When rocket was sounding

My name is Mary Doris Akabueze. I don’t remember how old I was at that time when the war was fought. I am 50 years [this is a rough estimate; she is not sure]. [Maybe] I was 12 years old when the war started.

Mary Doris Akabueze shares her Nigerian-Biafran War memories. Photo by Chika Oduah. 2019.

I was at Nsugbe [a locality in Anambra State].

At that time, what I remember is that the army would come and hit our doors and they were asking grown up boys to come out so they can go and join the army. He was among the head [among my oldest siblings].

We were crying, including my mum. We were saying that he was not old enough to join the army.

We were in Nsugbe before the war started. We were seeing many people, both those who were hungry and those who were suffering Kwashiorkor and those whose legs had swollen.

No [none of my brothers had kwashiokor].

There was a time I thought I was going to die. Our mother was working in Nsugbe. It was my brothers and sisters that came running to me. We never had anyone that suffered from kwashiorkor.

It is those that the army use to come and look for then that use to run into the bush.

During the war time, the mother of my brother died. That was when rocket was sounding.

I had started school at that time. I was in elementary two in Awkuzu [a town in Anambra State] before the war started and we ran. It was our teacher who asked us to go, that war had started and that every other person had left.

I use to be afraid because anybody that was hit by rocket was hurt.

The way I knew that the war had ended was that we were in camp when some army people came and told us that the war ended, including people from other places…God protected us.

Mary Doris Akabueze. Photo by Chika Oduah. 2019.



Mary Doris Akabueze granted this interview to Chika Oduah from her home in Anambra State, Nigeria.

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