As I walked down the hospital corridor, I heard a woman shouting on top of her voice, she refused to have her son treated by a black doctor, she simply wanted a white ‘qualified’ doctor,she said.I was deeply hurt by her words. I hoped in my mind that a time will come when being white does not equate to automatic superiority. I hoped for a time when people were judged by their intelligence and character and not by the colour of their skins.
My phone beeped in my side pocket. It was a call from Dr. Williams. He told me that something had come up and I should take his shift for the next five hours. He had hung up before I could give an answer. Alas this is a white man’s world.
Around 9pm, a woman was helped into the reception room. She was heavily pregnant and seemed like she would go into labour very soon. I did all the business of getting her a ward and prepped up for labour not just because I was on call, the woman was black!
The woman was accompanied by her husband and a preacher. He had not even contributed to our conversations. He had been praying. But he did talk and that talk I never forgot. He said that she was going to deliver safely, he said her child would start a movement on the cause of black people, he said that he would be a friend, a comforter and a brother to many people.
That night, screams and shouts filled the air as she pushed. She heaved a heavy sign as I brought the child out into my arms and as the child cried, even in her pain, spurious smiles she put on her face.
That night Martin Luther King was born.