Strangers in the Dark

 

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While growing up, I was not surrounded by love because I had a step mum who would not want me to be useful in this life. I was three when mum died and life became hell for me. Dad suddenly became a stranger when he got married to my step mum.  He was not concerned about my welfare because he said that I reminded him of mum. I became a leper to him because he would get angry over nothing even on the dining table and lash at me. Sometimes, I am sent to bed without dinner because of reasons I cannot understand.

And when I was seven, I become a slave to the increasing family. I was stopped from attending school because my step mum forced dad to withdraw me. She wanted her kids to have the best in their education. And I dropped out despite the fact that dad was rich. Some nights, I would be sent for errands that a boy of my age should not be sent. And to make life more miserable for me, she began to send me to hawk in the evening and morning. Money was not the issue because the family was not doing badly.

I was a hawker because she convinced dad that I was getting irresponsible without a mother’s guidance. And the only way I would become responsible is to hawk goods on the highway. I became a business child at seven when my mates were studying to become doctors and lawyers.  I was diligent to make profits which always anger my step mum. Everything she tries to use in hurting me became my stepping stone to success.

I met strangers who needed support with their vehicles especially in the night. And when I became eighteen, I was no longer living in my parents house but on an abandoned car on the road. This was my storage room for my goods and home.  By the time I was 21, I have employed more than fifteen street kids as employees. And at 23, I have become a successful entrepreneur who has a house and a car.

Yesterday, I was interviewed by the local television station to tell the world about my life. I could not become a doctor but i earn more than any doctor in the state, I did not grow with love, I have a lovely family I have given love. What I could not get while growing up, I have them today. The reason is simply believing in myself.

Smiling Angel that is Bedridden

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Life ceased to make a meaning to her three years ago. It was as if God has forsaken her when she woke from the accident scene. People would look at her and give up on her because she was crushed on the spinal cord by a drunken driver. The only person who never gave up on her was her. She refused to give in to the doctor’s prognosis because she still wants to hold her kids.

Three years have gone and she is bedridden. The accident has got her paralyzed in the legs and hands that she cannot even hold a piece of paper.  I met her this weekend and could not help admiring her hope and courage. Each day, she wakes with anticipation that one of her fingers would at least respond.  She is taking her journey gradual because she knows that one day in the future, her dead body would come back to life.

Whenever she wakes each day, she would smile for being alive one more day. She would give thanks for life and wait to be taken care of. I felt guilty for being such an ungrateful fellow who wakes and rush my prayers to God. I cannot remember the last time i sat down to appreciate how lucky i am to be healthy…

When Nature Snares at Papa

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He should have been the head of his family but he is not. The reason why Papa would not sleep is because he is unable to meet his responsibility as the man of the house. He lost his job because he was unable to stop drinking and spending money on strange women he met. He does not remember that he has family whenever he collects the little he was paid as a bank manager in our local bank. It was mama who would use the little she gets from her stall at the street market in feeding the family. He refused to train us because the other women told him we were not responsible.

He would come home drunk and beat mama when she was unable to serve him better meal from her purse. And when one day, he came home crying because he was sacked from his lucrative job. This was a job that did not take care of any member of the family. The table suddenly turns; i became a lawyer, Nonye, a doctor, Uju, wife of a politician. And we took mama away to where she would never suffer any longer.

Today, mama moves from one wonderful to another because she was there for us when needed help. For papa, he is still in his old house. It is not that we hate him. We only visit home once a year and that’s when mama feels like. He does not deserve to be around mama who he once poured hot water for giving him a watery soup. He deserves to be alone. What do you think?

The Running Afro-Woman

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She runs in the lonely night forgetting those deadly plaques and stalks in the night. Running away from life that has dealt terribly with her, not minding that she is just 17. The night workers stared in awe as she tied the rope to a tree and hang herself.  What is the reason for this unfortunate event? The typical Africa woman has a lot of things to pass through if she must fulfill her role as a wife, mother and lover. The man is not guilty of any crime even when he maltreats her. The death may not necessarily be ‘real death’ but emotional death.

 

Why must it be her? Taking the blame while he goes scot free, as if he was not the culprit. She wanted to end the misery that had befallen her because of a silly mistake. Was it because she is the one getting pregnant? So many questions that we cannot ask because the woman is considered a weakling. And in her pretty nature, she concealed emotional trauma that kept her crying in the nights.

 

Yet in the mist of her abuse, domestic crisis and struggle through life she finds herself at the giving end. Standing on the pathway of hope, human trafficking, prostitution, incent and so many other social ills. In close doors she screamed as razor cut through her in the name of female genital mutilation .Who is capturing her scenes? Thanks goodness avian flu is for the birds mainly, if not she would have being the victim.

 

Cameras rolled, microphones raised and snapshots on her in her destitute state because she is the only means of making news. All these aim to raise funds for politic motives and economic summits in other different parts of the world. The man is never captured in these ugly scenes because of the belief that he would not melt the heart of the donor war hunger. Religious crisis and rituals are taking toll on her; the pride of savanna and in her predicaments. And also, selfish minds take advantage of her to satisfy their desires.

 

And to cover her inadequacies, she gets attached to a man that is not perfect. Sometimes, this man fails her and thus her life battle begins. When she opens her eyes to what she is prone to, challenges ties her  up as a sheep for slaughter, the old friends disappear,  habits, pains and financial crisis treats her like a leper. These battles she either conquers or bows to. So many Ngo’s and government policies are trying to curb this African woman menace from the waterfront and when the war ends they realize that the menace took the backdoor to ambush her.

 

 

 

 

 

Cry no More Mama

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Widowhood should be a time to be pampered by relatives and loved ones. This should be a moment of sober reflection for those who believed that their husbands would not die when they would not take care of them. However, in most part of the developing world,, this is an era to suffer from their mishaps. Relatives suddenly become enemies because they want to eat from the livelihood source of these women.

In some places, these women do not have a say in how their properties would be shared.  And they are left in the mighty hand of God to care for their kids. Education seems to make little sense when this culture of confiscating the properties of widows comes to play.  The tears of these women can only be heard in the night when every one of us must have slept. The future looks bleak when those with kids as young as five have nowhere to run to.  Cry no More Mama!!! The future is beautiful. Do not mind what you see today no matter how hard things might seem. The challenges are just mirages to what you would encounter in the future. If only you see the bright future, you would stop crying.

My Kid Without Hope

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They are called ‘witches of Akwa Ibom’. You see them round playing daredevils on most highways in the Eastern part of Nigeria as beggars. And because these little kids have been being condemned with word of mouth as agents of darkness, they live the life of slaves.  The reason why these kids have become the most horrible of humans is simple. When a tragedy happens to a family, the affected person(s) look for whom to lay the blame upon. And mostly these culprits are innocent kids who cannot defend themselves. It is the affected persons that are held responsible but those who called themselves  ‘Exorcism pastors’.

 

These pastors have turned to be monsters who have raked the lives of our innocent people.  Some of these maimed kids could have become the future that the world is waiting for. The world could have gotten the cure for HIV/Aids if some of these people were given a fair treat in life. Today, we have seen these ‘assumed witches’ cause havoc in our society because they are angry with life.

 

They have been manhandled, burnt with fire, given acid baths, rejected and abandoned. What does the future hold for them? How long this barbaric custom would continues?  This is a question we should be asking ourselves. Every kid is our child