I woke up today knowing I would write. My team was pitching at the Hult prize competition in my University to select the finalists for the regional rounds. While this is merely my fourth competition in the last few months, it was something I wanted to document.
The team name is Demeter and our idea was about agriculture. Out of 44 teams, we qualified amongst the top 12 who battled again for the top 3. We weren’t among the top 3.
But this story is not about Hult and no, I was not hurt by Hult.
Hult Prize was an amazing opportunity for me and I learnt a lot from every person I heard pitch whether their ideas were hilarious or not.
Today, a young boy died. While scrolling through the never ending WhatsApp status on my phone, I saw the RIP update. It was right during the competition. I remember falling into an epileptic fit and not being able to stop the shiver. I remember the coldness, numbness and inability to breathe. I remember walking and walking and not wanting to stop. I remember praying hard by 6am this morning for my family, friends and fellowship members. I remember never praying once for Emmanuel.
I cried hard and uncontrollably.
Emmanuel was too young to die. Too vibrant, too dedicated, too responsible to die. My baby brother sits in the gallery upstairs in church with him every Sunday controlling the church projector. I am not certain the verb to use here. Used to sit or sits? I am not certain this aspect of tenses was particularly taught while I was in school.
Dee comes outside and I cannot keep walking. We have a competition, I work the PowerPoint, I cannot walk to oblivion. So I start to cry.
A replay of the Expression Debate last year where I cried after forgetting my speech totally. Two competitions. Two individuals. Painful tears. Different reasons.
I remember during Expression he asked me, “would it matter in ten minutes, ten days, ten months or ten years”. With this blog post, I know it will matter forever.
I cleaned my tears went back inside, buried the hurt and continued the Hult.
This post was supposed to be about my experience at pitching.
Dear Emmanuel, does it matter your name has never stuck over the last many years until today? Does it matter all I do is nod my head in response to your greetings in church and we have never actually had a conversation over these years? Does it matter I vividly remember you coming out to give testimony the last time I was in church? Does it matter I always thought you were quite hardworking? Does it matter I never got a prompt to pray for your safety and I cannot stop feeling cold inside? Does it matter that I cried hard while writing this and I …. Cannot keep writing?
Note: this is the first death in my church I have attended for 11 years. Emmanuel was murdered on the way from another vigil and I feel cold, empty, and ultimately nothing.
This is for you, the one who did not get to live. This is for death, temporariness, and uncertainties. Again, I shiver.