CHIDI | by Aremo Olalekan

“Chidi laughs a lot” I heard someone say as I walked down the school staircase. I smiled sadly, if only what everyone thought was really true of Chidi, Chidi’s life will be a lot better.

I am Chidi, and I know that for me, what you see outside is not what I really feel inside.

Nobody cares about how you feel as long you are good and perfect and always laughing. I have mastered the art of laughing in public so much that I know when and what intensity my laughs should be. Unfortunately, only me know that I am dying within!

I had tried to kill myself once when my classmates had mentioned how my father wasn’t ever around for my open day. They knew my father had never been around, so did I, but it hurts. I blame myself for the tough times my mum have to go through because of me. If I wasn’t ever conceived, my mum wouldn’t have been obligated to deliver me and be a single mum all her life.

I had tried cutting my self as I saw on a YouTube video, but it was a lot more painful than it looked.

My life was a mess, I look in the mirror and I am easily the least person anyone would want to relate with. To top it all, I had a bowed leg.

So, even though I was a bundle of sadness and depression, I acted like all was well, that was what everyone cared about anyway. I know I need help and if i don’t get one fast, I may find a less painful way to die and end it all. I have a feeling that will be soon.

But for now, here I am, Chidi, the boy who laughs a lot, and who might eventually die a silent depressing death.

That was my story exactly six months ago, now I am Chidi, the boy who laughs and really laughs the laugh (if there’s anything like that).

What changed? My mouth!!

Here is the deal, I was home one day when my mum broke into tears after receiving a phone call. She was crying so profusely, I had never seen my mother in such a torn state. I was torn too. I asked what was wrong but she couldn’t talk, she continued crying into the night and didn’t even bother about the beans on the fire. I had to take care of that. She eventually managed to stop and explain to me what had happened. I had just one thought as I heard her speak

“This could me too!”

I knew the story that got my mum teary this much could most likely kill her if I was the character in the story.

Unle Chuks, my mum’s chubby younger brother, who was in China had died. He didn’t just die from a sickness or an accident, he succeeded in what I had failed at, in killing myself.

My mum was constantly echoing how he was such a funny young man and “full of life”. She was continually speaking of how impossible it was for him to have killed himself, she later shifted blame on the Chinese, saying they’ve ‘jazzed’ him with Chinese charm.

As I held my mum, my heart was beating fast because I knew what she didn’t know. I recognised uncle Chuks’ laughter whenever we spoke on phone as the same as mine, the kind of laughter that conceals many hurts, pain and insecurities. He had been silent about the depression that was gradually eating his heart away and he had eventually died from it. I definitely didn’t want to die, at least not now.

I walked my mum to her room and ran straight for my room. I grabbed my android phone lying lazily on the bed as if my life depended on it, because it sure did. I scrolled for Miss Bridget, the school counselor’s  phone no, she had told us in class that we should learn to speak up about our issues. “These vices thrive in silence “ she had said. As I heard the first ring, I knew that help was coming to me. I was not going to allow my silence kill me like it did Uncle Chuks. No more silence!

Fast forward, 6months after, now I am Chidi, the indeed cheerful one! Thanks to speaking out, I am living and enjoying life to the fullest!

About the Writer

Aremo Olalekan is a life coach and the lead at Voice of Worth Ministries.


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