Elvis Matute Mbene had issues with vehicles at his birth and at his death, and his surviving dad, Chief Emmanuel Matute Mbene believes he was a mystery child.
Before details and chronology of his last day are narrated, it is known he died when a land mine, believed to have been laid by the jihadist Boko Haram, went off killing him and the driver of their vehicle on the Mora-Limani road.
Military officials may be restricted to ever tell that story in detail. Fellow soldiers may do so some day, off the record, but Captain Mbene’s dad narrated his strange experience with his car the day his son was born.
He spoke to Franklin Sone Bayen at his Towe (Alpha Club) Mile 1 residence in Limbe on 26 February 2015. His story:
I had just bought a brand new Peugeot 404 Pickup, not yet used for up to three months. On the day my son was born, when my wife had entered labour, we packed her things and put inside the vehicle to take her to the maternity in Bota (General Hospital Annex at the time) at about 7.30am. She entered and I began to reverse.
To leave my compound then in the New Town neighbourhood and enter the main road, I had to reverse. As I entered the main road, the car stopped, the engine had quenched. I tried to reignite the car several times to no avail. I called some boys around to push the car for a jerk start. No way! I packed it at the road side and tried to get a taxi to Bota. It proved a herculean task. When finally I got a taxi, the taxi driver insisted that I pay CFA1000. (The normal fare at the time was no more than CFA50.)
On our way, the taxi driver told me, “Papa, your woman will give birth but to a male child.”
In the child delivery room or labour room, my wife said she had forgotten something essential at home that I must go and bring. It again proved impossible for me to find a taxi to take me back home in New Town. I had to trek all the way. It just happened that there was also no friend driving around that day to give me a lift.
When I got to New Town, I went to the garage and fetched a mechanic to examine the vehicle. He asked me to lift the bonnet and ignite the vehicle. I did and behold, the vehicle ignited even without the mechanic’s intervention. I looked at my watch and the time was 10.10am.
I went home to fetch what my wife had forgotten and drove straight to the hospital. My wife had already delivered, a boy of course, as the taxi driver had predicted. I asked the midwife at what time the baby was born. She checked the records and behold it was 10.10am. My son was born the same moment the vehicle we were using to go for his delivery, regained life.
I also believe he was destined to be a soldier because of the way he made me trek like a soldier on the day he was born.