Pam came to see me teary eyed the next day, she promised to get a good lawyer for me and she did.
I was to be later taken to Kuvi prison after my trail. Due to Pam ‘ s influence and Mensah’ s timely confession i was sentenced to only two years imprisonment. Mensah after discovering that Ama was alive and Chantelle was his niece had given a statement that he was responsible for the arson, and other crimes and that i was just a victim in his plot. He also sent me a lenghty letter in prison begging for my forgiveness.
He ( Mensah) died before the letter even reached my hands. Chantelle and Mami and Pam visited me on so many occassions but Ama never came for the first six months. Life in prison was another different world entirely, the vips ( influencial inmates) like me are worshipped by other inmates and given special treatment. We get the best cells all to ourselves. We don’t do any stressneous jobs, i was made the librarian.i saw so many young boys being s£xually abused and maltreated by other inmates, sometimes i use my influence to rescue them but sometimes i stay out of it because i can’t really save everybody.
I started writing my story once again, i don’t know why am writing down the story of my life but i continued anyway. I was so sick during the first six months, i had rashes all over my body but i was always the first to line up for morning exercise because no matter how influencial you are, if you show a little sign of weakness you will become every one’ s target. I looked forward to each visiting day, hoping that Ama would come only to find that hope dashed when she didn’t come.
Pam ‘ s husband won the election and he became the first democratic president we have witnessed so far. We had a new transfer inmate on death row this week. His cell was next to mine. I could hear him screaming all night, in the morning the warden came to drag him off to the den where he was alone for three days. On the fourth day, they dragged him back into his cell.
Normally, i won’t have been concerned but something about his voice makes my chest hurt. I kept wondering where i had heard that voice before.
On the fifth day, i was on my way to the library when i decided to peek into his cell. He sat hunched on his flea filled threadbare bed, his hair was grey and shaggy, he looked older than his actual age.
He looked so broken, my heart ached for him. That is what prison does to a man ‘ s body and soul.
He stared right into my eyes, a vacant look in his teary eyes.
” Ko…….Jo” he whispered in a slow tired voice.
Tears leaked from my eyes ” King” i whispered back.
” King” i whispered.
He bowed his skeletal balded head, his sunken eyes misted with tears of regret and shame.
” What brought you here?” i asked the forbidden unconstitued question. You never ask a fellow inmate what he was in for but King is or was my friend and he was on death row so i couldn’t help asking.
” It is……a long story ” his voice was weak and tired.
I nodded my head. There was nothing else to say to him.
” They didn’t ……tell me” he went on. ” The old man didn’t …..tel me I….I…would have to bring human head annually. I wanted to back…… Out but he said i would die if i do so.”
He began to sob and his frail body shook with the force of it.” I lost my wife and three kids. I killed them…..one after the other.”
I nodded again bitterly. The things men do for money is incomprehensible.
” I was caught with a human head……oh how that little girl begged me to spare her.i will be hanged tomorrow. ” like an afterthought.
I reached into his cell and took hold of his bony hands.” Let us pray. Lord Jesus i ask that you forgive your son of his sins. Father come into his heart and dwell there, from this day forward you have become his lord and saviour. Accept him into your kingdom, in Jesus name i have prayed.
” A….men” he whispered in a low voice. I gave his hand a squeezed twice and let go.
Early the next morning, i heard King’ s cell slide up and i went on my knees to pray for him. I officially gave my life to Christ in front of other inmates when a Christian group visited us later that same week. We were all given a bible, i found solace in the word of God and i felt a burning desire in my heart to spread the lord’ s words to others. One particular day, an inmate came to me and asked me to join him in praying for his sick cell mate. The cell mate received his healing and each day they would come to me with one problem or the other.
When Ama eventually came to see me, she was surprised that i was so cheerful and asked for the secret of my happiness. I held her hands and led her to the lord. I wanted to talk to more people, i wanted the whole world to know of God’s love for mankind. Fellow inmates began to call me the ‘Counselor’. One night, in my dream i saw a bright light and a voice telling me to spread the gospel and greater things shall be added onto me.
I heard a rattle and i looked up. I was so engrossed in writing my life story and thoughts that i didn’t hear the warder’ s footsteps approaching my cell.
” Patron ( boss)” i said.
” Counselor, a woman is here to see you”.
My heart leapt with joy, is Chantelle or perhaps Ama here to see me? i love telling them about Jesus and the wonderful things he did while on earth and the wonders he is still doing. The warder opened my cell and i walked with him into the waiting room. My footsteps faltered, when i saw a strange young lady waiting for me.
” Bonjour Monsieur Kojo ” she said with an English accent.
I sat down and gave her a tiny smile. ” Bonjour Madame”.
” My name is Bibi, i am the founder of ‘ How it all began’.
‘How it all began’ is an NGO that helps the less privileged, motherless babies, we find good homes for the babies, perhaps you may have heard of our campaign ‘ Give a child a home’.”
I nodded my head and asked her to go on.
” Almost a year ago, you donated some huge amounts of money into our charity account. My committee and i wanted to appreciate you but we discovered that you were here” she said.
I smiled. I could see she was struggling to state the real reason behind her visit. She was a beautiful dark skinned lady with big eyes. Her ears were a big for her face but all these features somehow made her look beautiful. I admired her encourage and i decided to make whatever she came to say easy for her.
” I know why you are here” i smiled.
She smiled revealing perfect white teeth. She sighed in relieve. ” You know? I would like to hear your story and share it with the world.
I heard you have been writing a manuscript and you have been doing all sort of wonderful things here. Please say yes. Let me publish your story. ”
I reached for her warm soft hand which she had placed on the table in front of us. I gave it a squeeze and stood up. ” Come for the first part of the manuscript tomorrow ” . I walked out of the waiting room glad in my heart that the beautiful Bibi had summoned on courage to come see me.
A year later
A round of applause resonated in the beautifully decorated and lit hall as i was called by the MC to the poidum. My eyes scanned round the hall and settled on the front row.The front row was occupied by those dear to my heart, the first lady, Pam, now six months pregnant was glowing beautifully and full of smiles, seated beside her was his excellency the president of our great nation. Next was Chantelle, my beautiful daughter who had flown in from France where she had gone to continue her studies.
Next was Ama, the vice president of my life changing foundation and Bibi the founder of ‘ How it all began’.
The only people absent were Mami and Npa(father) who insisted they were too old to be moved about. I have come a long way, from a hungry and desperate boy to an inmate and now an author of the best selling book ‘
The Devil has the money’, also the founder of life Changing foundation and a motivational speaker.
The crowd continued clapping, so many of them held my book in their hands. The book with the help of the intelligent founder of ‘ how it all began’ was a huge success. It became one of the best selling author biography to sell millions of copies in a week! Our gathering today is to premier another life changing book written by me.
My heart swelled with happiness, there is truly fullness of joy in the presence of the lord. When you are for God, nothing and no one can battle with you and win. If not for God’ s mercy where would i have been? i remembered the herbalist i had gone to see when i was only fifteen. His words to me ” You have been called unto a greater path, your purpose in life is not this way”. It might take long but it will be worth it in the end. There is truly no gain or fulfilment in quick riches. How i wish my beautiful Nma and Efo Albert were here to witness this day. I know they were both happy for me and it was truly time to let go of the past.
” Good evening ladies and gentleman, please stand up for the national anthem” i said into the mike.