AND THEN THEY STRUCK

others 106This is not a work of fiction.

It happened on the 18th of July, 2014.

It was 6:25pm and I had just closed from work. Auditors had been around from the head office, scrutinizing every expense and examining every receipt, all the while drinking tea; tea I secretly wished I had laced with poison.

Anyway, I finally turned into the entrance of my street, looking forward to eating the marinated chicken (that’s what ‘oga’ called it) that my significant other had prepared for me the previous day. A few blocks down my street, I saw a crowd gathered, which wasn’t really a strange sight in the city of Port Harcourt, so I drove on. The crowd however somehow parted and I caught a glimpse of a young man naked to his underwear sitting on the floor. Must be a unlucky thief that was caught, I thought to myself. I hated mob justice, but good luck trying to stop an irate mob. So I made to continue down the road. The crowd parted again somehow, and I saw another figure seated beside the man I had seen before, and I had an instant tachycardia. I recognized the second guy; he had popped up on my Badoo’s ‘People Nearby’, and had tried to chat me up. But with ‘oga’ around, I did not respond. So I was instantly disturbed, because in my gut I already knew what was going on, and I was scared.

I pulled over, got down from my car and approached the crowd, a horde of people, some armed with clubs and sticks as well as some other weapons. The two men sprawled on the floor had already been beaten black and blue, and they were bleeding. I walked toward a man I recognized in the crowd, my barber, and when I queried him, he was like, “Sir, imagine o… Homosexuals… In this our street! God forbid! We go kill them!” And he proceeded to pick up a brick and haul at them. The brick hit one on the guys on the head and I cringed, but the battered young man did not even flinch; their spirits and bodies had been so broken, they were numb.

Suddenly I tasted salt in my mouth; I did not even know I was crying as I imagined myself sitting on that floor, being beaten and humiliated in similar fashion by these people – my neighbors. The same people on my street who waved at me in the morning when I went to work, who came to me for prescriptions, who greeted me “Good evening, doc.” You see, these people I had lived amongst would do the same to me in a heartbeat. The sight was too much for me to bear, so I turned and went back to my car.

There was no way I would leave those guys there. It could be me lying down there and being beaten to a pulp. I also knew that I couldn’t do much by myself to stop the manic crowd. So I called for help. I called a captain in the army whom I had a fling with many years ago (that is a story for another day). He was initially reluctant to help, until I said, “If it were me passing through this, would you leave me there to rot? Will you not save me?” Then he asked for the address.

Eventually, the good captain sent over a truck full of soldiers, and I went to help them navigate to the spot. By the time we got there however, the two guys had been taken to a police station, where they were shackled, still in their underwear, at the back of a van like common thieves. I called a friend who is a lawyer, and he joined us at the police station. The boys were eventually released to us after nearly four hours of intense shouting and me literarily trying to stop the soldiers and the policemen from getting into a brawl. We eventually took custody of the two men at about midnight, and we drove them straight to a clinic run by a guy I know personally, where their wounds were treated. I did not know how to console these two; I was afraid that if I opened my mouth to speak to them, words would fail me and tears would flow freely. So I kept mute. When the guy who knew me from Badoo looked up at me and silently worded “Thank you”, I merely nodded without any vocal response. It was as though something had taken my voice away.

It was around 2am that I finally fell into bed (without anymore appetite for my marinated chicken), and I could not sleep a wink. My mind was kept alive with so many thoughts. What kind of jungle do we live in? When did people become less than animals in our eyes because of their sexual orientation? Am I ever going to be truly safe in this country…my country?

You see I was sick because in that same crowd, wielding a brick she was determined to stone the two guys with was a young woman on my street who’d just opened a bar financed by a married man she was dating. In that same crowd was Samuel who was living with a girl whose parents’ house he could not even find his way to. There was also the woman who owned a store down the road where she passed off Aba shoes as Dubai-made. Also with a club was the single mother who had previously had two abortions, and the mechanic who had fixed a fake brake-pad for me once. He was the one who poured hydraulic on the guys they were assaulting.

Now, homosexuality is a sin, right? Maybe – even though sin is relative, but all these people that I just mentioned are saints? I think not. So where do they get off playing judge and jury? Where do they get off deciding what is right and wrong? And who gave Mama Amanda who sells provisions the right to scream “homosexualists should be punished”, while she sleeps with the University of Port Harcourt student who lives in her BQ.

I suppose nothing makes sense in this country.

After this incident, I stopped talking to these people on my street, I barely responded to their greetings. I did not open the door when people knocked to ask for the chance to charge their phones in my flat. And I stopped giving out any prescriptions. I simply sent them over to the health centre. Because you see, when they discover who I really am, they will probably mob me, and I will find solace in the fact that I wasn’t friendly with them.

Written by Dennis Macaulay

61 thoughts on “AND THEN THEY STRUCK

  1. I am traumatised by this barbarous act. what the hell is the problem with these people. and who the hell made them judge and jury? self righteous pricks. oh how I hate them. I hate them. I quake with hate. if you see me right now, u will see the telltale whisps of hate smoke pouring from my eyes, ears and nose.

  2. @Macaulay I got goose pimples from reading this,Nigerians won’t cease to amaze me.They say homosexuality is a sin but they fornicate,masturbate,do abortion that ain’t a sin abi?anyways God bless you from rescuing those two,good work bro.

  3. I applaud your bravery and courage. You are a hero.
    It pains me to think that on Sunday, these people will go to Church, clap and dance in ecstasy to the God they worship, pray in the name of Jesus but forget his challenge to a similar mob, words which I believe are right up there with the golden rule, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!”

    • Christians participated in the holocaust! A lot of evil is being perpetrated in God’s name, and it’s enough to make me an atheist! I remember telling one of them, “now that you have beaten them black and blue, I can picture God and his angels dancing and rejoicing for this act”.
      I did what I did, cos I saw myself sitting there also! And I hoped and prayed that if it were me, someone would come to my rescue too!!!

  4. Hey Dennis, I can relate with this. I remember in my first year hear in uni, some guys were mobbed one early morning, and when I heard the noise, my legs stopped moving because it could be me. I went out to see what was happening, and it shook me how people who, in one moment can be so human and loving, can turn brutal in the next. So many things are happening now, and sometimes I just want to withdraw into myself and shun all the haters. But, the truth is, I can’t return hate for hate. Maybe I’m too young and too optimistic, maybe I’ll rethink when I’m older, but I believe strongly in how love can suppress hate. Maybe you could still love these people, still help them, I don’t know. But it’s your choice anyway. I do understand that well-you-hate-me-go-fuck-yourself feeling.

    • @Rapu’m this same people will burn me to death in a heartbeat when they realize that my “cousin” who almost lives with me is really my boyfriend. I think I am done playing nice neighbor wisteria lane style.

  5. Great but pathetic story. Reminds me of how I rescued a guy who was almost beating to death at about 11pm few years ago. Hope to share the story here some day. What a terrible country !

  6. Same street??? Here I was thinking if you were good n nice to the ppl of your own street, they wud fight to defend you at every turn…smh
    But 18th July??? Dennis, Ur mind is deep o. I was already complacent in my thinking Nigerians had accepted we were here for good. Whoa!!! Rude awakening

  7. I was in the deep blue sea! Rescue the guy and be labelled gay or watch them kill the guy? I choose d first option and damn d consequences after all Sin is Sin.

  8. I am beginning to think that if the police did not arrest those men, they would have been killed by the mob. In two days time that same mob will go to church and “lift holy hands in praise” to the tune of a Sinach number.
    This is why I struggle every sunday to drag myself to church!!! What’s the point? What’s the f**king point???
    A Liberian pastor said Ebola fever was punishment from God for “homosexualists”!!! Christianity has its own form of terrorism! Very subtle that you don’t notice it, but equally dangerous

  9. Epic sh*t – our very own modern day hero. It’s not only brilliant and poignant enough to tug at a few heart strings for those who still have them but it also questions the rationale and basis against the discrimination of the LGBT Community.
    However, I feel like this is like winking in the dark and that this story should be given a bigger voice it deserves; on a bigger platform on perhaps a facebook page or a naija stories so that we can continue to question the norm and hopefully enlighten the public.

      • Very insightful on you part Damian. It skipped my mind to think that Mama Amanda might actually be active on social media and ‘stumbled’ on the story on these bigger platforms.
        Perhaps we can tweak the story a bit and make the protagonist an accountant or an engineer eh?

  10. @Dennis, thank you for intervening in the situation… I 4 one hav decided 2 be dat Coooold Icy Neighbour dat barely says hello or even looks you in D̶̲̥̅ face cos I remember when М̣̣̥̇̊Ɣ Boo’s landlady asked him to leave her house bcos he was now “in2 guys” meanwhile her 2nd son is an active homosexual and had tried 2 sleep with М̣̣̥̇̊Ɣ boo (what an irony). But then again man will always be a self righteous prick and there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it but keep to our own clique for our own safety.

  11. I just can’t stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks! I just can’t. I also read that in Liberia, some religious leaders said that Ebola is a plague sent by God because of Homosexuals. Hmm.. I just can’t deal with all this ignorance!

  12. WoW!!!! Omg God pls don’t let this be my portion cos that’s all have got to lose in this country and I pray for those guys that their spirit be restored back to them and denis you also my modern day hero and that was really brave of you to do

  13. A mix of jealousy, blind religous hatred, hypocrisy of the highest order and plain wickedness. They see you, young, smart, handsome, cool, comfortable, good job, he doesn’t carry women everywhere, he’s life seems perfect…and then they discovered you’re gay. Wow finally, he’s not as good as he seems to be, he’s a devil, he’s evil, he’s sins are responsible for our problems. We must humuliate him, kill him. I fear for my life most times.

  14. Riggggghhhht… sure this isn’t fiction? If this happened barely a month ago, given our excitement at reporting all things macabre and grim in this country especially towards the gay folk, I am sure this would have made headlines, especially on sensational themed dailys like The Sun.

    i actually took the time to google this and nothing came up.

    unsurprisingly I knew this was written by Dennis before I finished reading it, of course only he would know a Politician that knows a politician that knows a member of parliament in the UK ad infinitum. To be honest this seems badly made up, even for you Dennis

    • Wait o, I have to ask. Is it every gay bashing that happens in the country that is broadcast on the internet?
      And what exactly is your problem with Dennis and who he knows or doesn’t know?
      I just can’t with you, Chizzie. I really can’t.

      • It doesn’t hafta makefront pgs, Pinkie, but I have to agree with him on this. Not even on here on KD??? For two whole weeks and some??? Thats y I said earlier that Dennis’ mind is deep. I learnt a lesson- to not be complacent, but thats too much sectet keeping on Dennis’ part

      • It probably wouldn’t change the veracity of the occurence, but after having shared so many laughs n.sexual innuendos between now and then, it does belittle the effect. As Dennis has explained he was in denial, biko sheathe your sword. This one your hair don dey snake n your eye don dey shine like Medusa. Relax omalicha

      • Ehhhhh!!! Close matter FOR TODAY??? Pinkie, I BEGGED u not to ever let me get on ur bad side *retreats into corner*

    • Lol…chizzie u’re so wrong for dis: “…a politician who knows a politician…”? I can’t with u dis boy! Lol. I don’t see any reason why dennis would lie, but to be honest, a brief sigh of relief almost escaped my lips wen I read ur comment. I felt terrible and cold and hot and sad and angry and scared all at d same time,after reading d story, thus, wen u implied that it might be fiction,a part of me wanted it to be so, cos that would mean I wouldn’t have to be as scared and angry as I felt. Like I said though, I don’t think there’s any logical reason for Dennis to brew up a false,saddening story and then try to pass it off as reality.

    • through the tragic sadness of this story, I can still find a few peals of laughter to spare at our in-house bitch, Chizzie ehhhhh… kaiii,, you’re so negative and full if loathing, Nne, what happened to fill you wt such bitterness biko Nne m?

  15. Tears rolled down my eyes reading this. Thanks for sharing @Dennis, it just goes to show how much harted they(Nigerians) have for our kind. They hate us or like us, we will contuine to be who we are, regardless of what they think or say……

  16. @trystham Pinkie knows the exact day it happened! I told him and he kept urging me to write about it and I kept giving excuses that I was busy. The truth however was that I was still in shock with the horror of it all. It was the first time I was coming close to something like that and the fact that we are all unsafe slapped me in the face, a little too hard. Eventually I wrote about it just so we can all see how we can help wherever necessary.
    Some people on my street have been looking at me with suspicion ever since they heard that I helped those guys get bail. To me that is a small price to pay. It could have been me, and I want to hope that someone would come to my rescue too!

    • This is where you upgrad. My heart blesses you and it means your days as a resident in that Nosy Parkers neighbourhood are numbered. No kito for you. Amen. May you never see a dearth of helping hands

  17. God bless u Dennis. It takes a lot of balls to do what u did and u don’t owe anyone any explanation on how real ur story is. Some of us here have been in this position of being a good samaritan but fear of being outed brought cold feet. U used ur contacts and put yourself at risk to help these guys. For that, u r a hero in my book. I hope putting this story up will inspire everyone of us. Oh and for the record: u r well in ur place to be a lowkey grinch to ur neighbours- but not for long o! They r jerks, dnt join them.

  18. Dennis, you’re a rare gem, am crushing on you seriosuly!!! the evil and wickedness in Nigerians’ hearts never ceases to amaze me. the people are so unrepentantly cruel. I used to be a cheerful, lively, open hearted person, but in recent times, as I grow more and more aware of the intense homophobia and hatred that the vast majority of Nigerians bear in their hearts towards people like me, I honestly cannot find any love in my heart for them. These days, I am much more of a loner, I cant in all honesty socialise with persons who would lynch & kill me simply because I am attracted to men, a thing I have no control over. I also feel like I betray my inner self each time I worship with them& share a fellowship of love knowing that the entire religious institution happily condemns me& others like me to eternal blazes! no, I would rather seek God’s face in the privacy and comfort of my room (in my heels and makeup should I feel so inclined on that particular day). my social interactions with the vast majority of the people around me is limited to work or business, my immediate family cannot understand my sudden withdrawal from the world and my inexplicable lack of interest in socializing much with people who do not fully know me (especially with regards to my sexuality), but I am convinced its the best way to preserve my precious sanity and make some sort of sense of the horrible existence we are forced to put up with in this homophobic hellhole. I urge us all to be extremely careful, never allow your dick/ass take over the functions of thought, which are the non-delegable functions of your brains!! ***hugs***

  19. Am trying to look for words to express my self and l can’t, you may not see you self as a hero, but you took the first time every hero took to be great. Thank you for your kindness and the love you gave to those two. Thanks for stopping and not walking away.Thanks for being human in a society of inhumans.
    In my books you can’t do no wrong after such act, I have always asked my self what l would do if met with such situation, and you helped me see we can all help.I thank you for reminding me us all what human means, before any thing. God bless you

    • Luckily I knew someone who could help me. I kept picturing myself in that situation and I am hoping that if it were me, someone would help me.
      If I had gone home and left those men there, I’m afraid I may never sleep again as that image would haunt me to my grave.
      At the police station, I lost count of how many times I was called “homo” who came to rescue “rescue his follow homos”. That however is a small price to pay.
      A lot of my friends are relocating abroad, and honestly I don’t blame them. This is not a way to live

  20. Dennis, U are blessed. Today I live in reclusion never to trust any friend when my very own paddy and fuck buddy set me up in his own house inside army barracks where he lives knowing full well I was helpless and extorted over 70k from me alongside his useless friends; emptied my bank accounts. Since then I have swore never to be friends with anybody. I am a terrible loner now.

    Dennis, once again, God bless U

  21. Oh wow Dats so sad and am soooo proud of you Dennis….well what else is new in Nigeria…just made me remember when Jesus asked the crowd to let d first without sin cast d first stone at d harlot!!! Dats why I don’t like my friend who lives in some rural part of abuja to leave his door open whenever I go for sex there…..chuckles..!!

  22. There are people I respect a lot on this blog, Dennis Macaulay without a doubt ranks top. Aside the fact that I always learn one or two wisdom from his comments, I also see that he has principles and he sticks to them.
    What he did for those guys gave me a little hope that if I ever found myself in such situation that someone would come to my rescue considering the fact that we gay people don’t even give a damn about ourselves not to say going a long distance to save these guys.
    As depressing and agonisingly sad the story was, I chose to take to positives which basically were the things done by Dennis for the guys.
    Posterity always has a good place for people like you

  23. When religion, ignorance and evil (3 things that many times are the same thing) come together. Thanks Dennis….you’re a modern day true hero.

  24. this is what i always try to tell my “nice” gay friends. these people are not your friends! they will kill you if they knew who you are. i’ve stopped trying to understand homophobia. it defies all logic… anyways dennis, kudos to you for rescuing the poor men. bless you for your courage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s