Electronic Freedom

Electronic Freedom

She lost love at first sight, but married him nonetheless. On Facebook, she had fallen in love, with a profile picture of him holding a Nigerian flag in one hand and the other hand across his chest. And then she sent him a message, something about how his profile picture seemed like a symbol of hope, of a new dawn. She didn’t think he’d reply, given the myriad of comments that accompanied his updates, 150,000 on the average. But he replied. His reply ended with, “I’m coming to Ife for a function. Could we meet?” Half-excited, half-nervous, she replied, “Yes.”

And it was the same word she used when he asked her, in his hotel room, only meeting her in person for the first time, to marry him. She didn’t gasp, although she felt like gasping. She didn’t say ‘no,’ or ‘wait,’ or show surprise. She said yes. And she did not want to think that his face was older than how it looked on Facebook, or that at his age, 47, he was yet unmarried.

So when he became President, surprisingly, given the odds against him – he was from Southern Nigeria, and was from a new party – she became, of course, the First Lady.

She did not change her relationship status on Facebook. She left it the way it was, “In Progress.” By now, he was too involved with governance to update his status on Facebook, and so did not see how unchanged her relationship status was. Or that her status was usually a word.

Or that when he hit her for the first time, after she disagreed with his decision to appoint a man as Minister for Women Affairs, she updated her status to read “Hit.” Perhaps, because he did not see this, he hit her more, anytime she sounded or acted dissident. Dissidence to him meant more than one thing, as indefinable to her as to him.

Because her dissidence was indefinable, and because she was silent to his decisions as he was vociferous about them, she obliged when he asked her to wrap her hands around a pillar so that he could flog her. She had questioned his decision again. This time it was regarding the amount allocated for renovating their house. So he lashed her a dozen times, and for the second dozen, he stripped her blouse, and lashed her bare back.

And so, on the day he lashed her bare back, her status was “Bare.” It was September 30, 2010. Two hours later, her status became “Tomorrow.”

When tomorrow came, while he slept, at 1.00am, she took a rope, made it into a noose, and circled it around his head. Then she pulled it until it got to the pillar which she had held hours before. She circled the pillar with the rope, and kept circling, and circling.

Later, when the President was unavailable for his Independence Day broadcast, she updated her status, “Free.”

23 thoughts on “Electronic Freedom” by Emmanuel-Iduma (@Emmanuel-Iduma)

  1. WOW! This is amazing. Simply written yet so powerful.
    I could feel the MC’s emotions all through. And yes, i can totally relate this to Nigeria.

  2. This is simply riveting! You managed to capture Nigeria’s love-hate affair with her leaders in such a profound yet short piece! You get my vote dude!



    You wanna know the best part??? The most memorable part(s) of this…?!?!?!??

  4. Fred .C. Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    My own story aside, Dude! I will be voting for you. This rocks.

  5. Wow! truly amazing, well done!

  6. wow!!!!! captivating! I love it! Well done!

  7. Emmanuel,this is a very powerful story and it can be read on different levels.Thumbs up!

  8. inspire (@inspire)

    Wow. Fantastic. Well written and very symbolic. Makes you think.

  9. Yes, very riveting tale; simple yet succinct.
    Well done!

  10. Very nice. I like!

  11. AND YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Congratulations man, you really did deserve this. Well done!

  13. Now I know why you won..Congratulations again..

  14. The best part for me is the title. Befitting and thoughtful. Nice one

  15. Ohmigosh! Amazing tale! You do deserve to win!

  16. Emmanuel, I never knew you were this good, good story

  17. This story is off the roof!!!! I love it. You tried well not to muddle tenses up. And you did that exactly good. Well done man.

  18. Congratulations! I’m very happy you won. This story is ‘A+’ in creativity.

  19. Congrats Guy! I wanted to be the first to congratulate you but couldn’t. Men! I loved your write up, Sincerely.

    Congrats once again. You are the guy to beat.

    Happy Independence!

  20. Damn!
    if you did not win i wonder who would have
    this is a very beautiful story with a cool title too.

  21. I have a confession to make: THIS IS THE STORY THAT LED ME TO NAIJASTORIES. And I’ll always remember the day I first read it in the newspaper. What imagination! What inspiration! What an analogy to a disillusioned but hopeful nation! (Abi I go call am country? Ha ha!) WELLest done, dear Emmanuel! This sure deserves more prizes, especially from the Facebook team. *winks*

  22. beautiful escape from hackneyed regulars, very creative and innovative as well. She reminds me of “A Poison Tree” by William Blake. Bottled in all her fury, sunned it and watered it and it grew by the day and then, she strikes!

  23. I like d concept of this. But what do u mean when u say her dissidence was indefinable?

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