By the time you read this, I will either be on my way home or be with my family for Christmas.

I only write this because I feel that some things must be written. Its a long journey home and in the words of a good soldier “If I don’t make it back, I need to know that I left nothing unsaid”.

I left Nigeria on Thursday 28th of June 2012. I had always wanted to leave Nigeria since I heard about Ghana. I first heard about Ghana in 2007. That was a horrible year for me and Ghana seemed to offer the promise of a second chance.

On that fateful day, I took the leap of faith. If you have seen The Dark Knight Rises, you would know what I am talking about.

For a time in my life, I was really angry. Angry at God, the people in my life but above all I was angry at myself. I had become toxic. I could not be reasoned with. In my whole life, I have never felt as angry as I did in those times.

The time I left was the initial days of the Nigerian technology space invasion. I looked at my future and only saw my eventual extermination. In the time I have spent away, the invaders have nearly taken over the land. Against educated bullets, untutored courage doesn’t stand a chance.

I have been away for 544 days. In all that time, I was finding myself but I didn’t know I was lost. I left because I was bleeding on the inside and taking it out on those close to me. When the invasion would start, I would be one of the earliest casualties.

It didn’t matter if I had poured 2 years of my life into trying to build a game studio. All that mattered was that I was born African, born poor and  thus condemned to have the things I cared about taken from me.

In a final desperate tactic, I did what Théoden would do in the Lord of the Rings. I rode out to meet my destiny. To secure an end to a problem I have had for as long as I could remember or to die in the attempt.

I found the story of the Polish Calvary Charge inspirational. In 1939 Germany would invade Poland. In a futile attempt to repel the attack, the men of the Polish Calvary would attack Hitler’s forces.

Picture this: Men on horseback versus war tanks. It wasn’t battle, it was slaughter. Yet they would die easiest. After Hitler would invade, no Polish youth could hope to die at home. They would be shipped off to die in camps.

As if that wouldn’t be bad enough, after Germany would be defeated, the Russians would move in and continue where the Germans left off. By the time communism would fall in 1989, Poland would be a very sad place to live in.

1939 – 1989 is 50 years of oppression and suppression. Did the men of the Polish Calvary make the right choice? I leave that to you. Did I make the right choice with my life? Yes.

My life changed for the better. Yet it was not without cost. I had to leave everything and everyone I cared about before I destroyed the very things I cared about.

What I gave up, I gave up to keep safe.

At the end, I am sorry everyone. I needed time to heal alone. I am whole now and I am coming home!

This is Truston Ailende signing off on the year 2013. Thanks you for reading.


2 thoughts on “Homecoming

  1. Great piece! The greatest accomplishment of any soul is that of self discovery and actualization.. and that usually could be at the expense of once comfort zone. By doing what you did, you have done well for yourself and those you care about.. Soldier on bro!

  2. Those times when you seem to be the weakest, I saw residual strength and virtue, though stripped of morale, still holds a promise of dogged blossomness. And just when the system of our institutions conspired to have you surrender to their rule, you decide not to give up without a fight. And you were right after all.

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