Chilling stories about rape have left me wondering if we are getting close to Armageddon.
I know that murder, rape and HIV infection rates are high here but definitely not to this alarming proportion that is making me sick. Imagine stories of 80-year-old great grand mother being raped? Don’t curse!
Imagine an 11-year-old girl who gave birth to her rapist’s baby? Imagine, yet again, in a separate, lower profile case, a man was jailed for life for raping an AIDS activist, and beating her to death after she told him she was HIV positive.
A girl is only 11…. While still a child herself, last week she gave birth to a baby of her own. The young mother was raped by a man at least three times her age. Her 32 year-old mother suffered a stroke in 2010 and has been bedridden since then.
According to a South African paper, the mother didn’t know her daughter was pregnant. Today the child mother who needs parental attention is cuddling her tiny tot not knowing where to go or what to do.
Details of how she was raped are left to imagination. Hardly, do you see a 15-year-old girl here who does not have a baby.
And they are proud to tell you that they are not virgins. “I’ve a baby at home”, they usually say. Imagine a man who kidnapped and repeatedly raped his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter.
Some of these heinous crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Alcohol is treated as a national pastime with youths soaking themselves in it before going on rampage.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka is so troubled about the menace that she is creating awareness about the dangers of drugs, especially whoonga and nyaope, with her new single album.
The well known and respected South African songbird agrees that drugs have become a serious societal problem in South Africa. “Drug abuse is prevalent among the youth and is currently one of the major social ills”, she said in an interview on the Sowetan Newspaper.
Regrettably, some Nigerian youths who ran away to South Africa have also embraced the short way to wealth that destroys them faster than their money.
Before and after the Super Eagles superlative performance against the Eagles of Mali, I ran into some Nigerian youths who are nearing hell-fire begging for money at Cool Penny Restaurant, a popular Nigerian restaurant at Point road in Durban.
With torn dress and dirty hairs, he touched me and started his gospel on how he came to this town and was duped. “Nna a, nyelu nwanne gi aka”, he preached in Ibo meaning that I should help my brother.
Immediately, the owner of the restaurant pushed him out and warned us to be careful before we are dispossessed of our money.
“These are the ones who have soiled the image of Nigeria that once you mention you are a Nigerian, people re-coil from helping out. There are still very genuine ones but one bad apple has spoilt the whole bunch.
Imagine Ghanaians getting better ratings here than Nigerians. The flamboyant way of driving the best cars and buying houses after six months of setting up a shop has made them a target for the South African police.”
Emmanuel Emenike has shot himself into reckoning here in the African Cup of Nations for which he guns for the Adidas boot for highest goalscorers. He has hit the back of the net on four occasions and could improve on his tally when the Eagles feast on Burkina Faso on Sunday for the finals of the African Cup.
Emenike popular among South Africans after playing for FC Cape Town, is a lover of Flavour(Na-Abania’s music). On his way to training, he is always seen with his strapped ear-phone and moving to the sound of the music.
It was in Rustenberg that he came down unplugged the music from his ear to reveal Flavour’s voice. As he laced his boots, I showed off my skill in dancing and he laughed. Want to know the track he was listening to?
Aisha Falode’s vow
While many Nigerians still cry over the absence of Nigerians in the corridors of African football power, Etubom Paul Bassey, General Dominic Obukadata Oneya, Aisha Falodo, Linus Mba among others are making their marks in the continental football-controlling body.
The Super Eagles played their preliminary matches in Nelspruit, Mbombela where they gave many Nigerians more jitters than cheers before moving over to Rustenberg where Chadian Emmanuel Maradas was in charge.
The Eagles re-discovered their form and shot the big Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire with Nigerian-made dane-gun to zoom into the semi finals in Durban.
Paul Bassey was the co-ordinator in Durban and he swore that he had done everything possible for the Eagles to excel. Aisha Falode is in charge in Port Elizabeth where the third place match was played. She said that she did not want the Eagles to go to her zone for any reason.
Going to play in her zone meant that the Eagles would be playing in the third place match. “God forbid. I’ve told them I don’t want to host them in Port Elizabeth”.
And the Eagles answered her with goals and superlative performance in their war against the Malian ‘rebels’. They therefore have avoided Port Elizabeth, leaving it for the likes of Mali and Black Stars of Ghana.
Mitchel and Ejiro
Mitchel Obi and Ejiro Omonode are here in full force for the Super Eagles. They came in after the wobbly first round and are enjoying the glory of being Nigerians, courtesy of the champagne football of the Eagles.
The two showed off that they are indeed big boys when they hosted Nigerian media men to sumptuous free dinner in Durban. Ejiro was at his best but hid the fact that he was paying for the food and drinks.
When guys learnt that it was F.O.C, Ejiro closed the account. It was a good re-union of the pen pushers who have been pushed aside by Nigerian administrators who dread them like leprosy people.
It’s difficult to put this down. My mind is troubled. I am devastated. I woke up early morning Saturday to write. It’s been a tradition since covering the Nations Cup because I move from one place to another in the day to gather information. A check on my email and behold this message: “My great producer and friend, Joe Ighile slumped on set while presenting Sports Tonight on Friday and passed on!
Joe Ighile is dead”. The message came from his closest friend and colleague, Toyin Ibitoye. Ibitoye is not given to making expensive jokes. Tears welled up in my eyes. How could he die. We left Nigeria on the same Arik aircraft to South Africa and he sat beside me.
At the Oliver Thambo airport while dogs sniffed my luggage and questions asked on why I brought bitter kola to SA, Joe discovered that his luggage was gone. We searched and searched and reported to the relevant authorities to no avail. All the CCTVs could not get the bloody thief.
Our contacts were taken while we set out for the 7hour journey to Mbombela, Nelspruit where the Eagles played their preliminary matches. He wore my clothes as he had nothing to wear.
We joked and at times, I told him not to sweat too much on my cloth since I had not worn it before. He laughed and we shared a room and shared everything.
A very gentle, humble, honest and hardworking man, Joe loved his family and treated them with respect. He left South Africa to allow Toyin Ibitoye to take over the second leg coverage.
Ibitoye himself had undergone immigration procedures at the MurtalaMuhammedAirport when they called to tell him that Ighile slumped on set. The next call was to confirm that he had died. Ibitoye turned back and cancelled his trip.
May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Joe, how I wish I never saw and tasted your goodness. Anyway, we shall meet to part no more.
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