Published Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Adeneke Yisa had fallen asleep on the sofa of her home at Felt Street and was wakened by shattering glass at around 2am on Wednesday.
The hatchet narrowly missed the mother of two young children. She told UTV that she is lucky to be alive.
"The axe could have just hit me on the head - because the axe was just lying [next to me] on the floor.
"I could have been dead."
Adeneke feared her attackers would come in - but they fled, leaving her terrified.
"Seriously, I thought it was gunshots," she said, adding that all she could do was scream at the top of her voice.
"I was so terrified for my children.
"I don't know how someone could be so bitter towards someone to do something so terrifying to your fellow human being. I don't know how they've been brought up or raised.
"Someone shouldn't be feeling this way. It's a very bad feeling," she said, speaking of her fear.
Adeneke moved from Nigeria to Belfast ten years ago for a better life. She has lived at Felt Street for 14 months - when she was moving in with her then toddler and baby, racist graffiti was daubed on the house.
The 40-year-old said that she will not move and does not want to give in.
Police are treating the incident as a hate crime. Investigating officers are appealing for any witnesses - or anyone with information - to come forward.
Anna Lo, Alliance South Belfast MLA, said that she was "sickened and disgusted" by the racist attack.
"There is no place in our society for this type of crime.
"I would like to extend my support to this woman and her two young children. This attack does not represent the views of the majority of people in Northern Ireland who have been very welcoming to people from all backgrounds."
She continued: "Those responsible for this callous crime must be urgently apprehended by the police, so I would urge anybody with any information about this attack to contact the PSNI or Crimestoppers."
Meanwhile, police say they are also investigating other hate crimes in north Belfast.
Windows were broken in three houses in the Shore Road and York Drive areas in separate attacks on Monday night.
Detectives are appealing for information.
© UTV News