My wife and I had had a great night at the Rad Madison Hotel. Head office announced my new role as regional manager and chief of operations across Sub-Saharan Africa and some part of the Middle East. Regina was beaming, with a permanent smile stuck to her face. I'd never seen her that happy. The Cadillac Escalade crawled into the driveway of our Gregorian type home; sturdy columns, vintage carvings by the prominent Italian wood sculptor and friend El Giovanna. I stepped out and helped Regina onto the Porch, the light came on but there was no Dare. My Valet and Chef also doubled as the family Nanny and would always watch the kids while we went on outings. The day we met, it was at an African day function, he was there cooking up some grilled meat popularly called "Suya." We laughed and talked about our homes; how I missed Kumasi and he Lagos. We shared an uncommon bond which seemed to be a result of our West-African heritage. "Why's the house so quiet?" Regina asked me. I turned to shush her. The eerie silence told me there was something out of place. Even Kgomotso, our live-in gardener was not at the gate as usual of him. We had made sure our home was colored with African nationals. John, our first son could speak a little of the Zulu he had learned from Kgomotso. Our daughter had taken a liking to Dare who told some of the most beautiful Ijapa and Yanibo stories. Remembering where we had been from, I always felt like my home was too perfect to remain forever. I could feel my heart starting to race as I pushed open the front door. The lights were out. We stepped into the living room and I flicked on the light. Regina let out a scream. The seats and shattered center table were covered in blood. Regina had started to run up the stairs and I followed suit, grabbing a baseball bat along the way. We rushed into the children's room, Regina ran straight at the pile of bodies. First, she pulled off Kgomotso whose back was riddled with knife cuts, his body rolled off the pile. My hands fumbled through my jacket, grabbing my phone, I dialed 911. "Help me pull his leg!" Regina screamed at me, pointing at Dare whose eyes stared into space unblinking. I could see the tiny arms of my daughter, so I grabbed Regina and held her as she kicked and thrashed about. "My babies, My babies!" she wailed on and on in my arms. Then we heard the sound that shut her up "Mommy..." John called out almost inaudibly. We both rushed to pull Dare's body off. John had a small cut above his eyebrow, a scar that would forever remind us of that day. Kisi cried for months anytime she saw or heard someone speak Yoruba. The reports from the New York Police Department (NYPD) led to the conclusion that the homicide attack was politically motivated, there was a letter. Someone had wanted me dead after the deal for DRC oil exploration had pissed off the government. They thought I was the key to making sure insurgents were not given the fat payoff they had always had in the region. The attacker had kicked open the door smack into John's face. The boy had quickly regained composure and run up the stairs to grab his sister. Dare and Kgomotso had paid the ultimate price to defend our babies. They wouldn't budge until the attacker fled the house. They must have made themselves into a body shield covering John and Kisi with their battered bodies. *** This fictional story is the result of my thoughts today about Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria. We have been a major part of African liberation but yet are still full of hate for each other. Nigerians must forgive South Africans in advance for what they might or will do to us. This is the only way to break the cycle of hate in Africa. The same must apply to South Africa and Ghana and every African country. Our fathers bled for the development of other countries of which today most of us have no stake in. We will always be presented with a choice, to bleed for Africa or to make others bleed. No African has had it easy. Whether rich, poor or privileged. We all are products of centuries of bloodshed, slavery, colonialism, and struggle. It's our duty to honour their memories by defending Africa with our lives. This might cost us our pride, our feelings of entitlement, our memories of killings across tribes and countries. It will cost us a lot but we must be willing to forgive ourselves in advance for the evil planted in our hearts by decades of oppression and separatist politics.
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