mark looked up and laughed; this felt great.

The remaining four men had their guns pointed at him now but their eyes were on their fallen colleague.

“Shall we do this?” Mark said.

He wanted to feel their skull his hands while he broke their spines. Remember you are doing this to get her to safety. He looked at the girl crumpled in the corner, she was crying. He would get her to safety but first; these barbarians.

He ran towards the first one and the gunshots started, now was the moment to show how great he was. He was on top of the soldier before he could fire his first bullet. The other soldiers fired at the spot where he had been, haha; they missed. They soon found his new location and fired at him but he blocked the bullets with the body of their friend. He rushed towards the next one and knocked him over with the head of his colleague, he kicked the guy and he was out. Two to go.

“Wait.” He shouted.

For some stupid reason, the soldiers stopped, guns still pointed at him. He could imagine how afraid they were. He looked at the girl in the corner, he wished she had a camera to record his awesomeness.

“I am clearly outnumbered here, I think I should surrender.” He said.

He went on his knees and put his hands behind his head. The men looked at each other, they were confused. He jumped at one of the men and slammed his fist into his throat. He snatched his gun and fired at the other man and in less than ten seconds they were both down. This was fun. He was sure there were other men outside, he was going to kill them all. Every one of them.

Jumai, she needs to leave this place.

He looked at her and walked over to where she was lying, her face to the ground. She wasn’t impressed with his skill? He picked her up and she screamed.

“Hey shut up, I will get you out of here but not if you continue screaming like a tortured dog.”

“Mark.” She whispered through her tears.

You love her, get her to safety.

He looked through the window and just like he expected, there were men waiting outside. They must have heard the gunshots because they had guns ready. They were on the first floor of a storey building, most of the soldiers were on their floor, all he needed to do was get to the ground fast enough to avoid too much of a fight. Why would he want to avoid too much of a fight though? He grinned.

She would get hurt in a fight, get her to safety.

Damn the voice in his head! He needed to get this girl to safety on time so he could come back for a bigger fight. He held the girl in his left hand and readied himself. He took a deep breath and kicked the door off its hinges. The bullets started flying immediately. He took a step forward and threw the girl over the railings and she flew through the air towards the ground; head first. He jumped after her, grabbed her and landed on his back, the girl safe on his chest.

He stood and ran as fast as he could – which was very fast, away from the house and the soldiers who he so longed to fight. He ran and ran till he got to a forest. He looked behind, he could not even see the house anymore. Here was safe enough, he could drop the girl and go back for the fight.

“Mark.” The girl called him. What did she want now?

“Huh?” He grunted back at her.

“We need to get to the camp, you need to take the antidote.” She said.

“What antidote?”

“You can’t remain like this for too long, remember what happened to the others?”

What was she talking about? He looked back the way he had come by, he needed to go back and deal with the soldiers. He took a look at the girl and started back towards the house. Go back for her. She needs you as much as you need her. That was it! He was done listening to the stupid voice in his head. He knew what to do and he would do what he wanted now. He grinned and increased his pace; this was awesome.

 

***

Mark sat on the car and looked around, this wasn’t as awesome as he imagined. He had not taken as much time, effort or skill as he thought he would to deal with the soldiers. He looked at his right shoulder, blood trickled down from the wound. Deliberately getting himself shot to increase the challenge did not work either; men were too weak. What would he do now? Go into the city and look for more people to fight? He shook his head, what would be the point of fighting civilians? They would be too easy. Maybe he should look for a military barracks. He remembered one of the soldiers made a call before he killed him, maybe whoever he called would come with soldiers.

He felt a squeeze on his face and he rubbed it with his palm; his face felt dry. He jumped off the car and walked into the house, maybe he needed water. He looked around, there was no single water container standing aright; he had done a lot of damage to the house. He found a mirror in one of the rooms and he looked into it. His face looked strange; it was blacker and the part he touched earlier was wrinkled. What was happening?

Remember the other men? You are dying.

No way, he was not dying. He was super-strong and awesome. He punched the mirror and it shattered. He just needed more people to fight, that was it. He needed a fight. He walked out of the house, he would go into town, even if all he had were civilians.

He heard a sound behind him and turned around. His lips parted into a huge smile, there was a truck filled with soldiers slowing to a stop in front of the building. He rolled his fingers into a fist and started to bounce on his toes; Christmas came early. Thank you Santa.

The first soldier out of the truck saw him and cocked his gun. Mark ran towards him and grabbed him by the throat. Another soldier saw them and shot in his direction; he shifted the soldier swiftly and his body took the bullet; perfect human shield. But that was close; the bullet was headed for his stomach. Was he getting slower? Get out of here now! No way. He wanted this, he really wanted this. Most of the soldiers were still in the truck, maybe he could finish them off easily. He went to the front of the truck and pushed it; it moved. Great! He pushed it again and he applied more pressure and soon it was moving away from the house at a good speed. He looked and saw a slope, it was perfect. He pushed the truck to the slope and let it go, it ran down towards God knows what. Some of the soldiers jumped off the moving truck, they would come to him. He turned around and ran back to the house.

There was a different car in front of the house; a hummer. He looked inside the car; it was empty. He heard voices coming from inside the house. A sharp pain shot through his neck and he dropped to his knees. He held his neck and rubbed it; it felt like his face felt earlier. Did it mean his neck would be black and wrinkled too? For the first time, he feared; this was not good.

Get to the camp now!

The camp? The IDP camp! He looked at his palms, they were wrinkled too. Panic shot through him, he was not ready to die. He had to find the girl, he needed her. Jumai. He needed to find Jumai.

The men talking inside the building came out. They were two; a soldier and another man. He knew the man, he was a dangerous man. He killed Baban, you need to get out of here. Yes, he remembered now. The man was the one who brought the soldiers, he was the bad man.

Mark stayed low and crawled around the car. They were a few feet away from him now, he felt pain in every joint in his body but he had no time for self-pity, he needed to make a move now. He rose gently to his feet and jumped at the soldier and with a blow knocked him out. The bad man brought out a gun but he knocked it away before he could use it. The man raised both hands and looked around. Mark knew what the man was looking for but he was not going to find any.

He walked over to the man and grabbed his hand and knocked out a shoulder joint. The man screamed.

“Do you want to die?” Mark growled into the man’s ears.

The man grunted and shook his head.

“You’re going to drive me to the IDP camp. Now move it.”

“I don’t know where it is.” The man said.

Mark pushed the dislocated shoulder and the man screamed.

“Do you know the place now?” Mark asked.

He pushed the man into his car and he climbed in into the backseat. He put a hand around his neck and squeezed it gently.

“This squeeze can get a lot harder if you do any nonsense.” Mark said.

“Your hands looked all wrinkled up.” The man said. “I hope you know that means you are about to die. The kulunix kills you on its way out.”

“Just drive.” Mark said.

He knew the man was right, why didn’t he remember this before? And Jumai, where was she? Where did he leave her? He had to get to the camp fast.

 

***

His hands were barely tight and his eyes were already closing when they entered the camp. He was in trouble now, he was sure. Even if General Babatunde who he was sure was already sensing his weakness did not kill him, there was a good chance the kulunix would do it. He needed the antidote but the chance of him finding it before he became too weak to move was low now.

“We are here.” General Babatunde said.

“Thank you General.” Mark said.

“Thank you?” The general said. “The kulunix must have worn off. Would you please get your wrinkled hands off my neck?”

“Not yet. Get me to the office area then you can go.”

“Why on earth will I do that?”

“Because I still have my hand on your neck.” Mark said and squeezed the general’s neck.

Pain surged through his hand and through his body and he let go of the general’s neck. He shouldn’t have squeezed harder, using that extra energy was too dangerous, and it was going to kill him. He rolled in the back seat as his stomach turned and his head burned.

“Well, I guess I don’t have to take orders from you anymore.” The general said. “Now, we will take a trip to my house, I have a little place where I kill people like you.”

Mark looked through the window, the car had turned around. He could not let the general take him out of the camp. He reached for the car handle and opened the door. He jumped out of the car and fell on his face. He mustered all the energy he had and stumbled towards the offices, the antidote would be somewhere there.

Behind him, he heard the car stop and a door open. There was no point stopping to see what the General was doing, he needed to get to the office.

“Mark!” He heard a voice ahead of him.

He looked; Jumai! She was safe! She was here!

He caught a second wind and ran towards her, she ran to meet him too. He smiled, it felt like he was the star of an Indian movie. Except his beautiful Indian princess was a beautiful Nigerian one with a large syringe in her hand. The antidote! He dropped to his knees, he would survive.

A gunshot rang through the camp and for a second it looked like the whole world stood still.

Jumai came back to life first. She screamed, threw the syringe away and grabbed him. She held him and screamed in his ear. Behind her three men with cameras ran towards him – the pressmen he had invited earlier in the day. It felt so long ago.

Jumai held him at arm’s length and he saw blood on her shirt.

“Jumai, you are bleeding.” He said.

A trickle of blood slid down the side of his mouth. He looked down at his stomach, he was bleeding too. His hands felt weak and they dropped to his side.

“Jumai…” He mumbled.

“Shhh, don’t say anything.”

Pain hit his stomach and he crumbled and lay on his back. From the corner of his eyes he saw General Babatunde running back to his car with a gun in his hand. His eyes widened; he had been shot!

Oh no!

“Jumai,” He whispered. “I have been shot.”

“Stop talking Mark.” She was fidgeting with her phone. “One of the cameramen has gone for help.”

“You are doctor, you are the only help I need.”

“Conserve your energy Mark.” She said.

“Conserve it for what? You? I have you here already and that’s all I need.”

“The pressmen got that shooting on camera and I promise that man would not get away with it. My father will make sure of it.”

Mark smiled. He did not care about General Babatunde. Even if they arrested him, there would always be another bad man. With the doctor gone and Baban dead, no one would be producing kulunix anytime soon. He wasn’t dying for nothing. He closed his eyes, he had never felt more at peace.

“Mark, open your eyes.” Jumai said.

Her voice sounded like it came from across a large room, a beautiful large room; heaven maybe.

“Come on Mark, Joey Tribbiani wouldn’t die on me.” She said with a nervous chuckle.

Haha Joey. He laughed and coughed, blood spurting from his mouth. He opened his eyes and looked at her; he could not believe he met her less than a month ago. He reached for her hand and held it. If he could write his life’s story he would title it Jumai. He smiled at his own stupidity.

“Mark.” She said his name so beautifully he wished he could hear it one more time.

“Jumai.”

He whispered her name softly and it echoed in his mind as his eyes closed for the last time. It would continue to echo, maybe even for all eternity.

 

THE END.

 

PS: Thank you for reading the story. Today is the day to leave comments if you never have, let me know what you think about the story. Thanks again, you are the reason I do this.

04May/16

Jumai Episode 9

Everything was falling into place now for Baban. The men on kulunix were doing exactly what he wanted; maybe a little more. Soldiers had been killed and a few of the men had been killed but it was getting attention from the government. But he knew it was just for the meantime, this needed to be the beginning of many more attacks. He had leaked a few pictures and videos to reporters and a few people were talking about the ongoing incident. He needed more than a few people, he needed the whole nation talking about these new terrorists. He needed men who would pay to have his drug and his sponsors needed the government to buy weapons. Everything was good except for one missing man; Doctor Coker. Continue reading

27Apr/16

Jumai Episode 8

Previously on JUMAI
Mark felt something on the back of his head. He turned around slowly and he came face to face with Major and a gun on his head.
He looked at the girl with his shirt.
“Please help me talk to Baban, my friend’s name is Jumai.”
The girl nodded.
Murdered by a gunshot, it wasn’t a bad way to go. He closed his eyes and filled his mind with Jumai’s smile; it was the perfect way to go.

He heard the click of the slide and waited for the bullet to pierce through his skull.
“Major.” A voice called.
He waited a few more seconds and he felt the gun leave his head. He opened his eyes and saw Major putting his gun away.
“My friend, come.”
Mark looked in the direction of the voice and there he was; Baban. He was not white as Mohammed as suggested, he was Indian. Why would an Indian man be the drug lord in a Northern Nigerian village? It did not matter, the man just called him ‘friend’, that was a good sign. There was hope for him. There was hope for Jumai.
The girl gave him his shirt and he walked away from the disappointed crowd to Baban. The closer he came to Baban, the shorter he realized he was. Mention drug lord and Baban was not the picture that came to mind. How did he control his troop of lunatics, most of whom did not even speak English?
Mark stopped in front of his saviour and looked down at him, Baban frowned. Someone hit his leg from behind and he fell to his knees. Mark looked up at Baban, he was smiling now. The two obviously and heavily armed men behind him were smiling too.
“You are a long way from home my friend. What are you doing here?” Baban asked.
“My friend is missing and I have reason to believe that you have her.”
“Really?” Baban looked at the men beside him and they laughed. “Look around you, do you see her?” Continue reading

20Apr/16

Jumai Episode 7

Baban looked at the girl through the screen door, he was still undecided on what to do with her. He wanted to keep her alive, hostages could come in handy but she was also potential trouble. Her wealthy father would stop at nothing to have his daughter back… but it also meant that her wealthy father would pay anything to have his daughter back. He wasn’t going to have her back but the money would not hurt.
Even if he was going to kill her, she could still be useful. She was the one with Sule during his strongest points and the moment when he died, he needed information; information she would have. He could threaten her to get the information but she was a spoilt rich kid, threats may not work. Torturing her could be counterproductive also. A girl like her would die as soon as the first tooth was pulled out.
Continue reading