I’m Obinna a child of destiny, well maybe not so great a destiny. Right now my life is fizzling out, i feel life leaving my body with every minute. I’m part of the majority of the unfortunate Africans infected with this world dreaded virus call AIDS, my world almost fell apart the day i got tested of the virus. I immediately realized that this new medical status is a plague i will live it for the rest of my life even though the health workers tried so hard to talk me out of such reasoning they kept comforting me with words like ” You can live a normal life with the virus” “there’s life after AIDS” “Adopt an healthy lifestyle and always use your routine drugs” “Theres light at the end of the tunnel”. All these comforting words of hope gave me a lift not to give up in life just too soon, this is my story…..
It was an electrifying atmosphere when the sound of my first cry was heard immediately i came out of my mothers body, i was told my dad felt like he won a million dollar jackpot when they told him that his first child is a boy. It is a sign of great achievement to give birth to a male child as an Igbo man, they have this perception that a male child will carry on the family name and heritage even after they are long gone. My grand mom dance and danced, singing a song she always sing whenever she’s elated “agha ma yoribara na unkome bu Jesus” (I will pride in Jesus the rock). As the Igbo rights and custom demands i was ushered into the family with a naming ceremony and after seven days i was circumsized. My names were “Obinna John Chukwu”, these were names given to me by my dad and grandpa, my dad gave me the name “Obinna” meaning ” The heart of a father and as a school teacher my grandpa named me after his favorite colonial teacher. My mom told me that nursing me from my babyhood to my childhood was a flawless and hassle free one, i never fell sick like most baby do, i ate well, always giving a sweet lasting impression on any adult carrying me. She said our neighbors back then always struggle to take turn in babysitting me for free (though in African we rarely pay one for babysitting because we believe the community owns a child not only the parents) because i was cute and adorable.
I was told that as a baby that i was found of my dad as a baby, one beautiful morning as my dad was setting out, little me who has never walked before stood on my tiny fragile and started counting my first ever steps following my dad right behind him. The people who saw this in the neighborhood started screaming and saying “Chineke ! (God !) see small Obinna don dey waka o ( See little Obinna has started walking). I was born the 7th month in the year 1985 and started walking seven months later, the loud scream and chants by people around watching me walking for the very first time alerted my father, he turned around with a broad smile wanting to lift me up but he was asked not to. They enjoyed the way i carried those tiny legs of mine in haste, fall rise up and start walking again. My mom always resound it most times that watching me grow up was a sweet experience, i loved food so much most especially Cocoa and Milk tea such that when i started my early childhood education at three years my mom will always package my food and not forgeting my Tea in a feeder bottle. As i grow up it beats me how i found it difficult to let go of the feeder, my class mates then would makes jest of whenever they see me sucking my feeding bottle. My classmates wouldn’t stop making jest of me because of sucking my favorite bottle, so i deviced a new means of drinking my favourite tea.
As a three years old toddler i discovered a corner i can suck out my tea from my feeding bottle without any disturbance from my school peers or teachers. At break time in school i will always go there to suck my feeding bottle after lunch. I continued doing this for a while until i was caught by this same adhrent pupils who would stop at nothing to continue making jest of me, i was always mocked and bullied until i made a strong personal decision to stop it. It was a hard decision but I had no other option than to give up one of my most cherished habit
Exactly six days to my three years birthday my mom gave birth another baby. It was a baby boy, i was so excited when my dad told that my mom has delivered my much long awaited brother. When she was pregnant my little curious mind kept wondering when will this baby in moms belly come out, i will ask mom ” will my baby come out tomorrow ?” My mom will reply me with a beautiful smile saying ” Soon my dear, your baby will be out for you to carry”. I was so anxious to see that brother of mine that has been hiding in my moms belly, i hurried dad to take me to the hospital to meet with my baby brother immediately. We arrived at the hospital few minutes later. As we entered the hospital building all my young mind could figureout was a couple of women on white, some men putting on white overall clothing with something like a cord hunged on their necks and several people sitting as though they were waiting for someone. It was my very first time in hospital as kid who has grown into consciousness.
My curiosity digged deeper which prompted me to ask my dad few questions lingering my mind as we were walking into the ward where my mom and baby is. So asked ” Dad who are all these people on white walking around these place? “. My dad replied swiftly ” They are doctors and nurses working to safe peoples life”, i felt good about the answer dad gave me and i told him right away that ” Dad i will like to safe lives too someday”. Those was meant a lot to dad, it came out with a strong intensity that made him pursed, bent down, looked into my eyes and he said ” Son anything is possible all you need to do to become like these people is for you to work and study hard, read every books i buy for you ok” “ok dad”. With a broad smile dad gave me little brush on my head he opened a door behind us. Lo and behold i saw mom with my baby suckling from her breast, i screamed in excitement and ran to them. Dad had to slow me down by holding me back from my intended initial speed. The spee impact might have hurt the new born.”Mom is this my baby ?” With a smile mom said “Yes my dear”. My earlier excitement dropped like a pack of cards, I felt dissapointed on seeing the baby. My mom being very patient and observant woman she immediately read my counternance so she asked ” Obinna whats wrong, are you not happy again to see your baby?” I was now putting on a long face feeling dissapointed at the size of the baby i saw ” But…but mom he’s too small, return him mom, so dad would get another one”.