A child had been molested repeatedly by a woman she called ‘Aunty’ who took her from her parents with promises of putting her through school. She looked like life was gradually leaving her. Frank Olize, the show Presenter had ended by promising to keep us updated on efforts to rehabilitate her and punish those responsible for her pain as the story was unfolding. I could barely sleep, I kept picturing her blank stare, how accustomed she seemed to pain and I prayed for weeks hoping somehow after all the buzz she will find someone to tell her she was beautiful, made for more and smile so life will fill those eyes for a moment.
Fast forward recent times, I am older and wiser with more access to information. Each night as my daughter says her devotion; she remembers Leah Sharibu and prays for her deliverance. A feeling of guilt overwhelms me as I recall being so empathetic too. Stories I now encounter, much worse than the molested child on NTA on the Sunday-Sunday Tonic no longer keeps me awake. I barely remember them after I have taken the first glance at a headline on twitter or a short video on social media. What happened to me? Do I no longer have an active conscience?
One day I listened to the distinct voice and lyrics of TY Bello’s “Cold”, I tried to track just when I lost that feeling, that strong conscience that made me react, pray, cry, empathise, speak up. I think it was somewhere between growing up, hustling and feeling incapacitated in the big picture. So my moral compass began a slow journey to numbness. As I write I am on a journey back to coming alive, one day at a time.