It’s Friday last week (4th of July). I am seated in the office of a multi-national I.T. services organization with the HQ in South Africa.
My contact opens up a mail on his laptop with the subject “That’s a wrap”. He barely glances at it before returning to the job at hand.
About 15 minutes later there was some hush hush discussion about a colleague of theirs. The guy died the day before! Turns out the mail he glanced at was with reference to the same colleague. The gentleman had been in Lagos, Nigeria just the week before and had worked with them.
He returned home and was shot in his car and some electronics stolen (phone and laptop). He leaves behind a wife and young family. He had even sent himself a reminder on some issue he had worked on with my contact so he could remember to complete whatever was outstanding.
That was just last week. Someone suggested maybe if he hadn’t come to Nigeria things may have turned differently (basically trying to re-write history – that is, subsequent happenings in his life may have placed him elsewhere other than the spot at which he was attacked. A few of the other people involved in the discussion disagreed with that suggestion.
No one knows the future and there is no absolute guaranty of safety anywhere or for that matter of living to see tomorrow or the next minute wherever you are. Even in the safest places people die – whether from (freak) accidents, natural causes, violence of some sort, or they just plain lay down and never get up again.
To buttress the above (that when it’s time, it’s time), one of his colleagues narrated an occurrence which he swore is true. It happened while he was still based in Warri (a big city in Eastern Nigeria). Some guy was told he was going to die (didn’t quite get who it was that told him so). Anyway, he stopped going out. He wouldn’t leave his house. He wouldn’t even leave his bed.
One day a trailer on the main road jumped the curb, went through his fence, broke through the house wall and ran over him on his bed. He concluded that if it’s your time, there is nothing you can so about it.
R.I.P. Useman from South Africa. Never met you but your colleagues say you were a friendly and true gentleman. You looked really kind in your picture as well. May God bless and protect the young family you left “behind.”
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Now go empty that “bucket list” and refill it with new stuff!