Those Times I almost Died…



The things that could kill a Nigerian

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I was eleven years old when I first had a close encounter with death. It was no thanks to a bout of malaria, the type that makes one hallucinate and see “witches” crawling on the ceilings. For weeks on end, I was down; bed-ridden. I could hardly feel my body, yet I was aware of the immense pain I was in. Everyone dear to me was scared that I might die. They cried by my bed and prayed all kinds of prayers. Mind you, I had no idea all these happened because as I said, all I could see were imaginary [bizarre] things which peered at me from the ceilings; scaring me. Luckily for me though, I survived the sickness and even lost along with it the baby fat for which I was always teased.

I felt so healthy afterwards, my immune system seemingly at its peak. I bet mosquitoes died after biting me. LOL. I was superman! And so in my new found superman ways, I convinced myself that I could do anything. Like most teens, I readily took risks and loved it. I had just been enrolled in secondary school, and every day I walked to and fro school, trekking the long distance while pocketing my transportation fares. And then one day as my friends and I were walking home, we noticed how exceptionally busy the streets were. Cars zoomed by like jets, the breeze accompanying them slapping us across the face. Unfortunately, there were no police officers to control the traffic, neither was there a pedestrian bridge through which we could cross the main street. Meanwhile, I was hungry and tired of waiting for the traffic to ease up. So I told my friends that we should behave like the city boys we were and rush across the busy road even in the face of the rushing cars. They refused. But I was determined...

The car was far away, yet speeding fast towards me. And in my young mind, I thought my short legs could run fast enough to the other side before the car could get any closer. But I was wrong. As I ran as fast as I possibly could, the car was almost upon me before I could get to the middle of the road. I remember being confused and then scared as I briefly contemplated whether to turn around and run back to my friends or continue across the road. For a moment I froze on the spot, right there in the middle of the road. And that was when I heard the screeching tyres and my screaming and horrified friends. All of these happened within splits seconds…the split seconds during which time I would have been killed!

Fast forward to 2008; I was a freshman at the University of Ibadan. I was still carried away by the euphoria of finally being a university school. Moreover, all those orientation seminars and the accompanying free food and drinks were just as enticing. And so one evening I was returning from one of such orientation events when I became pressed. Now at the University of Ibadan, virtually all the high tension cables are buried underground. Unfortunately, because the school is quite old (and because Nigerians generally lack a maintenance culture), some of these cables were exposed to unsuspecting humans. So was the one right in front of me as I brought out my Harry to pee that evening.  I saw it my mere chance. And had it not been that I did, my urine would landed directly on the naked wire, and I would have landed in my early grave…

SIDE NOTE: These are true stories of what happened to me.



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