A weary day with so much sleep in the eyes. I could not but imagine how long I have dwelt in the bed; until I heard this loud voice screaming my name. With a sudden shock, up I rose. It was mum’s voice I could recognize it perfectly; Mum has one of the loudest voice known to me.
To my utmost surprise, I found nobody in the room, it took me several seconds to realize I was alone and the voice echoing in my eardrums was coming from down the staircase. Now I was aware something strange is happening.
Still, the voice was screaming
Lekan! Lekan! Lekan!
Nobody calls that name better than my mum. It was definitely her calling me. Getting over that, on top of her voice was a little word
Iná! Iná! Iná! ( Fire! Fire! Fire!)
What! A fire outbreak? My big eyeballs are wide open now. I stood up immediately, panic sets in and I’m left scrambling for where to run or hide. It appears everywhere was safe in the room. I got out of the room, pass through the corridor, rushing towards the staircase. There it was flaming like a god of fire itself.
In my head, the only thought was survival, simultaneously being scared to die. I wanted to run pass through it then I realized the danger. A heavenly thought came to me in the middle of my confusion to slide pass through the other side of the staircase. All I had to do was to hold the iron gate firmly; while I stretch my leg as much as I could to land at the other side of the staircase.
In the end, it was a successful struggle. Just outside the open gate down the stairs was mum and my siblings as well as our neighbours gathered in the compound. Don’t get too worried about the gates and the neighbours. When you live in the ghetto you prioritize your security, also living with more than 20 people. It was a big concern. The fire outbreak just made you vulnerable in a second.
Still struggling to douse the fire, different individuals were pouring water mixed with detergents here and there; the fire was flaming even more, stretching out of the little holes for air to come in.
Of all the people making efforts to extinguish the fire, Mr Samuel alter the tune of the moment. He was a tall fair-skinned man of about 6ft2 (1.88 m); a lady’s day dream. As he was rushing to the staircase with a heavy bowl of water in his hands, suddenly he slipped and fell. It was quite humorous for everyone. That moment was enough for us to ‘partially’ forget the raging disaster…