I lost my mom to divorce three years ago. I was just three-years-old at the time. My dad disappeared in the name of looking for money. My aunts, about four of them, raised me – they were my dad and mom. They constantly shared me among themselves.
I’ll be with one of them today and the other tomorrow. After two years without seeing any of my biological parents, the opportunity came for me to see my dad. I was 6-years-old by then and about to start school. My aunts were coming together to celebrate Christmas. One of them believed that my dad would be joining us in celebrating – he was the only brother out of the four siblings.
We were set to journey to the next town for the Christmas celebration the next day. Christmas was almost upon us. I woke up to the sound of a beating drum the next morning. The sound of the beating drums went from very soft to very loud continuously. When I looked out of our front door I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; at every beat of the drum a pig, chicken, duck or goat would drop dead. What I saw that morning was the beginning of the end for our region.
After my aunt and I saw, she told me that we’d had to get to the neighboring town as quick as possible. At six o clock that morning we had walked 50 miles and still had a hundred miles to go. I told my aunt that we had to get transport someway somehow to get us to our destination, but the only people we encountered on the road were men of destruction and hostility. At the sight of them, I became scared and worried; this was my first opportunity to see my dad in two years and I didn’t want to miss it.
My aunt is a brave woman; she decided to push on ahead risking our lives to get to the neighboring town. The town we were headed to was safer and peaceful. “We’re going to continue walking,” she said determinedly, but my little legs could not carry me anymore. I felt like the baggage my aunt was carrying. That journey was the most uncomfortable and terrible journey ever and it felt like we were never going to reach our destination. It was dark. All the usual sweet sounds of birds along the road were quiet. The trees stopped waving their leaves in celebration of nature.
Finally, when we arrived at the next town, my dad was nowhere to be found. I tried to control my sadness at the absence of my dad with hope. Christmas was up the following day. I still had hope that he would arrive before Christmas or even on Christmas day. That hope lasted for only a few hours.
The following morning was a morning of horror. Some family woke up as mourners. That morning took many to their graves. Many became homeless, widows, orphans, young killers, drug takers; all hopeless as the outcome of that day. For two days and two nights, we were under the thunderous sounds of destruction. By the Grace of God, my aunts and I survived and later escaped into the jungle to live there. We had little food, no medications, deplorable shelters, no safe drinking water, and no education. After few years in the jungle, I realized that the freedom of our generation was dead.
Do you believe that education still places a lot of value in our lives?