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This three-part story is a tribute to mothers; a panegyric to their love, devotion and sacrifice for those in their lives, from...

This three-part story is a tribute to mothers; a panegyric to their love, devotion and sacrifice for those in their lives, from the hinterlands of Kigali Rwanda to Lagos Nigeria and down to Owerri Nigeria.  It is suspense laden, action-filled and contains graphic imageries of love, pain and selflessness.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter one of the story...



Clutching her two children she ran through the woods, ducking and evading bullets, sharp stumps and rattlesnakes. As she ran with her two children, a girl of twelve years and a boy of ten, they maneuvered their way through a litter of mangled human bodies – victims of the war – their eyes stared emptily into nothingness as worms of the earth and birds of the sky devoured their remains. Breathlessly she mumbled a prayer to God, “Dear God, please don’t let my children and I end up like these, but if any of us must perish in this war; let it be me. Spare my children please!” For days they trekked through the woods without water and food. Out of exhaustion and thirst, their lips turned white in colour. The hollow of their eyes deepened as if their eyes sought to hide from the horrors of the war they had seen. They had heard of a place where AU (African Union) soldiers stationed to hand out food, water and medicines to the victims of the war. It was their intention to get there. Thankfully after days, they found a river, and with glee they leapt into it. Hungrily they gulped as much as they could. The two children were over excited by the water they found; but not their mother. While they drank from the river, her eyes darted about watching every path that led to the river and the bush around. She was poised for surprises. Her children were bathing in the river. She would have loved for them to drink as much water as they could, take the much their containers could carry and march on. But they were children and had survived what most adults would not.

They had seen their father shot point blank by a war lord, when he broke them out of a prison camp six months earlier. Painfully she waited for her children to finish. She felt the river wasn’t a safe place to relax and she was right. Her intuition had kept them alive since her husband was shot dead. As her sense of imminent danger grew intense she shouted in a hushed voice at her children, almost startling them out of their skin “Get dressed! I feel it! I feel it! Death is coming!” Already hardened by the war, the children heeded their mother’s order like soldiers and got dressed. They ran in no certain direction as their feet pounded the dry, dusty, red African soil. Above their heads the sun burned with intensity akin to hades. Rosalie – the mother of the two children could feel it – she could feel it even stronger than she did earlier, death was close. Some foreboding evil was shadowing them and closing in on them fast.  She could feel it choking her breath out. Though she had seen nothing sinister at that moment, she could tell one of them might die in minutes. Hot tears strolled down her cheek and she cried, “Run! Run faster little children! Run that you may live!” The two children tasked their feet harder and demanded more from their frail bodies. Then there was a staccato of gunshots and the three of them hit the ground and all grew silent. God please bless our mama dem! (God please bless our mothers!)

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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