The day I looked death in the eye.


The T-shirt I was wearing that night.

“I can’t die like this. My mum will be heartbroken, and my house is a mess, and my T-shirt is really sweaty. Oh God Oh God Oh God, I can’t die like this.”

Doesn’t make sense huh? Well, it’s hard to think straight when you are gripping the blade of a knife whose handle is held by a lunatic, and he’s trying to bury it in your body. I’m surprised I even managed to think about anything.

It was a regular Friday night. As I took a little walk from the gym, I thought about my plans for the weekend. I was down to my last 10 000 FCFA, but I wanted to be broke with style – a bottle of white wine, some roasted fish, and movies. I needed to call my mother. I had to find time to pick up my shoes from the cobbler and my skirts from the tailor. I could sleep at 1 am because I only had to be at work at 11 am. Normal random thoughts for a Friday night. I remember that I didn’t flag the taxi, I looked up and there were 3 taxis lined up, so I took the first one in the line. It was 9pm, a busy street – my mind was filled with how many calories I intended to consume and if I could power-walk them off on Saturday – I barely noticed the guy sitting in the back seat.

“Think, think, THINK”. I can’t keep this up much longer. Have you ever been opportuned to look into your body? See your blood in free-flow, come up close and personal with the muscle and sinew and gory bits which are hidden by this most resilient of organs, the skin? It’s an unforgettable experience. And one I wasn’t prepared for.

I remember crying, screaming for help, begging them to take what they wanted, and let me go. I mean, people get mugged everyday, right? So why was my own different? Why wasn’t he looking through my bag? Why hadn’t he seized my phone? Why did he seem excited at the sight of my blood, spattered over the dashboard, leaking down my arm, staining my T-shirt, and whose smell filled the car? WHY WON’T HE STOP STABBING ME?

“I need to get out of here. I’ve got two minutes max, before we hit open highway, where I won’t be able to get help. I need to jump. Don’t think about it. Jump. JUMP! Oh, don’t forget your phone and your bag. That Blackberry cost good money. Erock will be so upset if you lost it.” For the first time in my life, I didn’t second-guess myself. No thinking ‘what if i hit my head/break my spine/get run over by the back tires? etc etc’.

It’s been 2 weeks 2 days since I looked death in the eye, and refused to sit still and let it consume me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of visits, phone calls and text/facebook/chat messages, emails etc from people who are concerned about my wellbeing, and others who, I suspect, just wanted to be in the know of the juicy details.

When I think about what happened that night, about the men who woke up that morning, sharpened a dagger, rewired their car, and went a-searching for someone to kill; about the car whose headlights I saw reflecting in the rearview mirror, whose driver had to have seen me struggling, heard me screaming for help, but who carefully overtook us and sped away; the guy who drove past me standing along the highway, bleeding and cut up; the taxi driver who stopped on a lonely highway and took me to hospital; my dear ‘grande soeur’ who waited in the hospital outside Emergency for 2 hours while the doctor put over 25 stitches in my body; it amazes me how different people are. How the actions of one person can be a source of so much pain for others. How intertwined our lives are, such that each action we take has untold repercussions and effects on those around us.

As I prepare to go back to work tomorrow after 2 weeks lying in bed, nursing numerous physical and mental wounds, I realise that this has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve gotten a second chance to make it right, to live my life like my Father in Heaven wants me to and make it count for something, to redefine myself, and reevaluate my worth. And even while it might take some time to stop shaking when I think of the events of that night, I’m confident I can do it. After all, I’ve been told that I’m brave, I’m courageous, and I’m too stubborn to even die.

Plus, I wanna go to England in the summer. Can’t travel if I’m afraid of my own shadow now, can I?


21 responses »

  1. Still cannot believe what you went through and how traumatic this can feel. I was only ‘SHOWN’ a knife and to date I still look back a few times when walking down a lonely road. Damn, I guess everything happens for a reason. Learn what you have to have to learn from this and leave the perpetrators of this awful act in God’s hands. Meanwhile, summer is nearly over in this England (if we even had one), so wia u dey?!

  2. Cherie ur thoughts for the weenkend were so rich 🙂
    Its unblivable what u went thru but I do thank God for ur life.
    Just focus on e good in thi situation n Move
    God hsnt forgotten abt definitely.
    England oye!!!

  3. haha small world eh! i just created a blog on word press and was trying to find my facebook friends on word press and there you are. either ways, i ended up reading the post you made on the stabbing. i’m extremely sorry about the trauma you had to live. But don’t let this experience get the best of you. they didn’t amount to what they wanted but they left you with something precious called Strength. speedy recovery it’s manuella yonga

  4. It’s crazy how fragile life is and even crazier how we forget that fact everyday. I’m so happy for your life and your testimony. It could have been any of us. Your life has just begun! 🙂 GROS BISOUS. Though rarely said, I love you!!! Miss B

  5. Wow!! I pray for strength in your heart and complete healing in your mind. Read Psalms 91 as often as you can read, say it loud too whenever you can. Yes! you cannot die- May God contend with anyone who even devices any thoughts to contend with you. God bless you

  6. Was actually wondering why I hadn’t seen ur blog around until I clicked ur pic on TNC… The comments + ur blog posts are amazing, with this one being the highlight.
    What doesn’t kill u only makes u stronger……..

  7. Alas, i came here, it remains mantis now.. i actually dont know what to say about the post, i was hoping at the end it wasn’t going to be a true story but it was. I’m happy for you.

  8. Chai Ayuk u suffer oh?Humm asia.Only reading this,I’m traumatised.But wait a min?If they were’nt searching ur bag,plus u had a “BB” wif u then they were either ritualists or assasins in my opinion and who would want to do u the later???Humm u shuld be more careful oh ,and prayerful too.So how did u escape?

  9. Oh my goodness!!! I think I have read one of the best, worst, scariest blog post in a while!!! WOW!!! You are one strong babe and my heart goes out to you. Thank God it’s a different ending entirely and one that will make you stronger. Kudos babe for looking death in the face and giving it the finger. Thank God for the Angel that stopped for you, I’ve always believed that there are Angels among us, people that God puts in the right place at the right time…

    You are a very interesting writer, I just bookmarked your blog

    • He saved me indeed! I just take one day at a time, and try to remind myself of what I have, as opposed to what I’ve lost. It’s been about 5 months. Thanks for caring!

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