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Where Is the Father?? An exhilarating story of a man born into struggle... slogging it out in a time and place where the deadliest terrorist group in the world rained pogrom. A slum-born, poverty-stricken youngster fighting his way against all odds from the trenches of one of the poorest, squalor suburbs in the world to the stardom of a global celebrity ... Enter the life of Eby Razi. How did he do it?... How did he endure thirty-four years of inhumanity, cheating death this so many times? How did he go from being a homeless pauper to a billionaire within ten days!? This book was inspired by a true life story; it was written to inspire you and to convict you into a sober reflection. Let the story speak to you ... What is impossible for men is not impossible with God.
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WHERE IS THE
A Story of Struggle, Faith and Victory
A. I. ABANA
This book is a work of fiction; its moral however, is real and beneficial. References to authorities, names of persons, places and events were done in good faith, are coincidental and should not be misconstrued. All scripture quotations in this book are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Text copyright © 2017 by A. I. Abana
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.
Published by Lexis Tuco,
For inquiries contact [email protected]
Cover design by Lexy Flexy
Designed by Ali Alex
Edited by Alico Sam
To all Saints
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”—Mark 11:24
About the Author
am! The sound went off, “what is that?” asked Eby, who was rattled to attention as he made ready to eat the evening meal, long overdue and cooked late. “The Majiris!” retorted his brother Minu who had stormed the house in a frenzy just seconds earlier frantically looking for a place to hide, cold sweat running down his face and dark brown eyes popping out in dread.
Minu was whiling the evening away in Geria’s northeastern city of Maidas. He was out in the neighborhood with friends, an outing which came to an abrupt end as the friends beheld a tumultuous mob approaching, armed with sticks, machetes, and stones, many of whom were deranged with fury. Menacingly hastening toward the group of friends who made a perfect target by the way they sat.
The Majiris were a group of overzealous disciples adhering to the Galo religion ubiquitous in that clime. They held the belief that lunar eclipses were the result of sins committed by unbelievers and as such, anytime an eclipse occurred, they would set out in armed bands to mete out the justice due unbelievers; burning brothels, beer joints and attacking the private residences of all they consider unrighteous. Eby’s street was known to the local Majiri council as one mostly occupied by infidels and has, therefore, a case to answer. As the moon slowly turned red, the Majiris fanned out in large groups, armed to the teeth with a resolve to unleash pogrom.
Having bolted their door, Minu and other members of Eby’s family could not but hope for an unusual divine intervention as wrathful sounds and shouts of “kill them all!”, “burn the infidels!” emanating from the throng outside continued to rise.
The gate was mercilessly pounded from without in an attempt by the armed crowd to break in. Since the brick fences surrounding the house were barbed, the gate which was made of a thin sheet of metallic alloy seemed the most convenient way in for the mob whose pedigree was to leave behind a trail of sorrows, tears, and blood when they strike.
As the pounding continued, Eby’s mind raced helter-skelter. Should he call the local police? Alas, the local telecoms masts and cellular base stations have all been shut down in the carnage. Besides, law enforcement privy to the events that unfold at eclipses have decided to steer clear of target neighborhoods as previous attempts to secure such had cost them the lives of more men, vehicles, and equipment than not. Coupled with the fact that many senior officers in the local police sympathize with and give tacit acknowledgment to the belief system of the Majiris, calling the police was no option.
Eby being the eldest of five siblings was left pondering what course of action to take. Eby’s aged mother, who having eaten dinner, had since locked herself up in the bedroom closet together with his younger sister Rabi, awaiting what may come. His younger brothers, Nasco and Churus including Minu, hearing the ominous roars coursing the streets have since entered and tucked away with the goats in the dark and poorly lit barn, being an unlikely place for an attacker to look in case the house gate was breached.
Eby was at the crossroads, this was a brief period of time he came home from a long absence at the university in the distant city of Layo, where he had been studying. He had graduated by now and was planning on going for the one-year mandatory service program government had set in place for all graduates of its accredited universities. The service year was a prerequisite for employment and Eby had to go. In the interim, he decided to visit home for the few weeks he would have to wait before traveling.
The quiet he had hoped for was obviously not unfolding as he thought it. In this quagmire of a situation, one thing was unmistakable, the absence of Eby’s father. Eby’s father was nowhere to be found, having noted what possible carnage could unfold and the fact that he felt “tied” to a wife in a marriage he never was happy about, decided to hole up at a friend’s, in a far more secure end of town, a suburb of the city.
The man had planned on getting back only when the “dust” had settled and the insurrection had run its course. Cash-strapped and fearful for his life, he had envisioned the wife and children a lot he can’t conveniently escape with, he thought it best to be nimble in maneuver.
by was born and bred in the same city he now resides in, Eby’s father Mr. Razi Dukura, was a revered champion at beer drinking in the local army barracks and a patron of every brothel in the city. Eby’s father didn’t adhere to any religion or faith system, but his mother had a Catholic background. The man’s concept of God was virtually non-existent, a fact which made it difficult for the family and other well-meaning relatives to advise him against the bottles and brothels. Though obstinate, his salary was not much and could barely provide for the family’s necessities, the man was in the light of financial prudence nigh impossible to advise.
This misdemeanor made Eby and his siblings resort to backbreaking hustle; selling water and ice at age ten to help make ends meet for the family. Eby’s education was a struggle, being exposed to rough neighborhoods and buffeted by juvenile delinquents and poverty, Eby had to be once-a-kid-twice-a-man.
Being poor and living in a place where true faith is a rarity meant persecution. Eby and his siblings were “choked” at every turn, constantly harassed and intimidated by irate Galos in the neighborhood and colleagues at school.
In the frame of such life, Eby’s faith in God and the idea that life could be better was gradually being eroded. Often times the local Galo kids would ridicule and taunt Eby, calling him an infidel. When youngsters in the neighborhood came together to play, those of differing faith with Eby would intimidate him with the gifts and souvenirs their parents had brought them from a pilgrimage. Sometimes, they would press him to join them in their prayers at the local Galo temples, a request he could only decline to their provocation, for this, the bullies would endeavor to beat him to pulp anytime they meet him around, more so when he is without company.
Eby’s poverty meant that the family couldn’t afford to install a pipe borne water supply and he had to fetch water from the homes of affluent folks who lived a long trekking distance from his abode, folks who often use the opportunity to incite his misery. Whimsically, they would demand a compulsory recitation of some Galo religious mantra as a precondition for him, his siblings and ilk to fetch water for their family’s needs, a resource crucial to life.
Eby’s father was unperturbed as to the situation and experiences of his children, he often times rebuffed their complaints with stories of how he had to suffer to survive as a kid, about how lucky his children are at the present, how he had been an orphan and how as a kid he had to wash his sores and wounds with donkey urine to stall infections because he couldn’t afford proper medication.
Eby’s father hardly spent any time at home with them, he leaves home as early as 6:30 am in the morning and comes in anywhere between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm to eat dinner late in the evenings. He eats his breakfasts and lunch out at the restaurants in the city, leaving Eby, his siblings and mother to fend for food; sometimes, they get to eat only dinner, starving the rest of the day.
Eby’s parents had been embroiled in strife from about the day they were wed. Often times, Eby would come home from school to find a disheveled apartment with broken windows and whatnot, finding out upon inquiry from neighbors and observers that a verbal exchange between his parents degenerated into fisticuffs while they were embroiled in mudslinging diatribes.
This albatross of a life was a ball-and-chain on young Eby’s mind, having to hustle and to look after his younger siblings, frequently waking up at 4:00 am in the mornings to prepare the day’s meals so they can all have something to eat before and after school when they come back home. He was about ten years old when much of this was unraveling.
He recalls how his father had given more divorce letters to his mother than he could count, how she would fuss up and leave the house only to come back in at night, climbing over the fence and entering in quietly to a brief family reunion and quiet which lasts about two or three months before the whole episode repeats all over again.
Such were the gyrations in the family’s bond. At one time his mother having fussed up, took him and Nasco the only sibling he had at the time to the house of a relative whom she told she would be back “in a few minutes” only to disappear for months, this she did in an effort to get back at Eby’s father who she was convinced was deserving of her flak. It was a hellish existence for little Eby during that time as his father was all about his small farm and what money he got from his government job.
Even as the difficulties persisted, Eby continued to grow. Determined to succeed, Eby worked hard at school, he had been enrolled in a popular primary school, one which the common folk took their wards to, about forty minute’s trek from Eby’s abode. He did well in his subjects and was even rated number one among his classmates in the end of term class report sheets.
y his fourth year in school, Eby was made a school prefect, held in high esteem by his teachers and the school’s governing board. At that point in Eby’s life, relatives from the villages where his parent’s had hailed from and lived before migrating to the city, had begun coming in to stay with the family and scarce resources became scarcer.
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