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.

34 thoughts on “Mugando – “I swear to you…”

  1. 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.

    • 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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*

    • *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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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!!

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

    • 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.

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