Yashar Khudiyev From Azerbaijan Travels Around Africa on a Bicycle (Part 3) : I almost Died, Here Is How I Survived…

True story


Fast forward few hours later, I was still alive, lets say semi-alive but fortunately I was still breathing…I opened my eyes, my visibility was way better than it had been and I could see it was getting dark as in the sun was setting.

I tried to raise my head unfortunately it was impossible, my head felt very heavy, I had no power, no strength and couldn’t move my body, the blood had miraculously stopped coming off my head and it had clotted and covered with mosquitos(They were feasting on my blood!).

Nights in Africa are really cold, especially if you do not have a blanket and your skull is cracked open and hands broken. I was shaking. My feet were the worst because I could not feel that cold coming right under my feet and to make matters worse the Gangsters who beat me had also taken my socks.

During the night I could hear several voices coming from the bushes as well as weird noises probably from wild animals.

A I was thinking about it I wonder whether if I have survived death or I was going to die during the middle of the night, mind that I couldn’t move at that time, literally nothing from my body was working.

Now the problem was that if those guys (bandits who beat me) came back and found me alive, they would surely finish me off in no time. Deep inside me I knew that they were going to come and check if I died or not. So If I wanted to really survive I had to do something.

The night was long. Very long, I tried repeatedly to raise my heard over and over again but I was not successful, however after multiple times around 05:00am I again tried to raise my head…it was hard, so hard, painful and I was very Dizzy like the world was revolving around me, literally.

I crawled like a baby and was able to move a bit from that spot. I crawled straight into that nearby water spot where we had drunk water with the guys before they left me for dead to die alone.

Holding on to everything I could around me I managed to drink some water there again and after some few minutes I started to gain some energy. Holding on to trees, falling and trying again I tried to move and the pain started to come back, hunger was biting again and luckily there were some red wild berries around and I kept on eating them, picking with my right hand as my left was messed up.

I couldn’t believe it, but I managed to walk for like an hour but I really could tell maybe I had walked for 5 minutes but it felt like an hour to me, I heard the voice of cattle, goats coming from somewhere nearby.

I kept on turning around trying to spot the direction of where the noise was coming from and finally I managed to drag myself there and threw myself in front of the shepherds and they were shocked to see me.

One of them brought me a basket full of goat meet, flies were everywhere, licking my wounds and also inside the milk. I was so thirsty that I didn’t care. I finished it all then I asked the boys to point along the Radmiya “main road” and as soon as they did I started walking.

After a while I looked back and I saw the same two boys following me, probably they were just trying to make sure that I will find the main road.I waited for them and we started walked together.

After a few minutes I started hearing the sounds of cars passing by in the main road, I was relieved and I tried my best to be strong and keep walking towards the road.

Finally, I made it to the main road and I was doing my best to stop every car which passedby.After a few cars failed to stop I literally threw myself in front of one of the cars and it stopped. There were 3 people inside the car working for Vivacell company. They were terrified when they saw te condition I was at.They repeatedly asked what happened to me but at the same time helping with clothes and one of them went as far as giving me Sudanese money.

After an hour of driving we reached kapoeta police station and the guys(good Samaritans) dropped me there.The officers were in short of words when they saw how injured I was.They took me to the hospital.

yasharMy first day arriving to kapoeta hospital…december 29

A junior assistant doctor Mr Simon from Uganda and medical student Felix took great care of me,I am so grateful for what they did.They washed my battered body like I was their brother, shaved my head, disinfected all my open wounds. They put 10 stitches in my head, gave me a couple of pain killers, prepared a place for me to sleep as I await surgery…..I survived…I was alive…I didn’t die…I still can’t believe it. It looks like it was not the right place and right time to die in Africa…

I spent almost a month in kapoeta town hospital. During this time many people from kapoeta came to visit me and tried to motivate me somehow(greatly appreciated). Some were bringing clothe, some gave me money, some brought food and invited me to their homes.

I made fo many friends during my time at the hospital but the first week was very hard,tough, painful and frustrating, I felt dizzy for the most part of that week and couldn’t even do much with my broken hand and to make matters worse there weren’t enough or technical facilities to treat or operate me in kapoeta town, so I was always pumped in pain meds so as to make it through the day.

The high commissioner of Kapoeta town(politician) visited me often and assured me that they will find the criminals who had left me for dead. I drew them an exact map where it happened and where they took me. After 10 days news came that they had captured the criminals and recovered some of my things. I was very happy. However, my health was deteriorating by each passing day.

As if things could not get any worse, doctors found out that I caught malaria and typhoid during the time the bandits lefts me for dead close to that small river. My Ugandan doctor and good friend Opolot Simon promised to do everything to make me feel better.

Docmy hero, doctor assistant opolot simon next tome who took full@care during my hospital period, put stitches on my head, treated me from malaria and typhoid…from uganda

After a couple of days the high commissioner brought my broken bicycle, then passport, then my phone and finally some of my bags with my broken camera as well as some other things. I am so grateful for all the things I gt back and what they high commissioner did to get them back for me, I will always be grateful for that.

Back to my health….Many official people, the town chief, assistant of the county governor visited me, supported and catered for me.Kapoeta town hospital stuff treated me for free.However at the same time I witnessed how poor South Sudanese people were suffering, I saw kids arriving at the hospital but never made it back to their parents, they were dying each and everyday…it was really horrible.

I saw people with gunshot wounds and others with part of their bodies missing.I saw with my eyes the consequence of the ongoing civil war in South Sudan…one article is not enough to describe it all…(I will write one article dedicated to this part alone).

On night while I was in the hospital I heard a mother cry because her child had passed away from malaria…it was so sad and dissapointing.I became a part of Kapoeta town life,almost everybody knew me now and they would come by as just say “hey Josh, you gonna be alright”.

One small South Sudanese kid named Joshua stole my heart he is one of my favorite people in the world and for sure he was my favorite person in town.His mother Apio was awesome too, she always brought me delicious food and invited me to their home from time to time.They were a blessing!

babieswith my favourite kid Joshua and her sister Tracy


Days went by so fast…my visa for entering Kenya was expiring soon. On the 20th of January 2016 I said goodbye to all, appreciated for all they did for me and promised to come back. I put my bicycle on the car and crossed to Kenya. I looked several times through the window, got into deep thoughts about kapoeta people, the on going civil war and the little innocent Joshua growing up in that environment?,life can be so hard sometimes!

After I got off the car, I took a bus from Kitale to Nairobi where I began my full rehabilitation which took almost 3 months. The CTA brain-skull scanning machine showed that I had no brain injury(thanks God for that). My back and broken ribs were healing naturally.

I managed to appreciated the good news out of a bad situation, however I still had to deal with my broken hand. X-ray in Medzievek hospital, Nairobi showed how badly broken it was. There was a big gap between my bones and the orthopedic put a plaster cast on my hand and assured me that after 6 weeks it will be aligned.

Six weeks passed, a new X-ray showed that it was the same as it was before, which mean it wasnt healing. During that time, my good friend, a legend from Kenya, the bicyclist whom I met in Sudan , David Kinja already had my bicycle repaired and provided all the things which I needed to continue my trip. Kinjah was the person who advised me to have a surgery.He had a similar bone fracture once before in his life, and he did the same.

February 10th I had a surgery and it went well, orthopedic-surgeon, Dr. Miano and his team did a great job. Some of my friends and family members were insisting not to do a surgery in Africa. But I had entrusted my full recovery in the hands of these beautiful people. In one and half hours a metal plate with six screws was inserted I’m my hand in order to keep the broken bones together so that they will get aligned.


It was a very smooth operation as I asked to block only my left arm, this way I was able to observe the entire operation. Again I had to wait six weeks. Days were going by so fast. During that period I made many good friends in Nairobi, I traveled a bit,did some good photography, learnt more about Kenya and Kenyan people, their food and culture.

In April I applied for Tanzanian visa and got it. All together it was a long break during my trip. Almost 4 months… the feeling was high. I am going to be “on the road again”, pedaling and singing this song of Wille Nelson…

On the 19th of April I said good-bye to all, left bad and good memories back and jumped on to my bike…my hand with metal plate inside was ok. He was going to do this job, I said to myself. He has no excuse not to help me… I made it a long way, passed many obstacles, survived death…he is going to do it for sure…

betterbbmy first test-ride day after 4months with Nino@trunz in kikuyu, Kenya

*** I would like this to be at the end of my third article, and I will soon publish the 4th one.***

    There are people whom I would like to thank for helping me survive, for saving my life, my heros because without them I would be history.

    I owe my life to these people and I have no idea how I could ever re-pay them for all they have done for me.

    -:*In Kapoeta, South Sudan: Dr.Jn.Assistant Opolot Simon, Felix, Okidi Oscar, Jerry Lokinei, Okot Daniel, his wife Apio, daughter Tracy, and little baby Joshua, Princess Abyei and her family, Med-nurse Kristi, High comissioner of Kapoeta town, the governor, town chief and the whole Kapoeta town hospital personnel.

    -:*In Nairobi, Kenya Dr.ort.Miano, Dr.anesthetic Michael Giitari, Dr.Jn.ast.Anthony, a legend bicyclist David Kinjah, my good host, a beautiful girl Daisy Melly and all her family members, my good cyclist friend Nino Trunz and all good people I met during my stay.

To be continued…

I will continue to tell you about my journey on Africa Metro, Please feel free to follow me on my AfricaMetro Profile and if you have questions leave comments below and I will get back to you there. I appreciate everyone who has read my story and for the continued support.

Disclosure statement

Yashar Khudiyev aka ‘Josh Africa‘ does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond AfricaMetro.

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3 Responses to Yashar Khudiyev From Azerbaijan Travels Around Africa on a Bicycle (Part 3) : I almost Died, Here Is How I Survived…

  1. Afsana October 6, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Yashar, all the best from Baku! A friend of mine sent me your articles, cause I’m quite badly obsessed with travelling, and I’m off to Tanzania in December this year. I truly enjoyed reading your posts, despite it being stressful to read through the near-death experience.

    I hope the remainder of your trip is filled with good and warm people, new friendships, and positively intense emotions. Keep your head up, you’ve survived the worst. And keep blogging, pass on the energy 🙂


    • josh africa February 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      So, How was your trip in Tanzania, Afsana? Which parts of the country did you go? Zanzibar was on the list? drop me some of your stories if you want 🙂

      greetings from Mingechevir, Azerbaijan

  2. josh africa October 10, 2016 at 8:14 am

    oh la la 🙂 what a privilege…thank you so much Afsana for reading my stories, and supporting me. thank you for the warmest words… safe travels in Africa. you r gonna love Tanzania…

    from Capetown, SA


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