It was late in the evening, that sweet spot between the hot afternoon and the slightly less scorching night. Dark enough for some cars to have headlights on, but bright enough to take a stroll.
I was out with a female friend. We had just made it out of my street when we heard a loud horn behind us. We were walking on the side of the road, but as I turned around, I jumped further into the bushes. A green SUV swerved towards us, still honking. There were three people in the car, the driver, a man in the front passenger seat and someone in the back. As the SUV passed us, the man in the front reached out and swung at me with a whip.
I was already several feet off the road so to strike me, the car had to leave the road and the man had to stretch out of the window. I held my arms up to protect my face and the whip hit my arms. As the SUV sped off in a howl of laughter, I checked its license plates and it saw it had official IMMIGRATION plates.
I stood on the side of the road with the pieces of my manhood scattered in the grass at my feet, I looked over at my friend. She was also standing in the bushes, shaken but unflogged. I couldn’t face her after such a clear confirmation that I was incapable of standing up for myself. I had to do something, no matter how small.
I took off running after the jeep. I shouted back at her to go home and wait for me. The road was about half a mile long with houses on both sides but no outlets except if the car drove back past me. So I knew the immigration vehicle had to be going to one of the houses on that street. It had gone pretty far, but because its headlights were on, I could see it and would be able to tell when it turned.
I had been jogging after the SUV for about two minutes when it slowed down and entered a house. I started walking, thinking of what I would do when I got there. I would go in, ask for the owner and try to make a fuss without getting beat up. Then I would go back home and claim a moral victory and boast about how I did not let myself be cowed by police thugs.
The compound had a large duplex with a bungalow behind it, the gate had been closed behind the SUV. I could see it parked beside the house under a tree. I knocked on the gate and a little girl asked who it was. I assumed there would be a lot of workers coming in and out, so I replied in my most gruff pidgin sounding voice, “abeg, open”
The girl opened the door and I pushed past her towards the car. It was still running, the doors and the back were open, like it was being offloaded. There were two women sitting under the tree and I asked them loudly who just drove the car in. They didn’t reply. I shouted again, “Who was driving this car?! Let him come out!” The women just looked at me in shock.
I reached into the car, turned off the ignition and took the keys. I half-walked, half-ran to the gate of the house, trying to look calm, but expecting things to explode soon. A man came out of the house and asked the women what was going on. They told him I had taken the car keys, he shouted “Stop!” and started coming after me.
I took huge steps past the girl, still standing there with her mouth wide open, and out of the gate. I ran down the road with the man chasing me. I heard his footsteps slow down, glanced back, and saw him stop and walk back to the house.
But I didn’t go home (I know better than to lead uniformed men back to my house to kick down the front door and beat up my mom.) It was full dark now. I cut down a side street, ran through a small forest, backtracked just in case I was being followed. I know it isn’t like they will chase me down with dogs and infrared goggles, but I’ve seen this happen in movies. I even considered rubbing mud on my face and armpits and pissing on some trees to throw them off my scent.
I waited in a dark area, called, explained to my brothers and told them to meet me at the estate’s security office.
About ten minutes later, two cars pulled up to the security office, I waited to make sure they are my people, and I crawled out of the shadows. I flagged them down and we went into the office to make a report. The security guards told us that the people driving the immigration car had already come to report me. They explained that the people looking for me weren’t Nigerian Immigration officers, but the son of an officer and his friends.
The story started to unfold, they were joyriding in his father’s official car, they were ‘”just playing”.
And they ran the wrong person off the road.
Now, they are trying to do damage control because I had the keys and had gotten estate security involved.
While we were making the incident report, my mother called to say there was a gathering mass of people in front of the house looking for me.
We got into the cars and drove back home. As we turn into the house, we see a car with a few university aged boys standing around it, my mother pacing back and forth and she is yelling.
My brother parks, gets out of the car and takes off his shirt, in one fluid motion.
Then the fight started.
My hand to God. True story.
Totally unrelated picture below