14 years old Angel Macleod, October 26, 2010 may remain indelible in her mind for that was the day that a policeman murdered her 38 years old mother, Beauty Nwankwo, at a Lagos hotel.A rising Chevron tennis star, Angel had returned from Accra, Ghana, the previous day, after participating in a tournament and mother and daughter were lodged at a guest house somewhere at Victoria Island.
Circumstances surrounding the gruesome murder are still shrouded in mystery but reports said that the late Beauty may have had an altercation with the killer mobile policemen and in the scuffle that ensured, the armed man cocked his weapon and fired point blank, killing the woman in cold blood.
Angel is actually yet to come to terms with the development as she still finds it difficult to believe that she will never see her beloved mother again, forever. And to compound her problems, Angel does not really know who her father is, that is if one actually still exists. “I just keep thinking that it’s not true,” Angel cries, noting that, “every time I think about it, I just break down and life feels strange without her. My father is not here. I don’t know where he is. I don’t know who will replace my mother.
“When my mum did not come back the next day, I tried calling her and all of a sudden, my auntie, auntie’s husband, my mother’s friends came to my room and asked If I was okay and I said yes. I asked them where my mum was and they all looked at each other and said that she had gone to the village but was not picking up her phone calls. I said okay. Then every ten minutes, the receptionist would come and ask if I was okay and in case I needed anything, I should come and ask her. It was really strange. I tried to call my mum for the last time but she didn’t pick and I called my auntie to verify if my mum was in the village and she said that she was leaving the village now.
“It was then I knew that something was wrong because my mum can’t just go to the village and be on her way just like that. It takes hours and hours to go the village and she would not go without telling me.”
Apart from her dream to rule the world of tennis, the late mother was all she had. Beauty had prodded her on, leading her to various tournaments both within and outside the country, preparing Angel for a possible role in the future as a tennis star.
“The killer doesn’t deserve to live any minute longer,” Angel said adding that “the only way he can pay for his crime is to pay with his life because what he did was devilish and evil and I can’t believe that a policeman can kill my mother just like that.”
She got the news of the killing a day after the incident and she felt as if the world had come to an end. “We did everything together, went out together, attended tournaments together. She helped me with my studies and was virtually my engine room and I don’t know what I am going to do without her. I don’t know how I will cope without her around me again.”
Still in tears, Angel wants to see the corpse of her mother before burial, “to actually confirm that she is dead.” Then she has another request – to see the policeman who killed her mother. “I am not going to do anything to him. I just want to see who killed my mum,” hopefully before he faces the wrath of the law.
In about three years from now, Angel is expected to go professional, a development which may attract global attention as in fact, she says she is determined to be the Maria Sharapova of African tennis. “Just because my mum died does not mean I am going to stop doing the thing I love most, playing tennis. Since I was a kid, she was the one who brought me into tennis. She always pushed me to struggle harder for success and I am going to keep on fighting. Her death won’t bring my head down as far as tennis is concerned. Her death will push me on because that is her dream for me.”
“I try not to think of it but every day, I get phone calls from people around, in Africa, my mum’s friends, some of the coaches who trained me, contacted me after reading the news. It’s hard not think of it, knowing she died at an early age. She is with me in the spirit.”