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24 Hours in Zambaka by Japhil  Yila Esq                                              


  24 Hours in Zambaka Part One

By Japhil  Yila Esq                                     


   O unteachable after evil, but uttering truth.

Gerard M. Hopkins




THE COLD WIND OF THE MORNING HIVER hits me like a stone thrown by David as a chill creepy shiver ran down from my medulla oblongata to my spine. I tried to open my eyes but they seemed to be dead! My eyelids failed to give way for my eyeballs to behold the environment.

After about five or so minutes of struggled with my strength, will and mind, I succeeded in opening my eyes albeit so weak. Finally, I regained consciousness and I noticed my maiden lying next to me all bloody. In a bid to protect me, she received more than enough beatings. I embraced her and whispered into her left ear, ‘wake up Mimi.’  But she did not respond. Her once beautiful face was now messed, her tongue dashed out horribly. I checked for a pulse but found none. She looks dead!

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“Wake up please!” Non – responsive.

“Please! Don’t leave me alone.”  Silence.

“Mimi please!” An awkward silence.

The realization that my maiden could be dead stroke me real hard. I struggled on my legs as I picked myself up, but fell and the smell of blood hits my nostrils, I vomited the contents in my stomach and I tested the bitterness of bile on my tongue.

The slight ray of sunlight rising from the east was comforting; at least it assures me I am alive and I can see, I survived. I must run and hide for I surely know these evil men will come back to ascertain the efficiency of their ugly work.

I gave my dead maiden one last look knowing that by mid-day, the vultures, hyenas and company will devour her. I fought tears but failed, they flow down freely.

I limp to a nearby Parkia biglobosa tree and sat under it. It is a vintage spot and I knew nobody can see me. I recollected the ugly incidence of last day with anger and bitterness. When the Great Killan kulukulu was sending us, He had made it abundantly clear that the task is a heavy one and unquestionably dangerous. The mission is, in less than 24 hours in this dark land of Zambaka. And I had already assimilated and experienced the full impact of the message of the Great one.

In what seems like a trance, I heard his voice speaking to me; “Oh! Ye my son, Verily, verily I say to ye, ye must not die, ye must go back for the task is yet to finish. Ye maiden must come forth to me, and I shall bless her – for she is weak. But ye task is yet to be completed. Therefore, go back….” That was when I became conscious. But the Kafkaesque aspect of this is, the people here see me as a threat.



I opened my eyes and beheld the land of Zambaka, located at the extreme northern end of Gombe. It is a flat land gradually metamorphosing into a desert. Few trees can be seen scattered all over the landscape. Instinctively, I knew the best time to live in Zambaka would definitely be now and probably spring periods. But definitely, it will be hell during any other seasons.

I will give anything to stay put in my Killan Paja Kingdom, where we enjoy serenity, love, peace and discipline. But whenever the Great Killan kulukulu sends you, you must go and all of us are answerable to Him, for He alone is full of wisdom. I can still recollect his kind instruction. “Go ye into the land of Zambaka and bring me your observations therein, so that I shall thereunto pass my decree upon the inhabitants.”

And as was instructed, here am I in Zambaka. I strolled into the village and the first thing I noticed was that awkward, sharp and unhealthy contrast between the people. I can count about a dozen fine houses and many more of poor huts obviously, belonging to the poor masses who had occupied about 97% of the entire population. Before coming today, other previous messengers have since reported of the evil here and the Great Killan kulukulu once told me of a white master who was once afraid of this land and lamented that he has travelled across the length and breadth of the black continent and have not seen one black man begging for alms or a thief, cheat, greedy or any form of tribalism found among them. That the people love one another and keep their brothers at heart and possessed that high moral values, and finally, concluded that they were people of good calibre, that he did not see how any bad can possessed them.

But years later everything changed, and such disturbed our Great Killan kulukulu, hence, my coming to see things and report. I passed my dried tongue over my Columella nasi and swooped a few mucus and swallowed the salty slime down my stomach and it wambled.

Among all the fine, fine buildings, one stood conspicuous – a big white and heavily fortified mansion. I went closer and an eagle screeched slightly above my head with heavy strong wings swooshing. I look at it and smiled – the sight of the big bird gave me comfort. There and then I knew the Great one is watching over me. Approaching the house, I spotted some youngies none more than 10 years old, wearing rags that hardly cover their dehydrated and skinny bodies, each carrying a bowl around the main gate of the entrance of the house.

I headquartered among them, the stench from their dirty bodies almost had me knock out! Although I am in a state of total inanition and despair, I had to, I must withstand the pressure and first get some food for my life and sustenance sake. I took a closer look at them and felt discomforting and I flushed with annoyance “what an evil world!” I spat. Their appearances are a knockdown to humanity.

Later I understood they were brought from neighbouring villages of Nafada, Bajoga and Galda to study the “Holy Book.” As it is, I’m in a pathetic state, but looking at these youngies beside me – I felt red within. They were not only vulnerable but dying out! With the fur–coat given to me by the Great one when coming, cold still bites me, I can only imagine the damage cold is doing to their almost naked bodies.

By my left hand stood, I believe the youngest of them all, the peewee. He stared at me with two weak eyes as white as snow and a protruded belly. How could his bringers send him away at such a weak age! At a time he needed the natural comfort of his mother’s bosom. Shockingly, I observed, people here don’t value the sweetness of children and this finding, the Great one must hear about. In my kingdom, when a baby is born, we hold it in our bosom and get amazed at it- we shout! What a miraculous new creature, irrespective of that tiny fear of its unknown potentials; what it’s capable of becoming, what will or may later enter its soft skull, the kind of life it will fashion is usually contemplated. Notwithstanding, the newly arrived is treated like a climbing vine with structures to cling to, and we collectively as “gardeners” tend to it, so it can grow upright.

But what do I witnessed? A poor innocent youngies who have nothing in mind but hatred for their bringers, hatred for the society who encourages the selfish and wicked act of their bringers and hatred to their maker who programmed miserable lives for them! I became pessimistic about the future of them and all I see is; misfits begetting a bunch of unguided misfits who will, in turn, bring menace in the already sick society, for they are burning with anger and always on fire.

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The sun has shown its warm face, which graced the village by keeping the temperature bearable. Albeit, we still suffer dysarthria as a result of lack of energy, the consequence of extreme hunger. The sun is good. Because at the moment, it’s the only good thing happening to us.

To be Continued 

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