May 11, 2003, my dad and I were busy in the kitchen, mixing, cutting, dicing and getting ready for my guests. It was my birthday. Mum had passed 7months earlier and would have been here doing the cooking had the doctors detected the hole in her heart and not assumed it was common bronchitis.
So in the bid to silence the painful emotions that thoughts of my last birthday with mum brought, I baked pans after pans of cake until dad made me stop. My sister who was supposed to help out had gone to Port Harcourt to write TOEFL and was to return that morning, but it was noon and no sign of her.
Back in PH, she was set to leave and my Aunty Imelda was giving her a message for my dad when someone knocked on the door, it was my aunt’s neighbour and she wanted to borrow her pressing iron. My aunt gave her the iron and started to narrate how the NEPA wire had cut and fallen on her flowers and no official had come to check it out; they continued the conversation and stepped outside to have a look. Just as my aunt pointed towards the flowers, her hands touched the wire and the current took hold of her. My sister and cousins managed to separate her from the wire which she had unconsciously held to her chest and rushed her to the hospital; the first hospital wouldn’t touch her without a police report and the second one didn’t have any medical expert present. In their desperation, they took her to a church where prayer warriors alike prayed all they could.......after about an hour my sweet and ever cheerful Aunty Imelda gave up. Since then, May 11 has ceased to be just a birthday to me.
Like I always say, the saddest thing about the change we cry out for in Nigeria is that many of us don’t believe it will come. But for me, regardless of the many precious things the negligence of our system has cost me, I will hang on to this almost shredded rope of hope that someday people will not die needless deaths and our country will be a safer place.
God Bless Nigeria!
N/B: my birthday rice turned out salty....and pls my daddy can cook o!
Nigeria @ 50, Day 26 - Tobenna