Yesterday was unusual…
It was on one of those mornings when you sat at your favourite seat on the bus…it was yesterday but it was unusual. You were forced to listen to the cacophonic voice of Dr Ahmed, the popular anchor of the family breakfast show on human rights radio, “Embelembe.” Then I saw him.
He was running by the roadside few kilometres from his Gwarimpa junction residence when workers were going to work. It was past dawn. He was in his characteristic regalia, donned with scarf and pierced with earrings. The Area Fada didn’t disappoint with his characteristic display which has always been his trademark. He was dancing and running. Cars passed, people turned their head to look, it wasn’t unusual to see Charly Boy running on the street.
Same day. Few hours later. At the close of work. When you’d keep checking time….anticipating if you should eat poundo yam or yamarita, the bus gliding swiftly, the voice of Dr Ahmed still filling the bus, yes, its a ritual. You listen to human rights radio both morning and evening when on the bus.
All of a sudden, people shouted, some gasped. As I was asking what happened, the bus was on quick reverse. The driver, Bello had stepped out running towards the back. I was close to the door so I came down as the second person after another man.
I saw the form of a woman on the floor. She looked unconscious. For a moment, I thought she was dead. There was her 7year old boy(I guessed his age) beside her, trying to stop vehicles while clutching tightly to a baby, about a month or two old, his baby brother/sister, trying to calm him/her down.
I saw a pack which contained her inhaler. She had fallen down right on the street after she lost air. More cars stopped. People had gathered. Bello and another man had lifted her off the roadside to the grass. They fanned her. FRSC came with an ambulance. Only God knew how they heard. But they came swiftly.
The rescue was prompt. It was close to the Public Service Institute at Dutse.
I muttered few prayers for the woman. I didn’t want her to die, for the baby and her brave little son. She didn’t even deserve to die by the roadside, to give up on life unwillingly while her kids watched. It would be too traumatic. She deserved to live.
I was happy when she stirred even though her eyes were still closed. I got relieved. FRSC began to handle it and we moved back to our bus.
I saw empathy on the road. I saw love. I saw humanity at its best. Even though I missed my roasted corn..(..by the time the bus dropped me, my customer had finished selling) I went to bed without sorrow, without another pain.