I enjoyed warm compliments & praises growing up as a child. My exceptional beauty made everyone that saw me take a second look. I had many friends because I was as brilliant and sociable as I was beautiful. I had guys say the same story with sweet words anytime they came around. They all said the same thing as though they had been programmed to do so.
I gained admission into the university the same year I finished from secondary school. I finished as the best student in my state. I felt rather grand, and of course, with good reason.
Life in the university was a different world entirely. I had been told that it was the best part of schooling as I would be far from my parents’ control. I was sixteen and full of life, eager to explore every bit of activity the university had to offer. And with the start of academic work, I wasn’t surprised when guys came flocking in their usual style. The only difference was that these ones had more interesting stories to tell.
Making friends was the easiest thing to do since there were so many reasons people wanted to meet me. Some for my beautiful face, some my perceived intelligence and some for my smile. It is needful for me to say that I hail from a Christian home where our Christian doctrines are highly revered; but here I was practically without identity in my ‘new world’.
My friends had assured me we could have our way around the system and so going to class held not appeal for me after a while. They had further gotten me hyped with my past academic successes saying it was impossible for me to fail. Praying became alien to me. With time, I became more popular & sought after, not for my brilliant performances but for my beautiful and ‘sexy’ body. Keeping late nights & partying was now the order of the day. My normal life was always outside the campus. In my second year, I was still best student in my department after dropping from first to fourth in the faculty.
As was our tradition, we went on our escapades to this chief’s apartment; he was extremely wealthy & influential. His picture on the wall was quite familiar but as I couldn’t place the face, I ignored it. He was partying with his friends & as was normal we were assigned to each of them. Before this, we had taken so much alcohol that we hardly could come to terms with reality. They loved it that way. Luckily enough, I was assigned to the host chief & off I was to his room lying helplessly like a goat going to slaughter. The chief entered with excitement as he was aware his ‘consignment’ was waiting for him.
It was their style to go to bed with young ladies after which they would be used for rituals. The procedure for this ritual was different from others as the ladies would be locked up in a room, naked and without food, they starve them and in the midst of plenty they let them decay, they died gradually. The faster they decayed, the wealthier their sponsors became & when one decays completely, the process is repeated on a new victim.
As the chief was about to enjoy the services he paid for, like someone in shock, he suddenly pulled back, got dressed & hit me heavily. I hardly felt it but when he persisted, I sat up still feeling drowsy and caught up in planet seven. He was depressed as he told me to get dressed. It was strange. I felt I didn’t appear attractive enough & I tried to be more seductive. As I worked at being more appealing, he held me by his hands & told me his name.
Fear gripped me and I was shocked to the tooth. He was my dad’s boss. Now I remembered his face. He had come to our house when I was 10 years old. He told me how my dad was the best member of his staff & couldn’t imagine doing this to his daughter. He gave me enough money to take care of myself & told me never to go back into it.
He then went on telling me about how he & his other friends used young women for rituals. I was scared as I wondered why he was revealing such secrets to me. Tears rolled down my cheeks as he held me and said what was even more frightening to me.
”Your father has been telling me about God for about 21 years now, but yesterday, he walked into my office and said he was led to pray with me. Because of the respect I had for him, I didn’t hesitate. He was quick & as he left, he said God was going to visit me. Even though I believed him, I didn’t take him seriously as this wasn’t the first time he was making such a statement. That evening, as I stayed back to work, I heard a still voice whisper to me clearly. His words were precise in my heart. He gave me a condition upon which I was going to receive Him. He said I was going to meet someone I knew today & at this particular time. He said if it happened I would receive Him but if not, He wouldn’t bother me forever. I suspected it was God and so I tried to outsmart Him. I immediately changed plans and instructed my men to get my ‘consignment’ from Ghana. This way I felt the possibility of meeting anyone I knew was zero. Unknown to me, God cannot be outplayed. I even prayed it will not happen but to my greatest surprise, you are the one God sent, all the way from Ghana. ”
After his story, we were both struck dumb by the shock of it and just took to crying- it lasted for about an hour. After this, we had no choice but to receive Him, I was still closer to the faith so I knew a bit about saying a prayer of salvation. We both went on our knees as we cried to God for mercy. That night we were saved, in a hotel.
We drove out early the next morning, and I knew that was the last time I would see my friends forever. Daily I imagine the pain & agony they’ll be forced to go through decaying in bits, and I can’t help but thank God for His mercies.
By now, it’s been a year since chief died of a heart attack four year after he gave his life to Christ. His friends are still living large; they are men we all know & see as role models in our society. This is my 8th year in the university as I was advised to withdraw and made to start from scratch. I know I’ll have to struggle to make a pass. All the sweet words & names from friends are no more. All the wonderful dreams & aspirations are no more. All my then average performing Christian friends are at the peak of their respective careers. And Here I am living a life that’s not my own.
Even though God has forgiven me, the scars are still fresh and the wound is taking time to heal. I remember this story as today makes it 5 years my life took a new turn. This is the story of my life. Please learn from it.
Written by Simmy Famutimi!
The highly anticipated movie "half of a yellow sun" was premiered in the UK last weekend during the London Film Festival premiere, Odeon West End! Chimamanda Adichie, authour of the book - half of a yellow sun - showed up in lovely orange dress and a simple kiko (hair style made with black thread) style.
See more photos below: