7th September by Sandra Mitelojo Ayika

Calmness comes with certainty....an assurance of some sort….a promise....Good or bad you are sure it’s coming for you……

This was what I felt 10:47am on the 7th of September, 2012……CALMNESS and I was so sure it came for me.  

When I woke up that morning, I knew that Friday was different. I felt a sense of sadness, not enough to cry but enough to not want to be around people. It felt like I was sinking inside. What was this feeling, I’m a people person. Especially on a Friday, that was my favorite day in the week…. I love my Fridays but I couldn’t shake the feeling out, I just couldn’t.

So I stood up to get ready for the day  ahead, got all dressed up and ready then my stomach grumbled. I knew I was going to be late (or at least more late than usual). I used the toilet twice before living the house that morning unaware of the danger, the dark cloud that waited for me at a place called Egbeda.

This place is where my journey begins every morning to work. This place is where I have always passed through and from for over a decade. This place now holds a new meaning to me. This place gave me a new experience….pain, joy, surprise, gratefulness….the total package. Thank God for this place called Egbeda.

When I left home that morning I had nothing for breakfast so I stopped to buy ingredients I would use to prepare Indomie noodles. That was what I had planned for breakfast….Indomie noodles with crayfish, Cameroon pepper and butter all cooked in the microwave oven accompanied with a hot cup of Nescafe breakfast coffee with ginger tea and plenty of milk. I was good to go all I had to do was get to office first.

It was quite easy getting a bus to Egbeda from the bus-stop by my house. I remember there was a hold up to Egbeda but that didn’t bother me I was sitting by the window so the cool breeze was doing its work distracting me from my discomfort. When the bus got to Egbeda, it stopped at the filling station just after the BRT bus-stop for passengers to get down. There and then I thought” it could be my circle making me feel this way…it had to be”. As I made this explanation I gave thanks. It’s something I do every morning on my way to work in-between my thoughts I gave thanks to God for everything….the good, the bad and even the ugly. I thanked Him for loving me with no questions asked.

I passed some beggars, ‘just a few of them today” I thought. Getting closer to where I board CMS-Marina-Obalende bus, I noticed the street that I would have to go across to get to where I would board my bus to work was covered in mud. I looked down at my feet, I was wearing this new leather slippers embroidered with gold, silver and transparent beads I just got that week. I thought of the trouble I would go through cleaning the mud off my new lovely looking slippers so I changed course.

Beside me was the parking spot by the side of the road for buses going to Ikeja. There was just single bus parked there and I thought “what a dry day for Ikeja commuters”. I decided to go around the bus and follow the main road to get to the CMS bus avoiding the muddy street in the process. As I was about to get down from the pavement to go around the parked bus (this all happened all at once) a car was coming so I paused behind the parked bus (with the intent to pass after the car). Suddenly the calmness came; I checked my wristwatch it was 10:47am I drew my breath and thought “I’m late already”. Then I mouthed the words that could have been my last, “thank you God”. As I said these words I saw a reflection of a coming bus (a danfo) in rear view window of the parked bus I was standing behind. It was too late…………

That was all I heard, everywhere was quiet, It was beautiful……the silence and the calmness hadn’t left me yet. I smiled with my eyes closed, I thought I was dead; I thought “I must be out of my body now”. When I opened my eyes and found myself between two buses (the parked bus and the one that hit me), I couldn’t feel or see my legs, my waist down to my legs was between the two buses. Still I was calm. I moved my hands around my upper body to see if I was really alive. I felt myself up but no pain, I smiled and said” thank you God, you are just too much.

While I was in awe of my experience the commotion began and suddenly a crowd gathered around, wailing and lamenting on my behalf. The calmness began to change to shock slowly as the wailing and lamentation from the crowd shouting” ye! Eeheee…. O pa! Ah! omolomo ooooo……..o pa o” sank in. I remember thinking, asking God “will it be clutches or a wheelchair”.

Some men in the crowd yelled at the driver (of the danfo bus that hit me) telling him to reverse so I could be set free. When he did, I fell to the ground; I couldn’t sit or move my legs. The crowd thought I was dead so they stared at me with pity and sadness in their eyes. Soon after I fell to the ground I noticed a sound like a crack, it was from the glass of the rear view of the stationary bus I was rammed into, it was about to fall over me. I raised my arms over my face like a shield to save it.

A man noticed my reflex and shouted “ko ku o aah! O wa laye oo…Ah!!! jesu”. He picked up my legs and shook them really hard a poor attempt to keep me alive. With everything happening so fast I yelled at the man trying to perform wonders with my poor legs so I don’t incur further injuries. The noise from the crowd was beginning to get to me; panic was slowly creeping in……slowly.

Among the men hovering by the scene of the accident, one stood out (one of my saviors that day). He seemed to be over the shock more than every other person as he and the police officer on duty that morning made plans to get me to a hospital, my breath got heavier as I called him with a weak, fading voice as my hand gestured towards him. I said with teary eyes “please sir when you people what carry me don’t bend me by my waist please carry me straight please” he nodded that they would and said I shouldn’t worry.

A woman from my home town who sales food nearby happened to be the only woman brave enough to got the scene of the accident. She never guessed it was someone she knew. She tried to undo my belt because one of my saviors advised; he thought it would make me breath a little easier.  I spoke to her in my mother tongue, “Iye (which means mother) don’t you recognize me?” on hearing my voice she wiped her face with her left hand her pupils dilated in shock she cried out” hey!... Ewo…….abeg make una help me ooo…..na my daughter….. na my pikin” tears rolled down my chicks. They finally arrived…..self pity and fear I started to think of my mom, I’m all she has, it’s just me.

While Iye gathered my things that was scattered around the area of impact, they asked me which hospital I would want to be taken to I told them Igando General Hospital. As they carried me in a straight position as safely as they could I cried out to the man by my right helping to carry my head, I said “please don’t drop me to the ground, I don’t want to die, I’m an only child, my mom….she has no one but me”. The man consoled me by saying “don’t worry you will be fine”. I was put into a danfo bus and laid on one of the benches in the bus. Iye, the driver (that hit me) and the police officer on duty at Egbeda accompanied me to the hospital.

By the time we got to the hospital I had started to feel aches and pains all over my body. I was taken to the corridor of the emergency office, my jeans were cut off, IV was fixed and then a new kind of pain washed over me within seconds. The anesthetic injection given to me didn’t hold so my groaning became more and more intense causing unimaginable pain and anguish as the Doctor passed a needle through and from my skin. You would think I was in labor putting birth to triples or more.

Soon after the massive cut I had on my feet was stitched, I was taken away for some  X-rays which revealed that I had broken my left tibia and fractured both sides of my pelvic bone and I had a lot of blood. I was transferred to Igbobi orthopedic Hospital that day.

I had just two options to handle the situation I was in… be grateful or be ungrateful . I choose not to ask why me, I choose to cry a little and laugh more but when I cried a lot I ensured I double my dose of laughter. I choose not to think less of my relationship with God. I choose to love myself and God more, I choose to be happy.

So whenever I go through a tsunami of pain, I always find something to make me laugh. I made my neighbors laugh. I ensured throughout my stay in “A” ward I maintained a happy and grateful state of mind. Sometimes I wish I didn’t change course but I did and I’m the better for it.
This experience has changed things and improved my philosophy of life. I now live and love every day like it’s my last enjoying the rewards that each day brings.

Sandra happens to be one of my best friends and everyday I pray for her leg to heal...it's been more than 1 year now and I can't wait to have her back on her feet...Going to the movie is no more fun without her and we are taking that vacation the moment the doctor certifies her travel okay.


Molara Brown


  1. Oh wow!!! This drew me in and brought tears to my eyes. Wow!! A whole year? I Love that she has a good attitude towards this

    Reminds me of the ordeal with my sister 2 months ago.

    I pray that God will honour himself in her life and grant her perfect healing. It will end in Joy - aint no other choice.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Woow...Was hoping this is fiction :(
    Will certainly be praying for your friend.

  3. I thank God for a day like this that we r giving thanks to God for your life and not mourning. God is indeed great. I knew wen it happened but i never thot readin the whole story over again can make me cry. You are a very special friend to me (more like family) and u kno it, u always believed in me even wen i tot so lowly of myself. God bless you and keep you dear, may the rest of ur days be filled with goodness and mercy. Your joy cometh

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  5. Wow....thank God for Sandra's life. I got the shivers just reading this and I am mighty glad she's doing fine now and following her dreams.

    Hugs to you both.