“Eru! Eru!!” He tried to wake me, but I didn’t. “Eru!!!” He shouted. This time accompanied by a slap on my thigh. “Uurghh!” I murmured as I opened my eyes. When they were fully opened I screamed and jumped off the bed. The man that just woke me up was looking so scary, like a character in a ‘Chucky’ movie. Or maybe, it was ‘Chucky’ himself, a grown up ‘Chucky’.
“Follow me” he commanded. And as he turned towards the door, “what is going on” I said – in my mind.
We went out of my room. But wait, the door of my room leads directly to the sitting room, how come we are… “Eru!” His thunderous shout cut my stream of thoughts short.
We were standing on the great Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania. Standing on this rock with… With… Oh! I don’t even know the name of the man that just dragged me out of my bed. Standing on this mountain gave us a clear view of the whole continent of Africa.
From the beautiful city of Cape Town to the Victoria Falls of Zimbabwe. From the variety of wild life at the Maasai Mara Reserve if Kenya to the abodes of the Mountain Gorillas of Virunga Park in Congo.
I saw Nigerian men, well dressed in academic gowns marching forth in anger towards Aso rock, they had a banner “ASUU”, they are the men who train the future leaders of the country but for months have received no salary.
I saw men of colour fighting for their deserved human rights in South Africa.
I saw internally displaced women and children of Central Africa, searching for refuge having fled their ancestral homes.
I saw in the Mediteranean sea, three thousand lifeless bodies – they attempt yo cross over to Europe in search of pastures green.
I looked at the X-man, as I chose to call him. Tears filled my organs of sight, but I am a man. I tried to be a man. So I fought them back and asked: “what is our consolation”?
He said, “move round the top of this nountain, if you find any green plant, then there is hope, if you don’t, I am sorry Eru”.
I sprinted out of his sight and searched through all the rock-top. Dry grasses. Dead trees. Withered flowers. All day, no green plant in sight. Night came again and I laid down to sleep. Just then, I felt a tickle on my left ear and wiped whatever it was off. It tickled me again and I turned and there it was. A sprouting flower. I plucked it off and ran to X-man. I found a green plant.
He was gone. X-man was gone.
But at least, I found a green plant.
So, I named the flower “HOPE” and planted it back into the ground. Even in my struggles and dark days, I remember my growing flower and it gives me strength and endurance to survive in this promising continent of Africa.
©️ ERU, CONFIDENCE OJUGBODU.