He stood by the wall, where he saw his body lying lifeless on the hospital bed in the hospital situated under the foot of the mountain in Buea, Cameroon. His petite body was emaciated and stripped of the joie de vivre. One doctor and two nurses looked upon that once warm, now cold body, their faces enveloped by melancholy. His soul stood by and stared on, trying to grasp the reality of what had just happened.
He noticed two men by him. They were unusually bigger than the doctor and 2 nurses. They were clad in dark robes. Both took him by the arm, simultaneously. In the split of a second, he arrived with the men at an intersection. One road was road narrow, long and windy. The opposing road was wide and had a perfectly paved path. As he desired, the men in black took him down the perfectly inviting road. As they paced their way, he noticed what looked like the opening of a cave. Dark, hollow, frightening it was.
At this point, Besong began to scream. “No!!!”
The men, their faces stripped of expression threw him into the hole. The opening was so warm and Besong felt discomfited. As his body dropped further, it felt hotter. He heard voices of anguish. He began to tremble. There he went – further into a huge flame. His voice joined the chorus of screams.
“Ayayaya! Ahhhh! Oh oh! Werrrr. Dijakinja. Wouh! Wuh!”
A mixture of screams and gibberish spewed from his mouth. It was then that he noticed what had happened. He, Besong had died after a brief illness and gone to the hell he heard about while on earth.
He grew up in the church. The church where his mother took him to every week. It was an exciting place filled with with music, prayers and fun. It was where he made his childhood friends. It was there that he had noticed that he was adept at producing mellifluous sounds from his throat. His singing left everyone in awe. People kept telling him he was a star.
After completing high school, he left his hometown, Kumba and went on to the University of Buea in Cameroon for higher education. His mama wasn’t there any more to take him to church. But like the mommy’s boy that he was, he found himself a fellowship of young Christians and became a member. As always, his voice shone. He sang during events. He helped wannabe singers groom their voices. He was always doing something related to music.
Then one day, Besong’s singer friend, Eric asked him to accompany him to the music studio where he was trying to compose a demo for his new song. Besong reluctantly agreed. He had a performance at his fellowship that evening and he was keen on being early.
He entered the studio, which had an uncanny appearance. A walk in windy corridors revealed a room with foamy walls and all sorts of electronic devices he wasn’t accustomed to. The only thing that looked familiar was a keyboard that lay right by a broad-bodied gray looking object garnished with lots of buttons. And of course a microphone stand.
Eric introduced Besong to the dude that sat infront of the gray-bodied something which he later learnt was called an audio console.
“Darlington, na ma guy this. E voice na die.” (Darlington, this is my friend. His voice is beautiful.”
Darlington looked at Besong and asked him if he could sing for him. He wanted to know if his voice was truly to die for as Eric purported.
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine…
Besong sang the popular song flawlessly. It was the most beautiful rendition of the song Darlington had ever heard. He stood up and clapped for Besong as though he was in a large audience watching Besong perform on a stage.
From that day on, Darlington and Besong became very close. He told him he was going to make him a star.
“Your voice is wasting,” he said. “You should be a star! You are the star of tomorrow!”
“You should be travelling all around the world, singing and getting paid for it.”
“But I am the assistant leader of my fellowship choir,” Besong said.
“That choir will do you no good!” Darlington retorted.
“Church people are the worst to work with! You will give them your best but you will not make any money.”
Darlington began to arrange for Besong to perform at secular shows. When the local mobile telephone company hosted a talent night in the city, Besong was there and wowed the audience with his voice.
When there was trade fair and the brewery company mounted a stage and invited people to perform, Besong was there and gave many goosebumps as he sang.
Soon Besong was everywhere – in places where people sang, danced, clubbed and literally “chopped” their lives and called it enjoyment.
The more he sang for the world, the less he sang for his fellowship choir. And the less he bothered about praying, reading his Bible or going to church as he loved to do before.
He was becoming famous and he love it. It felt good to be adored by lots of people. Girls wanted him to date them. Boys wanted to be like him. The best part was he was making good money while still being a student in the university.
Life was good and he wasn’t going to leave a good life for a constrained life as a believer. Various attempts by brethren from the fellowship to bring him back to commune with them failed woefully.
He was no longer “Brother Besong”. He was now, “Besong the star”.
As he screamed in hell, he thought of his life on earth and wished he had lived better. He wished he had stuck to his relationship with God rather than sacrificing it on the altar of fame and money.
“Water, water!” he cried. “Can I get some water?”
But just like he read in the Bible, there was not even a drop of water to quench his thirst. The star of tomorrow became a victim of hell.
As Besong still laments in the dark beyond, he wishes he can warn others. He wants to tell his friends and family to hold on to their relationship with God as though it is their most-prized possession because it really is. He wants to tell talented singers to use their voices in a way that gives glory to God and not self. He wants to warn the world and tell everyone hell is real. But alas, he is stuck in hell forever.