Dashed

‘My courage will not be squashed; I’ll tell her my feelings today’, I soliloquised, as I passed by an electoral poster of her father. I always look forward to seeing her alighting from the chauffeur-driven SUV but oddly, she wasn’t in school today.

A crowd lurked around her house. People conversed in hushed tones, gathered in twos and threes. The usual euphoria was absent. I moved towards Rotimi as I sighted his customized Arsenal jersey in the crowd.

‘Guy, wetin dey happen?’, I asked, tapping his shoulder.

Baba, you never hear ni? Otunba & his family were assassinated last night’

Image Source: Deviant Art

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Game of Thrones, Season 7- Takeaways

So, Game of Thrones, season 7 came to an end after 7 episodes on Sunday. As expected, this season didn’t disappoint in its delivery. Now, we have to wait till 2019 to have a new season. What are we supposed to be watching till then?

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No middleground!

Anyways, here are my 7 takeaways from the season:

  • The Starks are reunited… or what’s left of them

Ned’s appointment as the Hand of the King and the push by Jamie culminated in the dispersal of the Starks across Westeros. With Ned and the girls living for King’s Landing and Cat and the boys staying behind in Winterfell, the family never remained the same. This family further got stretched when Ned was executed- Sansa was held ‘hostage’ in Kings’s Landing at first, Arya was carried away to safety and Bran was later pushed into the wild.

It was then heart-warming when the surviving Starks reunited at Winterfell. Lots have happened over the years though.

Of Arya, Brienne said,

The only one that needs protecting is the one that gets in her way.

Bran is now like a walking Google and he can also warg. Sansa has also under gone enough emotional torment to last a lifetime.

  • The Dragons in their glory

Dracarys!

Bigger, intimidating and active! We haven’t really seen Drogon and his brothers in real action except when they dealt with some rebels in Meereen and some other insignificant instances. We’ve literally seen them hatch from eggs to become the beautiful beasts they are now. This season, we saw them like never before. They were engaged in battle action. In battle, air superiority is important. They acted as assault teams, QRFs and also executioners. Unfortunately, the Night King has now acquired one of our dragons for his personal use.

  • Littlefinger’s Execution

The last person whose death was celebrated was Ramsay. We had been waiting for it and the manner was soothing. His death was ironical as the master schemer was outwitted at his game by a kid he thought he had in grip. He was totally outplayed and had to fall on his knees begging for his life. His trial also revealed some hitherto unknown facts- like how he was responsible for Jon Arryn. Quite fair that he was slahed in the throat by his own knife.

Littlefinger’s Trial Explained Here

  • The Army of the Dead soars

I had been searching for the perfect description of the White Walkers before the season finale. Jon provided the perfect one in “The Dragon and the Wolf”

“An army that doesn’t leave corpses behind on the battlefield”

Like a boss, the Night King hasn’t uttered a word in the show yet, the thought of him sends shudders through our spines. His army grows at a rapid rate. The army now also possesses Viserion. I’d be scared if I were a Westerosi right now.

And yup! The Night King would do well if he thinks of having a career in javelin.

Quite a thrower, that one.

  • Cersei- Evil as Ever

She really hasn’t changed, has she? Even Jamie and The Hound have earned credits from the viewers. Still, she is disposed to brawn over reason. While everyone is battling to stay alive, she’s battling to keep the Iron Throne. Even Jamie was shook when he heard the number of the Army of the Dead.

She even relies on the mercenaries in Essos, The Golden Company to help her in a war other people have shifted their attention from.

Even Jamie is tired of her.

  • Jon Snow- A false life?

The most popular bastard in the Seven Kingdoms. He was everyone’s favourite bastard. Prior to last season, we believed he was Ned Stark’s. Even he believes that. Turned out he isn’t any of the above- not a bastard nor Ned Stark’s son. Well played, GRRM!

Thanks to the Three-Eyed Raven (must be nice to be able to go back and witness historical moments, don’t you think?), we know that Jon is a Targaryen. However, even the Three-Eyed Raven needs assistance. Samwell was on hand for this. It’s revealed that Jon’s parents were legally married. Oops! You owe someone an apology, Robert.

His name isn’t Jon Snow, it’s Aegon Targaryen.

And he’s the heir to the Iron Throne.

  • The Wall is brought down

The Wall has been protecting the Seven Kingdoms from the perils beyond it. In “The Watchers on the Wall”, it withstood the attack of the wildlings. The Wall has stood for thousands of years. This season though, part of it came down like a pack of cards, courtesy of The Night King. With the aid of the resurrected Viserion, he paved a path for the Army of the Dead to match into Westeros.

And the end begins!

Thank You, Dr Stella Adadevoh!

On July 21, 2014, I was in Calabar, peacefully engaged in the compulsory service to Nigeria. Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres away, a certain woman saved me from getting infected with a deadly virus with a fatality rate of about 90%. In the year 30 AD, it is believed in Christianity that a man gave himself way to be killed so that many others, even those unborn, might be saved. The man’s name was Jesus Christ. In 2014, many centuries later in Nigeria, this doctor, with the knowledge of a possible infection and death, saved a nation from an epidemic called ebola. Her name was Stella Adadevoh. This viral outbreak had turned Liberia and Sierra Leone to pariah countries. Although, it is probable for this selfless act to get lost in the political wrangling between the state government and the federal government on who takes the credit for the eradication of ebola (who could blame them though it was an election season), but some of us choose to remember Dr Adadevoh’s as the singular person who even made the glory to be sought available in the first place.

Under pressure from an international government to release the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, from the hospital, she stood her ground to save her countrymen and the most populous black nation on earth. Her great grandfather Herbert Macaulay had fought for Nigeria’s independence more than 50 years earlier. A country like ours would have been the most perfect breeding ground for the virus to fester. We come in contact with bodily fluids at every turn- the headrest on the danfo, the alabaru at Oyingbo brushing you with his sweaty arm, the ablution area in most mosques. The devastation would have been deadlier than Liberia’s. The health sector which had collapsed would never have been prepared. The strike embarked by doctors then proved to be a blessing in disguise as it ensured that Sawyer was not taken to the government hospitals which are always crowded, thus, risking more people getting infected. This makes Adadevoh’s act more prominent and heroic. Not a virologist herself, she could have run to save her life when Sawyer chose to deliberately infect others by spilling his blood and other body fluids in his room. But she chose to stay to restrain the patient- a decision which proved fatal. On August 19, 2014, she fell to the deadly virus.

Finally, in a society that fails to reward valiant actions, it is noteworthy to remember Dr Adadevoh on this anniversary of her death. Ma’am, thank you for saving us from an impending doom. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten in this corner.

Not all heroes wear capes; some are in lab coats.

 

Image sources: DRASA and naptu2

A TALE OF 2 ATUNBIs

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I had just taken my truancy a notch higher. This latest act sealed my fate as a budding outlaw. Big Cousin had instructed me to torch the school building. Apparently, it reminded him of his failings. I started from the chemistry lab; setting fire to a jar of unknown chemicals. The commotion thereafter pumped my adrenaline into overdrive. The guards were on my tail but their motivation was no match for mine and I left them in the dust.

Within minutes, I was done with it. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I dusted off my shoulder. Big Cousin would be proud of me. Outside the burning building, I heard approaching footsteps- non-aggressive ones. Turning, her red lipstick was the first feature I noticed. Then, her white pleated shirt which accentuated her chest region became clearer. She was petite and fair complexioned. I’d never seen her before. She talked first- wanting to know why I had committed this arson. She said she worked in a media house in one of the office spaces in the school building. A slight feeling of remorse dawned on me, but not enough to douse the adrenaline still in effect.

“I’m Funmi… Funmi Atunbi”, she said, introducing herself.

“You’ll have to find out yourself”, I quipped, before leaving her there.

The brevity nevertheless, our meeting was a sort of balm I needed. We met days later at an enclosed market, like Watts. Sobriety had kicked in now. She sneaked up behind me and with a grin, inquired to know me more. She believed I was a diamond in dirt. Joined by an old friend, we headed to a school down the road, willing to become an atunbi. I warned Funmi of the risk of being seen with an arsonist. I wouldn’t hold it upon her if she doesn’t want to go but she insisted on going.

With a reputation like mine nonetheless, I made a positive impression on the proprietress. An old guard sighted me and tried to make a serious case before the owner not to admit me. No, I won’t let this pass. I returned to defend myself like Jessica’s defence of Leonard Bailey. I would totally understand if she doesn’t admit me though. I’ll just keep on searching.

The woman sighed and reached a verdict.

“Hakeem …Hakeem, it’s time for Zuhr.”, I woke from my siesta to hear.

 

“Dreams feel real when we’re in them; it’s only when we wake up that we realise something was actually strange”

-Leo DiCaprio, Inception.

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