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ONE ENCOUNTER WITH SARS – OREOFE WILLIAMS

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It was on our way to Ekiti in 2019. A favourite mentee of mine had just got admission to a University in Ekiti. Because we were on location, he weaved his hair just like one other too. I knew he wasn’t a yahoo guy. He would not do anything illegal forever. I trusted him and I still do. He was only on a film-set with me.

As soon as we turned a bend, we saw five fierce looking gun wielding officers. I didn’t know they were officers. They looked like hired assassins or, more politely, armed robbers.

 

I don’t normally get scared. A thief once came to my house and demanded for my phone. He was hitting my door with a cutlass. I jumped at him and we had a tough battle. Although he escaped, I seized his cutlass, shirt and torch light.

 

So I’m quite brave. But encountering 5 fierce looking men sank me for a moment. I had a few men with me. My driver had already run into them.

 

‘Get down! Get down!’

 

A gun was pointed in the direction of my actor-mentees in my car.

 

‘Relax sir’, I retorted, though not sure I was before policemen or robbers. They were on black singlets, looking fierce. The jacket on one of them later gave me some peace they were policemen.

 

‘Sir, don’t point a gun at him’, I said.

 

‘Never teach me my job’

 

‘I won’t sir. But that’s my younger brother. I won’t have you point a gun at him’.

 

‘Shut up!’

 

‘No sir. Don’t point a gun at him’, I shouted.

 

Then he pointed the gun at me.

 

‘I will gun you down’ he screamed.

 

I raised my hands up. ‘I am OREOFE WILLIAMS, a popular actor sir. That won’t only destroy you. It would stain the name of the country.’ I said.

 

Two men came around.

 

They identified me as an actor and said they love my films.

 

We left after I had given them my films.

 

I asked the guys to join the car. I moved close to the notorious gun bearer and said

 

‘A time is coming men and women in the country will shut down the cities and won’t leave until you are ‘deuniformed’.

 

‘Just go’, the blood thirsty venom said.

 

The other policeman parted me on the back and apologised.

 

I entered the car and the driver zoomed off.

 

I looked at the young mentee of mine who weaved his hair because of film. He looked at me but didn’t know why I looked at him. My eyes were filled with tears.

 

‘I could have lost him by just one shot from a notorious SARS officer’.

 

NO DOUBTS, I love my mentees like we are family. They say it too.

 

That was just one day God saved us from SARS…

 

I will tell you of a worse one on my way to Ijebu-Ode.

Oreofe Williams

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