Mugando – "I swear to you…"


They think they have won, that their victory is assured. And I do not blame them. We do not look anything near dangerous; not with our soil-strewn farm wears, pitch-forks, axes, machetes and dane guns. If anything, we look imbecilic, especially in comparison to the sight before us: neatly-aligned rows of gleaming sinewy bodies sheathed in equally gleaming armor, armored horses hoofing up the red earth beneath them are hitched to fire-red chariots stocked with swords, spears, arrows and cannons.

You won’t believe it but I swear to you that they have lost.

Standing here beneath the blazing sun, a ragged motley of men, we are not the farmers they see. We are not even men. We are empty containers yearning for the devil’s manipulation. We shed neither blood nor tears, we break neither bones nor heart, we only kill and die.

And it is all thanks to them. They made us this way when they rode into our village while we were away, stole our harvest and burnt out huts to the ground; when they tore open the bellies of our pregnant wives and fed the bloody fetuses to their dogs; when they defiled our children and stripped away the sheer curtains that protected our pride. They made us unbeatable.

They think they have won, that their victory is assured. But I swear to you that they are wrong.

I hear my blood bubbling up just behind the wall of my throat, and my heart thudding funeral beats as the sun sinks lower in the horizon. Or perhaps it is the blood and the heart of the men all around me that I hear. We are men of different tastes, colors and families but today, we unite as one. The heat of our resolve makes the sands jump and turns the sweat on our skins to vapor. It will only be assuaged by death – ours and theirs.

I can see their commander prancing to and fro along their frontline, he is very sure of victory. But I swear to you that he has lost. He inspects a sword, spots dust on a shield and harries a slouching man. He is yelling, calling on them to fight for their king and their god, Vusu. I pity them, the rabid dogs. They can take all the time, pray all they want, we are in no hurry. We have no one to fight for – Alab Muntah hanged himself from the center beam of his inner chambers in submission to the sentence of the Inner Council and our god, Mijashu, we broke into pieces and set ablaze ourselves. We are a kingless and godless lot, soul-less demons waiting for the doomed enemy to advance.

And eventually they do, their mouths open in war chants we cannot hear, their pounding footfalls raising dust we cannot see. We stand still, mute, waiting. Their arrows hit their mark and their cannons tear gaping holes in our numbers. But we dust off the blood of our brothers, we kick aside the corpses of our sons, and we wait.

We have waited a long time…I have waited too long.


I am Mugando Xubhallallah Djibitou, descendant of Xhodashimu, the great zuzula of the ageless Zulu dynasty. And I swear to you that today, they have lost.

35 replies added

  1. Noreen March 20, 2014 Reply

    Had my heart in my mouth all through…damn. I found myself an observer if the vivid battle field you created. I was too chicken-hearted to see myself as one of the zulu men even though I was on their side.

    Beautiful creative writing. Bravo.

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      Wow…thanks Noreen! I don’t blame you at all oh…even as the creator, I was on their side until Mugando mention death on BOTH Thanks for reading, liking and commenting

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      Thank you so much, mrsde1. I’m glad you like

  2. ANI OBINNA March 21, 2014 Reply

    Very powerful creative work…never knew an engineer’s piece could be this literary…

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      I’m humbled, Obinna. you’ll be surprised the plenty thingz we engineers are capable

  3. kaka March 21, 2014 Reply

    Simply epic. Hell i was one of those Zulus! pitchfork at the ready!!!! I love it!

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      It must have been your heart then, beating so loudly beside I’m glad you do…everytime

  4. Walt Shakes March 21, 2014 Reply

    Wow! My mind kept seesawing from scenario to scenario. Is this the battle of Biafrans and Nigerians? Nigerians and Boko Haram? Spartacus et all and the Romans?
    Oga, your depiction of a battlefield is masterful.

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      And this coming from the master himself! hahaha…Walter egbuo m. nigeria and who? you want to use me to launch una anti-media criticism law bah? pls oh ..this is the battle of Zulus and sons Ltd. simple!

      • Walt Shakes March 24, 2014 Reply

        Hahahahahahaa!!! See them, they that runneth from online insinuation. Zulu battle, ei? You sure? Not even a teensy weensy bit of Boko Haram inside it?

        • Chisom March 24, 2014 Reply

          *whistles past chewing religiously on mile-long chewing stick* 🙂

  5. nikki March 21, 2014 Reply

    I swear to you, it is a lovely read.

    • Chisom March 21, 2014 Reply

      woooow! I almost missed the connect in that. Nne, i di good! Thank you!

  6. bede March 22, 2014 Reply

    Intense suspense!…had me on d edge all tru, 9ce!

    • Chisom March 22, 2014 Reply

      I solemnly swear to keep u on that edge, so help me Thanks, Bede

  7. Nonso Thomp March 22, 2014 Reply

    Masterful! Nothing beats a rabid imagination.

    • Chisom March 22, 2014 Reply

      Errr…rabid huh? Are u getting back at me cos Mugando called dem ‘rabid dogs’?lol. Thank you so much, Nonso. We hope u stick around

  8. Tobe March 22, 2014 Reply

    Creativity @ its peak! I wonder how you are able to make the storyline flow, with the names… If only i can write like this!*smh*

    • Chisom March 22, 2014 Reply

      *in the voice of Fr. ‘Julius Nyerere’, “we give all puraaaize and glorrry to G-ah-d”lol. Nnaa, oo Chukwu. Thank you. By the way, what is stopping you from trying?

  9. Tobe March 22, 2014 Reply

    *En Française* Rien s’il vous plaît. Though i am more into writing songs..

    • Chisom March 23, 2014 Reply

      Ok. Well you know…whichever soil u find yourself on, till it hard!

  10. Jedidiah Oligbinde. March 23, 2014 Reply

    I solemnly swear to you! We rose a long time ago-just that the courage and cowardice in us awaits the appropriate time.

    I can smell the breeze already. And like Prof Commander Mugando has rightly declared, we have waited a long time!…. “But we dust off the blood of our brothers, we kick aside the corpses of our sons, and we wait”.

    I swear bro…this is a Legendary Write-up! My binoculars are on your axis.

    My fear however is for this; ” They think they have won, that their victory is assured. But I swear to you that they are wrong” If only “they” know the once dead have arisen. If they have a glimpse of “our” thoughts, they would turn back in surrender. But I know they are too proud to do that. And that is their downfall..

    Blood blood blood….
    God Bless Nigeria!…. even against all odds.

    • Chisom March 23, 2014 Reply

      Hahahaha…you are scaring me oh, JEDI. I fear you might have read too much into this story and you’re not alone in this assumption. ‘Blood blood blood’ eh kwa?!!! Lawwwd…what have I done?!!
      Lmao…thanks dear. Pls do not move those binoculars

  11. judith March 24, 2014 Reply

    am I proud to know you…..most definitely….the Wole Soyinka of our time…for some reason I never got to open all the links you sent….and this morning at 4.30am precisely…I touched my phone and the link on the confab issue popped up and opened on its own magically (how is that even possible)…and within 30mins I have gone through all the stories on your blog….My dearest friend there’s no lie in saying that you’ve got it locked down in the world of fiction writing but to also find out that your skills also extend to political writing (not sure if that is correct, but for the sake of portraying how I feel…please overlook) is beyond amazing..Your views on national issues make an interesting read, its not boring, its sincere, concise and also not booooring…(did I mention that earlier).

    Congrats bro… thinks you’re going places….I should have gotten my autograph when I had the chance…Neways forgive this epistle of mine…I just had to vomit these words..failure to do so woulda resulted to oesophagal block(not sure if that is correct too but I know you know what i mean)…
    The story….splendid as usual…for those few minutes I was ready to go to war …I even had my war cry and war song prepared…the beats thrumming in my heart…your use of words…on point as usual….infact ehn….I haff tire to type

    Yours sincerely,
    Your one time editor and no 1 fan.

    • Chisom March 24, 2014 Reply

      Wow! You have tuola m n’onu!lol. It’s never too late on that autograph, just be sure to call ahead so I can intimate my military and Zulu details. 🙂 Thank you so much, sweet…I’m awed. And I hope the links keep popping up magically at such unheavenly hours henceforth…our God afterall, works in mysterious ways.

  12. chomzy March 25, 2014 Reply

    R u serious! Chisom Ojukwu! A multi-faceted one you are bro! This is beautiful! The suspense,the imagery….I could see my ‘zulu-warrioress’ self in the field….lolzzz. Welldone dear! Keep it blazing!!

    • Chisom March 25, 2014 Reply

      Hehehehe…you’re not alone on that battlefield, Chomzy! Thank you so much…continue to stay with us

  13. anyi March 27, 2014 Reply

    Geez!!!!! What did I just read??? ( rushes to read again ). Some were made writers, others were born to write. Keep following ur passion bro

    • Chisom March 27, 2014 Reply

      Lmao! Please keep rushing back here oh…na una dey inspire us. Thank you, sir! BOOSTED

  14. Ezinma Ukairo April 17, 2014 Reply

    i think i have a tear in my eye. You write ups are beautiful…always.

    • Chisom April 17, 2014 Reply

      Awww…thank you. Pls wipe the tear, Mugando is a strong man, strong and honorable even unto death. He wouldn’t want to leave weeping damsels behind.;)
      Thank you again. Very much; your words buoy me up.

  15. Chizzy March 8, 2016 Reply

    It’s been long I saw this part of Chisom.
    I think it’s about time

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