A Sunday evening turned her llife. My Fadeke! Fadeke was a religious woman. She ws born and brought up in an MFM family and she grew up to become a very fierce prayer warrior. She was 30. She worked as a hostel mistress at a mission school in Surulere
That day, she had just led the girls back into the dorms from preparatory class when a loud sharp scream swallowed the hall. It was one of the girls. She rushed down to where the noise was coming from and she realised it was Sola, a JSS3 student. She was crying and shaking and pointing at her bed. Fadeke checked and under Sola’s pillow was a small red clothe, wrapped with three stones. She was frightened; but she had to be in charge
She dashed into her room and soon returned with her Bible and anointing oil. She called all the girls and they surrounded the bed as she looked from one pair of eye to another.
“Who did this?” she asked
“I won’t ask again. But I’m about to bring down fire from heaven now. If you did this, better confess and repent now, while you still have the chance” she continued.
Fadeke sighed. She looked into the faces of the girls again. She could read fear from most faces, but she wasn’t sure what they were scared of. The evil object or the fire that was about to descend.
“Close your eyes and pray, girls” She ordered.
And it began. A very intense and charismatic prayer session that shook the walls of the dorm. Fadeke had trained the girls to pray just as fiercely as she did. They prayed and spoke in tongues and Fadeke simultaneously sprinkled anointing oil on the mysterious object.
About twenty minutes of intense prayer, a loud thud was heard. Fadeke opened her eyes; one of the girls had crashed on the ground. It was Lucy! Fadeke was shocked.
“Lucy of all girls?” She thought to herself.
In a split of seconds, she resumed the prayer and the attention changed to Lucy who was on the ground. They prayed fervently, as she sprinkled anointing oil on Lucy. They prayed. They bond. They cast. A minute later, Lucy jumped and ran out of the dorm.
Fadeke led a song of thanksgiving and they rounded off the prayer session. She used a packer to remove the object and burnt it outside the dorm. She then returned to her room. She thought about Lucy. She was one of the new students in the hostel and she hardly made friends with anyone, but, preferred to play with her doll. Before the incident, there have been rumors among the staff that some of the students are witches,but Fadeke never took the rumor seriously until that night. She studied her Bible and prayed again. She prayed for Lucy. Lucy was a girl she really loved.
Lucy returned to her bed that night. Nobody slept close to her. Most of the girls shared their beds; three on some and two on the others. It was just Lucy and her doll and empty beds all around her. The light soon went out but anyone hardly slept.
Somewhere in the darkness, Lucy wept. She muffled her tears with her doll.
Morning came, but, it came quite late. Everyone dressed up and went to school. The story of the previous night spread like wildfire among staff and students. Lucy had become a celebrity overnight. In class, no one sat close to her, even the teachers avoided making eye contact with her while they taught.
Fadeke could not stop feeling bad too. She felt sorry for Lucy. She wondered if she became a witch on her own will or she was forced. Fadeke was ready to take her to the revival camp at the end of the week for deliverance. A teacher suggested they call Lucy’s parent to inform them, but, nobody was brave enough to call the parents, to inform them that their daughter was a witch.
School closed for the day and the girls returned to their hostel for lunch and siesta. By 5pm, they were back in school for night lessons, but, Lucy had refused to come with them. Fadeke decided against forcing her; either out of compassion or out of fear..
Some minutes before six, Sola walked up to Fadeke with Ayo. It was under Sola’s pillow that the charm was found the previous night. Ayo, a boarder too, had been taken home by her parents the previous morning for a family event. She had just returned that evening. Fadeke looked up at the two girls before her
“It was Ayo” Sola said quietly.
“What was Ayo?”
“It was a game”. Sola said. “We were scaring each other. Sola started it. I took the red clothe from the drama costume and attached three stones to it. I forgot to tell her before I left yesterday” Ayo contined.
Fadeke was stupified. Her mind raced straight to Lucy.
“Could it be that Lucy is not a witch” She kept asking herself.
Ayo continued when she realized Fadeke was not saying anything. “I was told Lucy collapsed. I don’t think she is a witch. She didn’t have breakfast and she gave me her lunch. She has been complaining that she was weak and had no appetite.
Fadeke sprang up. She was already in tears. “And you didn’t tell me anything!” She was heartbroken and furious at the same time.
She knew it was going to be difficult for Lucy to forgive her. It was going to be harder for her to forgive herself even. She returned to the hostel with Sola and Ayo. As they entered the dorm, they found Lucy just some meters away. She was hanging lifeless from the ceiling fan close to her bed, her doll smiling gently on her back, tied with a scarf. Under her suspended body, was a chair she must have stood upon for suicide.
On the wall by her bed, was an inscription written with a crayon;
I Am Not A Witch!
She was 10.
BY MICHAEL ADEJONWO