Friday, 21 October 2016

Chiselled

“Yes!”
“It’s just going to be today. No more imaginations, I am no longer sending any more traffic signs. I am just going to use words today when Uchechi visits.” He swallowed some significant amount of saliva and rolled to the other end of the mattress, to the cream painted wall that stopped the three and half sized mattress from moving further beyond the confines of the room.

Uzochukwu laid on his back, there in the room, his eyes sparkled. At the thought of reaching for his pillow that laid bare far away at the other end of the room, he remembered he needed to find a pillow case for the almost flat object. He jumped off the bed towards his readymade wardrobe, which stood on the other end of the room. The wardrobe that was primarily made of metals cum plastic was covered in blue flowery fabric.

Once he found a barely clean pillow case, he searched for a tee shirt to pull on his white underwear which he had on his grey three quarter shorts.

Uchechi, the best female student in Uzohcukwu’s class was coming over as usual, for some tutorials.
Uzo enjoyed the competition they started since their second year in the Project Management department, in the university.
He enjoyed it more, because although Uchechi struggled hard enough, he still led the class with Uchechi directly behind him with few points away in their grade point average.

Maybe he would have lost the joy in the competition, if Uchechi had topped the class last semester, when she came closest to him, maybe not. Nonetheless, he had become fond of the dark skinned, slim lady.

“Please come in,” Uzo answered to the voice that seeped into his room from the door. His tone alive with joy and expectation. He liked her all the more, because although smart, she was humble enough to learn from anybody.
Uchechi stepped in to the room, she wore a Vee neck teal green lettered blouse. The  white lettering said, “Yes or yes” boldly in front of the Tee shirt. To match, she wore a dark blue jean skirt.

“Thank you!” she spread her lips widely. Her hair neatly packed to the back and a pair of small pearls earrings were her regular facial outlook.
“Good afternoon Uzo,” she said briefly, her eyes still gleaming.
“Good afternoon Uchechi,” he replied with a wider grin, as he pulled the wooden chair out from under the table.
“Sit.” Uche did so, with crossed legs.
“So it’s PMT 402 o.” She started to bring books out of the sling bag that remained hung on her arm since she entered the room. “PMT 402 is the course that wouldn’t let Uche rest all night long,” she spoke on relaxed.
Uzo giggled, and looked into her bright face, oval like. ‘That blend of humour married with such height of intelligence, who would ignore?’ Uzo thought to himself.

Eventually, Uche flipped to the page she was gunning for; page fifty. “Uzo, maybe I am the one having difficulty grasping this topic, but I cannot remember Mr. Fasasi saying anything meaningful on this subject in class.” Her voice was bleak. She expected Uzo to reply by now. But she did not seem to hear anything, except the echoes of her last words. She raised her head, and noticed she seemed to have been speaking to herself all along.
“Young man!” she alerted him.
Uzo jerked, although bent over her, his mind was far away from PMT 402. He found his voice eventually, “I am sorry! You were saying?”
“My goodness! Uzo! Na here you dey, or na Nnewi you dey?” Uzo responded with a smile, and quickly marshalled every fibre of courage in him.
“Uchechi, “ he started to say softly, his voice silvery.
“What???” she answered with bugged eyes, her expression hardened.
“Uche, I like you. I don’t have the best of words to use, but I can sincerely tell you, that all of these years, having you around teaching each other, studying and relating together,I have come to like you. Lets become a full-fledged team?”
“Uhn?” her eyes widened. She coughed gently and shook her head, as though a short play had happened just right before her own eyes, with her in the script. She nibbled on her bottom lips. Uzo had successfully destabilised her thoughts for the day.
Nonetheless, she spoke in the middle of her doused thoughts, she was not sure if the words were right or insensitive, but she was determined to pull herself together, and show Uzo that she was not only brilliant but as well in charge of her emotions.
“Thank you Uzo. We will get back to that discourse later. Let’s discuss PMT 402, the more reason I came all the way to your hostel. You should come over to mine when you want to have that conversation.”
“I am sorry,” he responded. He was not sure, whether to take her response as an insult or a polite way of changing the subject. “That’s fine by me, so what’s up with Mr. Fasasi?”
Uchechi managed to gather herself together. “I don’t know how exactly to prepare for the forth coming examination for this course. Please help.” Uchechi said as though she gave a quick narration of the purpose of visit.

                               **********
When Uchechi returned to her hostel she laid aside her PMT 402 hand out, to think about Uzo’s seemingly proposal. Although she said, they would discuss it when he visited, it already became a subject to ponder on for her. “Uzo is smart ,” she said to herself. “Just that he can too do oversabi,” she continued soliloquizing. She slept on the subject for few days, before Uzo eventually visited with the official proposal.

That day, Uche’s roommate off campus was not in the room. “I said I would be coming and here I am,”Uzo announced at the door.
Uche smiled, then answered, “Come in.”
Uzo repeated his proposal, “Let’s be a full fledged team?”
Uchechi wondered where he caught the sentence from. “I should take time to sleep on it,” she replied.
Uchechi entertained him and enjoyed the rests of his visit.

Weeks later, after thinking long and hard enough, she thought it an awesome combination. Two brilliants people coming together. She loved the imaginations that genius children would be the outcome of their union. Although she had made up her mind, she still did not relay the information to him. Rather she showed him especial interests by visiting and paying more attention when he visited.

After their last examination paper for the semester, Uzo lurked around the lecture theatre.
“How did your paper go?” He said immediately Uchechi stepped out of the wall, his eyes glistening with hope.
“It went well,” She replied laconically.
“I trust you.”
As they walked home, Uzo started a new line of conversation. “Uche, I know you like me already and you are in, give me an answer, let’s make it official.”
Uche smiled archly, “Alright then.”
“Whu!!!” Uzo screamed, he did not expect her to consent simply at his words. “That’s a yes?”
“Yes! Definitely!” Uchechi replied.
“Why didn’t I ask this way since weeks ago?”
“Is that question for me?” Uche looked sideways in a funny manner.

                               **********
The duo stayed back in school for the semester holiday. Uzo who was still all over Uche did not give her a break. They spent everyday of the two weeks holiday in each other’s company. Chattering for long hours.
Sometimes in the middle of the new semester, Uchechi visited. Most times when she did, she brought along  a departmental course material.

In the evening, when the atmoshpere seemed to be tender, Uzo moved closer to Uchechi. He leered at her. Uche understood the amorous glare immediately.
“I am waiting till marriage,” she said brusquely.
“I understand. I also want to marry a virgin.”
“Good then, go and wash your face in the bathroom, you will get over the feeling,” Uche suggested.
Uzo yielded. As he stepped into the bathroom directly linked to the room, his phone gave a message tone. The phone was placed face down on the mattress.
“You have a message,” Uche announced. She picked up the phone, and as she did, her finger pressed the read button.
“Why didn’t you come home to check on your children during the semester holiday. I am not supposed to bear your responsibility…”
Uchechi’s jaw tightened. Her delicate fingers quivering as her eyes ran through the remaining texts. The message was from his mother.
Uzo who noticed Uchechi went dead silent after anouncing he had a text rushed into the room after easing himself.

     ........To be continued........


Monday, 12 September 2016

Life Lessons

Once you wear correct life lenses, you should see lessons everywhere around you, even on the streets and you should pick the relevant ones when you can.

In fact, my Pastor, Reverend Olusola Areogun, would say that, in life, there are several unconscious teachers, but you must choose not to be an unconscious learner.
In the midst of these, there are several unserious students of life. Many times we charge the fathers not to be absent, silent nor missing. We encourage mothers to continue in their queenly quest. We insist they are the role models for their children. The family is the acclaimed foundation of every society. We ensure that teachers at the Sunday school church (children and teenager’s church) teach them proper lessons.

In fact, civic responsibility has been included in some secondary school education syllabus.
However, do you know as much as there are lessons everywhere, people upholding righteousness in several quarters, there are still these sets of people that are taking these life lessons unserious?

Those are the sets of people of interest to me in this piece. I will not admit that the society has eventually become sane enough. In fact, it does not seem like it would ever be. But as much as vanity, craze, and perversion are sold for less than a kobo on the streets, there is as much wisdom likewise in the streets.

Proverbs chapter one and verse twenty says, “Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets.” Regardless, some do not take heed to her cries.
There are people, who grew up with the best of queenly mothers, present, active and available fathers, they attended godly schools, with correct doctrines being churned out from their church altars, but somehow, they were not taking these lessons serious enough.

Some other days, I write about being a vessel of wisdom. I write to encourage us all, to be an instrument of peace, with every medium we have, but today it is about those who have had the privilege of correct trainings all their life, but ended up perverted.

It’s as simple as the worst student in a classroom. The teacher definitely doled out same course materials and trainings. His choice was to neglect the trainings.

The primary inspiration for this write up was marital relationships.

I am Yoruba. I hail from the South-Western part of Nigeria. One common adage in my dialect is that “Oko buruku se e fe, ana buruku ni o se fe.” Loosely interpreted, a terrible husband is bearable, but a terrible in-law is unbearable.

I say this, because of the thousands of men and women who have gone ahead to marry people who had excellent parents, with best of character, but their spouses were just wrong on too many levels.

So I have heard it said a couple of times, that “No be say the guy too okay, but sha I like his family.”

You see, that is a faulty ideology. I am not suggesting that you do not forgive people’s weaknesses.
However, in the face of pertinent life decisions, it is sentimental to forgive a person’s numerous flaws because they have got a good resume.

It is like when you get a splendid job because the board was impressed by your resume (the numerous schools your parent could afford and force you to attend) but if your character consistently falls short of the company’s reputation, you are not likely to remain in that company.

So I have met people with such beautiful and cultured families, but he is just the black sheep. What is the point?

If he never took seriously, the training he got for over two decades in that family, what is the assurance that he would ever take any more serious in the future?

That’s too much of a life time gamble! Indeed, just as Socrates said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; NOTHING on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”







Friday, 9 September 2016

Take a breather!

Sometimes ago, in my very very amateur days with manual car, I wanted to park outside an auntie's place and then I kept struggling to park 'mólè' (very well).
My goodness, I was on it for almost four minutes. After it almost got sweltering in the vehicle, I decided it was okay.

When I got off the car, and properly viewed the car behind, I realised if there were no gutter demarcation, I would probably be gunning for the gutter. I had done all the gymnastics I needed to do to park properly, I only needed a confirmation that it was fine.

Then I told myself, if only I had a company who would have said, 'IT'S OKAY. YOU HAVE PARKED WELL.'

Sometimes, you have done all YOU SHOULD HAVE, to save that relationship, to salvage that job, to keep that situation from going awry. Sometimes, doing enough maybe praying.

Sincerely, sometimes you have done just enough. If only you could hear God say, "Daughter you have tried your best. Don't sweat it."

I am not insinuating that you give up too soon, especially when you have God's instruction on it, but on some issues that you are unsure why you are holding on, take time to think that perhaps you have done enough. Maybe you are holding on too tight.

If only some women in abusive and violent relationships knew they had done enough, maybe they would still be sane and alive.
Just maybe.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Everyone else’s opinion


Everyone else’s opinion is often readily available than your opinion. There is always someone who has got an opinion on; where you should be at the moment and on what you should be eating.


There is always somebody who will come into the room to suggest that the trousers you are wearing is too long, that your finger nails are too long. That you should have used palm oil to fry plantain instead of vegetable oil, to avoid the dangers of cholesterol. They may be your mother’s friend, your friend, your acquaintance, a stranger, or even your enemy.
And some do not merely suggest, their opinions can come with speed and insistence, suggesting authority and becouraging dissent.
That you should have married someone from your tribe instead of considering an intertribal marriage. That you do not attend a "correct enough" physical church.

I can go on and on and on, about everyone else’s opinion. Everyone else’s opinion can show up many times, before you can think deep about the situation at hand. You see, Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist, made a valid point when he said, “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

Trust me, everyone else’s opinion can be mind-boggling, they can drown your thoughts.
However the beautiful thing about everyone else’s opinion, is that you get to be the judge of them. Opinion, can remain as it is- an opinion. The best it can be is an opinion, if you leave it at that level.

I got to a stage while growing up, where I wanted people’s verdict about every of my action and attitude. Once a friend popped in for a visit, and after minutes of chit chatting, and a warm reception, I moved to my business-as-usual- what do you think about me? The problem was not the fact that I wanted other people’s opinion about whether I was relating well or not.


In fact, the scriptures in the book of Philippians four and verse five says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
So I was not too far from the Bible’s injunction with that habit of mine, God did request that our moderation be evident to men and not Him alone.

However, the problem afterwards, was that I was controlled by these varying opinions of others. And I was fast fulfilling the words of Oscar Wilde that, “most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions, a quotation.”

The danger in daily filling your ears with what is wrong about you is that you are likely to fight from a loser’s stand point. You are likely to want to struggle to be a better person with more fear of impossibility than of possibility. That's the very reason I avoid children of God that are more aware of what the devil can do to them than what God can do for them.

I agree, that there are weaknesses and each person has got their own reasonable share. That there are still some more masteries to be won, but don’t live in a pool of your inadequacies.
Your spouse (intending or current) and your immediate family are most likely the best judges of your character and you should hear them every now and then, but do not walk on the streets with your mind filled with everyone else’s opinion.

It is one major way I know of losing the driver’s seat of your life. Don’t give the devil that privilege.
Yes. Go ahead and build fortresses around your weaknesses that you have observed and that have been mentioned to you by others, but do not consistently make life decisions around other people’s opinions.

So I ask you like Steve Maraboli once asked, “How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others.”

I urge you to receive the wisdom of mentors by all means, but if you have never received an instruction directly from your creator-God, but you have only decided on cogent issues in your life based on second hand instructions and opinions of fathers, loved ones, friends and enemies, then, maybe they created you.  

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

How positive is your vocabulary?




When it comes to the use of vocabulary and our freewill, one cannot overemphasize the quality of matrimony these two phrases have achieved, especially in our generation. When presidential debates are fuelled with campaign straplines such as not ‘necessarily being politically correct.’ And phrases like; ‘just speak,’ ‘say what others are not bold to say,’ are thrown around.

Conventionally speaking, we have been formed by the society we live to retain some kind of vocabulary. We live in a world of words. When you say positive things, you can attract good. The scripture says, decree a thing and it shall established and I did not observe my bible stating whether your decree has to be positive or negative before it is established.

So what exactly informs our decrees? What exactly influences your vocabulary? “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our circumstances can instruct our thoughts. Much more, our use of words are informed by the accumulation of what we have fed the gateways to our minds with.
So in all, we intentionally or unintentionally decide what our individual glossary should contain. Whether your glossary will contain undesirable words is a decision you must be conscious of. Whether they will be solely picked from the streets or from the media is a choice.


The devil is aware that if he can keep your vocabulary negative, he can defeat you as much as possible. Second Kings Chapter four and verse twenty-six gives us an example of a woman who has trained her vocabulary to be positive, even in the face of crisis.

I urge you today, to take charge of your vocabulary. Do not let the weather determine your vocabulary, do not let economic recession determine your vocabulary either. I once lived in a city where it rained on more days than there was sun. On days that there was rain, most people gave remarks such as, “such a horrible day, it’s all wet and messy.” And on other days, when it was sunny, when you ask a good number of residents at dusk, you could receive comments such as, “I made it, it was hectic, the heat kept me home the better part of the day.”

As much as we may not be able to influence situations around us, we can choose our position in such situations. Be more conscious of what you feed your mind with, be more positive on what you think on; ‘whatsoever are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and pure, of good report.’
The source of our vocabulary must be the scriptures. The bible tells me ‘a thousand shall fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand; but it shall not come near me. And only with mine eyes shall I behold and see the reward of the wicked.’


The scriptures also reminds me that when men are cast down, then thou shalt say there is a lifting up, and he shall save the humble.

I know it might be difficult to see negative and speak positive, but you can choose the better side. Your vocabulary does not only affect your outcome, it also affects your attitude in the meantime. According to Michael Hyatt, let it not be that ‘you have to be at work tomorrow, rather you get to be at work.’


Don’t let the enemy leak your investment as a result of negative vocabulary. Let your expected response to situation be positive. Don’t lose your answers to prayers with constant negative exclamations. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

For How Long Have You Been On the Wrong Road?

This afternoon, I laid on my back, with my leg crossed over the other. Lately, there has been a thriving controversy on whether that posture is healthy for us or not. While Claudia Hammond a BBC reporter highlighted the downsides to the posture in October 2015, Lecia Bushaka of medical daily five days later stated that maybe the sitting position notable with the British Comedian Kenny Everret in the 1980s may not be necessarily harmful following some researches. 

Anyway, the subject of discourse herein is not health related. It is so far from my training by the way.

As I laid on my back, a quality number of situations flashed across my thoughts, tedious times when I had to walk away from wrong decisions.

Making a wrong decision is never the end to the world. My Pastor; Olusola Areogun reminds me that in fact, making mistakes is a reminder that we are still part of the human race.
Expectedly, this is never a license to make mistakes, but often times than not, we at some points in our lives must have trodden the wrong path to be able to identify the right path.

I write to you today to remind you that irrespective of how long you tarry on the wrong track in life, it will never automatically make the route the suitable one.

I do understand that some life roads are covenant binding and you will definitely need to continually converse with God to find your way out. But many times than not, we can always stop on our track and correct our mistakes.
I have observed a good number of times that even when people are aware that they have made wrong decisions, they struggle to deny reality. However, whether you struggle harder or not, it does not take the reality away.

Have you made a wrong decision in career, in your location, in associations or relationships, of whom you will serve the rests of your life, or in fact how you have served him in the past with your body? Have you of your own accord chosen a detrimental path? You are not obliged to write me back, but you sure know the answer within you. I have good news for you from our Lord Jesus Christ- there is something greater than your past poor decisions. The bible in Hebrews five and verse eight speaks about Jesus the Christ who although was a son, yet learned obedience by the things he suffered. 

Our lives will follow several patterns, some are of the tribe of Jacob who may have had to have the hollow of their thighs disjointed because they are very strong willed. And there are some others who embrace folly over and again, who make the wrong decisions yet and again.

Nonetheless, you can stop the trend, forget the blame game and halt the presses. You can stop the music. I know from experience that the replay may be on standby in your mind for days that can roll into months and that is again because you are human, but I urge you not to let the devil have the last say. For you we can say you chose a wrong battle, but because of Christ it is not lost, you can fight it in Christ, by making a turn around. Do not beat yourself too hard for your folly. Once God has forgiven you by your repentant heart, I ask you to forgive yourself and start on the right road. It does not matter how long you have been on the wrong road, a single day on your path of right decision is immensely rewarding than your years of mistake.



I commit you into the hands of the Most High God to heal and restore the years the canker-worm has eaten from you. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Gifts...

Over the years and more recently I have watched and heard creativity as it brings melody to my heart. There are lots of awesome talents and gifts within the body of Christ.

God gave us GIFTS to ease our journeys in life. I stumbled on a very old record of Dr Bola Are and I agreed the costumes in the video are primitive now, but these music did liven our spirit as we carried out our daily assignments years ago.
Image result for gifts


GIFTS are meant to make our spiritual walk worthwhile, but they are not the underlying substance. I will encourage you to seek the face of God and stay in a spiritually sensitive zone enough so that you can find where you have that unique anointing. I have been privileged to put pen to paper a number of times, for me, it is a lot of hard-work to write subjects outside the Christian circle. I just find it more difficult. No matter how much opinion I have on a subject I still find it awesome when I read another writer put the same subject in another context.

However, GIFTS are not the central focus of our calling as Believers. The starting point is salvation, sobriety, vigilance and lots more.

The problem with some denominations is that they accentuate GIFTS than necessary. I watched with keen interest as a woman led deep “Alujo” Christian Hip-hop or whatever it is tagged in a particular Church simply because it was a harvest ceremony and the whole place was filled with sheets of dollars.
It is okay if we have it happen in a party using godly songs to enjoy a birthday ceremony and the likes, but I am worried about how it is supposed to be a Church event.

I appreciate GIFTS, no matter how un-nurtured, but that is not the underlying reason of Jesus’ walk to Golgotha.

God has given us GIFTS to make our race swifter and sweeter but that’s not the fundamental basis for our Christian calling. Don’t get unnecessarily obsessed about your or other’s gifts, DO THE CARRIER OF THE GIFTS HAVE THE LIFE OF HOLINESS?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Qualities that should wear the mortarboards

Leke Alder was not wrong when he insinuated that qualifications are not needed in making some momentous decisions.  

We live in a world where success is weighed by the content of your resume, how many degrees you have bagged and in what field you have them. At least I have an O'level before you think I am no achiever. But I think success can be overrated sometimes. We celebrate the number of caps people have and judge them by the resulting numerics, even when some of the people wearing the caps are beasts. People rarely address others as that meek man but that engineer. However, I understand that caps are a source of motivation.

The world also recognise you by your outlook. Before you stare at my chest too closely I am gonna refer you to my elder Sister who harbours the rests for me, so I can dialogue with serious minded people.
Image result for mortar board
In the real sense, I think these are not the only pertinent things that make the world go around. My house-mate is having her master in business administration, but we do not always talk about strategic foresight,  or management or econometrics,  even when our courses have close relation.
You can’t live on staring at people's physical outlook everyday. They are contributions but they are not underlying.

I think tolerance,  respect and regard for others are what keeps the world going. If you always defeat Others with the words of your mouth, you are a weakling in the true sense.
Forgiveness will always be stronger than revenge. Staying polite always prove more masculinity than rudeness. If our parents did not do too well at passing down these training to us, we should learn them in church or from mentors steadfastly.

Albeit,  I am not the very best yet, I am not where I used to be.
Friends and families have taught me that until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,  the things that will sustain humanity and keep the world functioning appropriately are the soft qualities and character that really do not wear the caps and mortarboards.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A Rule of Love(The concluding part)

“I Chinelo Onyeka take you, Othuya Lawson to be my Husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death according to God’s holy law, this is my solemn vow.”

The Minister read on the next line to the couples who were been joined in holy matrimony, Chinelo eventually agreed to marry Othuya, she considered a number of things and decided it was the right thing to do, she was out of the University, she had completed the mandatory National Youth Service programme, and sooner than later everyone would start asking for a wedding invitation, moreover where would she start from, she also thought on the cliché, “the devil you know is better than the angel you do not know.”

The wedding ceremony was held in Lagos where Chinelo’s Parent resided. Chinelo and Othuya dragged a number of issues between themselves during the wedding preparation; Othuya insisted that drums should not be played both at the Church and during the reception; Chinelo declined and insisted that she was not holding a burial ceremony and would not have a mournful event; Othuya also wanted a small-sized wedding. Chinelo wanted a combination of bright colours, but Othuya disagreed, her wedding dress had to be long sleeves with no elaborate tail, less make-ups and a number of other things, Chinelo made more compromise than she had bargained for.

At the end of the wedding ceremony, the couple moved over to the hotel room that had been booked for them earlier on. As they walked past the reception to retrieve their key, they received a number of glances, “Congratulations!” the receptionist said with a wide grin as she handed Othuya the keys.

“Thank you,” he returned with a broad smile. As they walked up the stairs, Othuya helped Chinelo with the below part of her wedding dress, although the couple were tired, Chinelo still sashayed along the walkway that led to their room.

Chinelo placed her hand on Othuyas’ has he pressed the door knob, the door knob tinged, she looked deeply into his eyes as if she sought for an answer, she shuddered, this was the night she had been anticipating, they had both married as virgins, this was one major thing that impressed Othuya about her, as flaunting and over civilized as she appeared, she still had her hymen intact, this was why Othuya would not let her go despite the dichotomy in their backgrounds, he felt any lady who was able to keep her laps knitted together for over twenty-five years of her life deserves a medal. Virginity topped the list of his pre-requisite for a wife and once he found out while they discussed at the early stage of their relationship, he held on no matter what.

Othuya returned a slight nod as to re-assure her of his promise, a tinge of fear was painted on her face. He led her into the room quietly, and shut the door behind them; the best man had brought the necessary items to the hotel room earlier before they arrived. Immediately they pulled off their foot wears, Othuya started to lead a number of praises, Chinelo chorused along, thanking God for the beginning of a new journey. After an hour of singing praises and leading prayers, Othuya asked that they shared the grace; that was when he realized that Chinelo was fast asleep; since they knelt by the bedside.

Othuya was perplexed, how she could sleep off just in one hour of prayer, he said the grace alone, stood up and left her for some minutes, he removed his clothes and went into the bathroom to take a shower. By the time he returned into the bedroom with short knickers on and a towel around his neck, Chinelo was still deeply asleep.

“Chinelo!!!
“Dear!!!”
He tapped, Chinelo did not budge, he bent down to the ear Chinelo raised to the ceiling and shouted. “In Jesus Name we have prayed!”
Suddenly Chinelo jerked and shouted “Amen!"She rubbed her face roughly and tried to gather herself as she stood to her feet still in her wedding dress, she slipped a bit, Othuya quickly stretched out a hand to help.

“So you are still saying your own prayers right???" Othuya said laughingly, by now Chinelo was alert; she noticed Othuya had changed into a round neck with a short, “what happened?" She stuttered. “I thought you were still communing with God so I felt I shouldn't interrupt the flow," he giggled. Now Chinelo understood what was going.

She sat on the bed, and adjusted such that her back was facing Othuya. “Help me untie the dress," “Huhn?" Othuya stared, “help me with my dress, since you left me on my knees and went ahead to shower alone." Othuya's eyes bulged as if they were going to fall out of their sockets. Suddenly, the part of the bible that says, “they were naked and they were not ashamed sprang up in his head.

Gently he moved his hand to her back; he moved them a little below her waist to find where the fabric that held the dress together was tucked in, as he began to untie the rope, Chinelo smiled.
She sat still until Othuya finished up and the tube like wedding dress which was pulled on a white long sleeve blouse fell apart.

Chinelo stood up gently, and stepped out of the wedding gown calmly; she tried to pull off the blouse, and finally managed to extricate herself from the tight blouse. Othuya stared with mouth opened wide, her perfectly carved hips stood right before him; in the exact shape they were created, indeed she was pulchritudinous. Once she was done with the wedding dress, she pulled off her under wears, “let me take a shower, I will join you shortly." Othuya's eyes followed her to the bathroom, it appeared like a cat got his tongue .

At the sound of the bathroom door, Othuya jerked. “Blood of Jesus!" He said silently, was this what all women looked like?" He thought. He was beginning to feel shy, ‘how on earth I am expected to react,' he said to himself, their counselor did not stress this part of the holy matrimony.
He decided to sleep off sooner; he quickly ducked under the duvet.

Once Chinelo was done, she wore the lingerie she had specially selected for that night, she swept the room with her gaze, only to find her beloved hubby hitting the sack, was he going to stab her plan for her wedding night, she moved over to the bedside, and planted a kiss on his cheek, Othuya who feigned a deep sleep just lay in there silently.

Chinelo climbed the bed and gently ducked under the quilt, although she wished for their marriage be consummated that night, but since her husband was asleep, she wasn’t going to rape him anyway, she glanced at him once more before she also hit the sack.

Five Hours Later…

Suddenly, there was a loud noise, it was Chinelo that woke up first, she looked around, the noise echoed again, this time Othuya woke up, it thundered continually, it was going to rain, and they hurriedly pulled the curtain across the window.

As they returned back to the bed, Chinelo looked straight into his eyes, “why did you sleep off before I returned from the bathroom? Anyway I will not let this night pass without breaking the covenant.” She said sounding more alert.

Flustered, Othuya shivered a bit, Chinelo culled up in his arms, he just noticed the lingerie, he had to frame an excuse, “so you could fall asleep during prayers, but you are so alert when it is time for breaking the covenant?” Chinelo giggled slightly, but she did not take it as a barb. “I was seriously fagged out, with the heels and the dancing, you should understand,” she answered.

Othuya adjusted her body that was leaned on his’, “I am tired too dear, let us rest for tonight, we will get something to break the covenant tomorrow,” he said and adjusted back to sleep properly.

……………………………………………………………………

Six months into their marriage, Othuya began to have serious problems with his wife, she was an eager beaver, especially now that she was gainfully employed, Othuya noticed she barely spent quality time for devotion in the morning, despite how tired she feels later in the night, she would still be all out with amorous suggestions.

Within thirteen months of their marriage, Othuya could not bear it anymore, Chinelo refused to submit to the doctrines of his Church and attended a different church, Othuya complained that she was already satisfied with everything she’s got and insisted that there was no need for her to dress provocatively.

Sooner than later, resentment began to set in, the beauty Othuya found in her at the beginning seemed to fade away faster, Othuya thought she would adjust at first, but it became more difficult by the day, their values did not seem to marry after thirteen months, Chinelo insisted she had to wear trousers to her work place because of the nature of her job, while Othuya felt trousers for a female was the height of indecency.

…………………………………………

Several months later, Othuya suddenly began to perceive the call of God upon his life, he knew it was stronger than something he could resist, he went through the bible school and was ordained, and was moved to another branch of the Church in the state capital. Chinelo attended his Ordination service, His wife was his major challenge all through the tedious times, Othuya stopped giving her details of his spiritual dealings especially matters pertaining to his church, as he felt she was not spiritual enough to be trusted with such details, Chinelo who was also a little carefree, did not bother so much about the details after congratulating him on his ordination.

Sooner than later, Othuya became weary of their union, the duo hardly reached an agreement on any matter relating to spiritual activities even if they managed to discuss it.

Othuya’s Church members spread the grapevine that their Assistant Pastor’s Wife was an unbeliever as they rarely see her in church, Othuya who could not help curb the grapevine swallowed it.

When Othuya could barely bear it anymore, he informed the Senior Pastor who had always asked of his wife too, the Senior Pastor suggested that Mrs. Lawson needed deliverance and told her husband to invite her to Church for a deliverance session.

………………………………………………..

“After dinner that evening, as Chinelo cleared the table, Othuya gathered the courage to raise the matter.

“Dear,” he started to say.
“Yes,” she answered without looking directly at him, as she moved the tray into the kitchen one after another.

Othuya waited for her to return to the living room before he continued.
“There is a programme in Church I will like to invite you for,” he said, he knew the mention of deliverance would discourage her, as she believed it was an archaic subject.

“Ok, when exactly is the programme?” she settled on one of the couch in the living room, although Chinelo was not a member of his church, she still honored his invitation seldom, especially when it required their appearance as a couple.  

“Saturday precisely, 10.am there about,” he answered. Chinelo kept mute for a short while, hummed slightly and answered in the affirmative. Although Othuya noticed a flicker of hesitation, he disregarded it.
……………………………………………………….
Chinelo drove into the Church compound, she was a little behind schedule, she entered into the Church Auditorium hurriedly, to find only the Older Pastor and her husband, Chinelo checked the watch strapped to her wrist swiftly to confirm if she was not making a mistake, the time was half past ten. Chinelo waited a while to see if other people will join soon, the service had commenced with prayers.

Minutes into the Prayer Session, the Senior Pastor tapped Chinelo and asked her to come forward, suddenly, the older Pastor placed his right hand on her fore head, and started to say loud prayers, by now Othuya stood beside his wife.

Immediately Chinelo felt a hand on her head, she stepped back suddenly. “I beg your pardon! What are you trying to do?” she opened her eyes wide. Didn’t your husband tell you about the deliverance session we are to have today?” he asked.

“Deliverance…what???” Who is possessed in the first place???” By now Othuya was confused. “Do you mean this is the programme you said you had in Church?” she spoke fiercely towards her husband’s direction now.

“Yes, I just felt the detail was not necessary…”
“I see,” she was terribly blue in the face, Chinelo gave a long stare, their gaze leveling, she walked towards where her bag was placed; she lifted her bag immediately and gave a long hiss as she walked out of the church, she was browned off.

Othuya followed her with a steady gaze as she walked out of the door; shock was expressed all over his face, her reaction cut him quick, maybe he had bark up the wrong tree eventually, he thought. Othuya regretted the fact that he had overlooked such sensitive matters before marriage; the differences in their Church doctrines; he now understood that it was not enough that they were both believers, but their values had to be similar.                                              

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Rule of Love 3

After the one year mandatory Youth Service, Chinelo and Othuya returned to their homes after singing the song veni vidi vici. Othuya resided with his family in Port-Harcourt where he schooled, a young man from an average home where all expenses could be met, although they did not have so much in excess, nevertheless he did not lack anything, his father was a lecturer at the University where Othuya graduated from, his mother was a teacher in a secondary school a little far away from their home which accentuated the reasons why they were both strict-disciplinarians.

Othuya had only spent a month at home after the completion of his service year when he received the good news that bright afternoon, he laid on the sofa in the living room watching a soap opera on the television, he wore a white singlet and a black trousers, he had a trousers on because their house help was somewhere around the house he could only leave a short–knickers on his body if he was in his room alone, or when there was no one else at home. As he laid on the sofa, his phone shrilled from where it was being charged, he jumped to his feet to pick it before it stopped ringing. It was his dad calling; he quickly pressed the answer button.

“Hello dad!”
“How are you???”
“I am fine sir!” Othuya answered
“Your uncle just called my office now, to tell me your application to the company he retired from has been granted, and you are to resume, the first Monday next month, congratulations,” Othuya wanted to say a loud thank you God, when he realized his father had dropped the line, that was one thing his Father was notable for; precise and concise, nevertheless he knew his father was also excited at the news, since he also could not wait for his return back home before he relayed the news to him.
“Thank you Jesus!!!” He screamed as he dropped his phone, he was so glad at the news he received, he rolled on the tiled floor a number of times as he sang praises to God.
After a while he jumped to his feet and reached for his phone again, he wanted to tell Chinelo the good news.

“Hey!!! Chinelo,” Othuya started to say immediately Chinelo said hello.
“Guess what???” he gleamed with joy. Chinelo smiled, she knew it was only exceptional news that could spurn such joy she perceived from him.
“I am all ears dear….”
“Hallelujah” Othuya shouted.
“Praise the lord!” Chinelo replied, “But you have not told me exactly what God has done you know?” Chinelo chuckled.
“My employment letter has been sent in.”
“Waoohhh, for this God is our God!!!” Chinelo exclaimed.
“Yes indeed he is our God!!!”
“Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee…” Chinelo started to sing a hymn, and then Othuya chorused it along with her, “…how great thou art, how great thou art.”

…………………………………………………………………….

The company that had just employed Othuya was in Cross Rivers State, Calabar precisely, by the end of the weekend Othuya had arrived at his Uncle’s home and resided there for a short period, and by the end of his fourth month at his work place he rented an apartment. He enjoyed the few months he had spent at the company although he was still undergoing training that would last six months.

Four months into his stay in his apartment as a Bachelor, he got a call from Chinelo who was still back in Lagos where she lived with her family; she did not have a job yet, and now she was preferred for an interview in one of the companies she had applied to. The particular company that had summoned her for an interview had their head office in Cross River state with branch offices in some other part of the country.

The mail containing the message for the interviewing had just reached her that day, and she deemed it fit to tell Othuya since that was where he resided now.
“Hey dear,” Chinelo started to say once Othuya picked up his phone.
“How are you doing?” he replied.
“I am fine, thank you and I miss you, you know?” Chinelo added.
“Huhn!” was all Othuya muttered, he was always cautious of the language he used with Chinelo over the phone to avoid anything defiling as he thought, since the scriptures confirms that it is not really what you take in that defiles you but what comes out of you.

“Huhn? Is that all you have to say?” “So you didn’t miss me, I have told you to loosen up young man, God is not waiting somewhere upstairs to send you to hell at the slightest sin,” she giggled, and continued almost immediately “anyway I called to tell you that I will be travelling down to Calabar, I have been preferred for an interview at Real Finance Bank,” she announced gladly, Othuya took in a breath before he replied gladly, “Wao, we thank God and I pray you get the job in Jesus name.

Chinelo added still smiling, “Amen so I will see you this weekend, take care of yourself, we will talk in the night,” she ended the call still beaming with joy.
Othuya smiled to himself as he dropped his phone just beside him on his bed where he laid in his room, there was a feeling of joy that filled his heart each time he spoke with her, just as he adjusted his pillow to tilt his head on it, a thought flashed across his mind.
“Was Chinelo planning to stay at his place for the weekend, although she has never come visiting, because he discouraged it each time she suggested it, Othuya visited her home a number of times anytime he travelled to Lagos. Othuya started to think of what to do since Chinelo would be spending some nights in Calabar.
………………………………………………………………………………

“It’s alright, we are going to alight here,” Othuya announced to the driver that  drove  himself  and Chinelo. “Is this  your  house?” Chinelo  asked  as   the  cab  man  pulled  the  car  to  a  halt  in  front  of  a  hotel, “not  really." Othuya  answered  as  he  opened  the  back   door  of  the  car  where  he  sat  close  to  chinelo.  The  cab  man  was  already  out  of the car  by  man,  he  had  opened  the   boot  of  the  car,  and  pulled   out  Chinelo's  medium  sized  bag.  Othuya  went  behind  the  car,  lifted  it  and  walked  along  with  Chinelo  into the hotel,  Chinelo  was  dazed  all   through,  she  kept  mute  as  she  followed  Othuya  to  the  receptionist  who  said  a  number  of  things  to him and  exchanged  an  amount  of  cash  for   a  key  with a tagged  key  holder  with  othuya.  “Let's  go,”  “Othuya  signaled  as  they  headed  for  the  stair  way.  They  finally  reached  a  room  at   the  end  of  the  corridor  with  a  brown   door,  the  number  on  the  key  tallied  with  what  was  on  the  room  door.  Othuya  gently  opened  with   the  key  and  pressed  the  doorknob,  he  stepped  in with  Chinelo  following  suit.  

“Welcome  to  Port  Harcourt  Chinelo,”  this  was  the  first  time  any  of  them  would speak  since  they  alighted  from the  car,  “thank you very much, but……..”Chinelo  started  to  say, “but  what?”  Othuya  answered,  he settled on  the  four feet  bed  in  the  room,  while  chinelo  was  still  on her feet. “Have  your  seat and let  me get you something  chilled  to  drink. “Hold on Othuya, it's  just two night I will be spending in  Port Harcourt, I thought  I will be  staying  over at  your apartment since you will have  an extra room,” she  said  leaving  her  mouth  open. “Oh  no! chinelo  you  cannot  stay  in  my  house,  it's  not  right,  if  we  intend  to  abstain  from sex  before  marriage  then  we  must put laws and principles around our actions, let us not try to play smart,the devil maybe wicked or even powerless, but he is not foolish as some think, those who fell, in previous times did not plan too, greater  and  better men  than  us  have  fallen  on  this  road,”  Othuya  stood to his feet with  his arms on her shoulders.

Chinelo really appeared sullen, she had planned that the weekend was going to be a time to get closer to her fiancé, all he knew about him majorly was that he was a spiritual and commited brother, she felt there were still some things she needed to know, does he snore while sleeping, is he a dirty person, how does he manage his apartment, she thought this time would afford her that knowledge about him, but No! Othuya had stabbed all her plans prematurely.
“Alright then, so be it,” Chinelo concluded since she did not want to appear like a carnal Christian, the two love birds chewed the fat with each other a few more hours before Othuya returned to his apartment when it was getting late since he did not have a car yet.

……………………………………………………………

The next day which was a Sunday, Othuya was going to pick Chinelo up at the hotel where she was lodged, so that they could attend his church service, it was the branch of the Church he attended back in Port-Harcourt, Othuya had left his apartment a little bit late and was quite in a hurry because it took a while to get a cab heading towards his church place.

Chinelo was all dressed like she would dress to her church on a Sunday, She wore an armless grey dress that barely reached her knees and released her neatly done hair over her shoulders. Once her phone shrilled, she knew Othuya was waiting outside the hotel, she hurriedly slid her foot into her high heeled shoes one after another, picked up her purse that was on the mattress, and rushed out of the room before Othuya reminded her that lateness is not a virtue.
Immediately she reached the hotel gate, she found the cab parked right in front of her, she noticed Othuya who immediately flung the door open, as she stepped into the car she noticed Othuya left his gaze on her with his mouth wide open, he was definitely taken aback by her resplendence, she appeared beautiful in the dress.

“Hey!”  Chinelo had to say to call back his drifted attention, “Oh I am sorry,” by now the taxi had moved.
“Good morning, how are you doing, you look beautiful.”
“Thank you.”
Immediately he dropped the complement, it occurred to him he only made the comment not considering the decency of her dress, “but Chinelo…” he started to say, “What is it???” she darted a surprised look, perceiving what he was going to say, “Don’t you think you appear scantily dressed, Othuya wore a big white Shirt tucked in a brown pant and a black belt on black shoe.

Chinelo did not make anything out of his comment but simply added, “And you are excessively dressed, they could make two of your normal size from this shirt you have on!!!” Othuya did not take her comment lightly and frowned at her statement. “That’s not funny you know,” he was teed off, by now they were at the first gate of his church. He quickly pulled out his purse and handed over some naira notes to the taxi driver, and stepped out of the car.

“But you still need to cover your head at least or something,” Chinelo dismissed his statement and walked behind him to the church entrance. Just as they were ushered into the church, people turned around and looked at Chinelo as she appeared awkwardly dressed from the rest of the church members and again she dismissed the attention, people were more astonished that the very vibrant  and strict Othuya was the one such lady accompanied, while some others assumed it was a mere coincidence.

The service rolled on and it was time for the minister to preach, the preacher led a short prayer before he started to quote some part of the scriptures.
“1 Corinthians Chapter Six and Verse twelve, Open your bibles to that part of the scriptures quickly,” and he started to read aloud after inhaling a deep breath.
“Just because something is technically legal does not mean it is spiritually appropriate, if I went around doing whatever I could get by with, I would be a slave to my whims... the message version,"he inhaled a deep breath again before he continued to speak      

“We are heavenly minded people in this church, and we will not lose sight of our target,” people adjusted on their seats as they listened on with rapt attention. I see some people scantily dressed on my street and in other churches and everywhere around, people with armless and transparent dresses specially the females, it is not because we do not know where these dresses are sold, it is just because we are sane and know that people must not see such indecent apparels on us, we understand the dotted line between modesty and indecency, and we know better than to cross it.

Chinelo was beginning to feel very uncomfortable on her seat, Othuya looked at her frequently and noticed her uneasiness, but he could not do anything about it, ‘had the pastor come to attack her?’ she thought.      
By now she understood why Othuya behaved the way he behaved in the family house during their service year, she realised how stringent his Church doctrines were, the setting was so primitive indeed, with women with obviously raised shoulder pads in their wears, and same for men who wore jackets, it seemed like her Church in the 80's, she looked around the Church building to distract herself from the Preacher's piercing message.

Did she want to marry into this kind of settings? Where she had to put on apparels covering her entire skin, everybody remained silent throughout the whole message unlike in her Church, where the preacher got an exciting answer at intervals, this was the exact opposite of her Church, while she still drooled on her thought, the Preacher's voice returned her attention suddenly, “shall we rise to pray?" He announced.
Immediately, the congregation stood to their feet, as the Pastor led a song, some Choristers stood behind the microphone stands and chorused along, Chinelo suddenly noticed there was no drum set, except a piano, the knowledge of that shocked her, ‘is there such Church in Nigeria without a drumset, her Church even used the local drum which is normally hung over the arm, praise time in her church without that drum was not fulfilling, the Church chorused the song along solemnly, Chinelo waited hurriedly for the end of the service, she could not wait to jump out of the Church auditorium.
Once the grace was shared, she hurriedly found her way out of the Church, she heard someone call out for her,“Hello Sister..."but she ignored the voice and walked out.

.................................

By the time they arrived at the hotel room, Chinelo was still reminiscing on her time at the Church, Othuya sat on the chair in the room, silence enveloped the room, “Chinelo..." Othuya interrupted the silence, he knew Chinelo was moody because of the Church service today, he ignored the atmosphere, and went on to speak, “Chinelo, WILL YOU MARRY?" Chinelo flashed a surprised look, he was on his feet by now, he did not hold any ring in his hand, he just said the word as plain as he could.
...................................To be continued............

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

From a Dear Pal

Dear Chum,

Christian relationships should be different from that of unbelievers; they walk by sight, we walk by faith; sight refers to our senses, while faith comes by hearing and hearing of the word of God.

The issue of 'God Said' (although God speaks to us in a language we understand)cannot be taken out of genuine Christian relationships except we want to deceive ourselves; it’s a pity that is what the church does and preaches now; they call it Christian dating.

God does not initiate love relationships; he only initiates marriage relationships, so while men are with the mind of trying to work it out, God is with a mind of bringing into manifestation His long time plan.

So when His word comes to the parties concern, i.e. the man and woman; they may decide to take God’s word wholly by faith, if it is God’s, with time love (the boy girl type) will grow.

Let me remind you that ideally, you are to have Love for all Christians irrespective of sex, a love that makes you have all things in common, our reference is the first church in Acts.

If the latter kind of love is present initially, a word from God believed by faith is to take the love a bit further.

So what begins to happen?

Once you take up God’s word by faith, with time, you realize that this same brother you had all things in common with before without any untoward feeling, suddenly you begin to have sexual affection for.

Although it will not come in a lusty form; the lusty form is interested in the act, desires the act and pictures the act, but what we are referring to here is a desire to have body contact and just keep in or stay in each other’s company.

So, the faith here is to believe that God’s choice is not just good enough but best enough for you, remember the just shall live by faith.

Afterwards, two things are involved; conviction and love, and mind you both are spiritual, if after a while someone claims he/she has a conviction but never mature into love it has to be checked again.

The extreme Christians get to at times is; they are deeply in love but they cannot find God’s voice in it all or they are in a relationship supposedly led by God but are not in love, and they fail to cry out, meanwhile the kind of love they have is simply the type found amongst brethren, nothing more.

Not necessarily looking for butterflies in the stomach, but something endearing; they call it chemistry, I call it a spiritual connection,

But like I said earlier, they fail to cry out, so when you ask believers if they are in love they tell you they are in a relationship;they fail to seek for help because they do not want to be alone, they do no want a reverse in their status, while some others cannot simply stay being single for a moment, even if they are being taken for granted by their partner, they always need attention whether to impress their folks or whatever reason, and if you ask some others if they are engaged, they say they are in a relationship, an indication of dating.

Yes my friend! You ask about their fiancé or fiancée, and you are told he/she is a special friend or boy/girlfriend, when appropriate terms are being substituted; there are questions to be asked.

I ASK, ARE YOU IN LOVE OR A MERE UNION???

With Love

Ope Rowland & (A fragrance of) Akinwumi  Adeoye

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Rule of Love 2

Othuya and Chinelo got along as they spent more time together, nevertheless they had their several hitches as it was common of new relationships, although Chinelo did her very best to overlook Othuya’s overly strictness but it seemed very difficult for her to get by. And finally it was their passing out parade ceremony, POP as it was called for short. Othuya had left the lodge earlier because he was one of the flag bearers, he was part of the squad on camp too, and has always desired to be part on their POP day.
Chinelo did not leave the lodge on time and by the time she arrived at the stadium the parade was over and everyone sort their Local Government Inspectors and other designated officials for their National Youth Service Corps Certificate.
Othuya dialed Chinelo’s phone a number of times but she was not picking, to know her where about. Just as he reached the entrance to the stadium as he was set to leave, there he saw Chinelo stepping out of the taxi that had conveyed her to the venue. Othuya fumed with anger, ‘was she just arriving at the venue or she had gone back to retrieve something?’ He thought. He stopped on his track and waited for her, Chinelo walked to the entrance of the stadium in her complete uniform, fully kitted as it was referred to, she noticed Othuya, who gave a clueless face where he stood.
“Hey dear,” she said as she stood before him, “Did you forget something you had to go back to retrieve? He asked.                                                                  
“Not at all I am just coming,” Othuya darted a surprised look, still grilling.      
“I didn’t want to come and sit here all day while we wait for the Governor’s representative, moreover I did not know they would finish as early as this, anyway that’s by the way, how did it go?” Chinelo added trying to make light of the issue.
“Late coming is not a virtue, I hope you know that?” He said tersely and sternly too.            
“Oh I just did not want to waste time around, the main thing is my certificate,” Chinelo chuckled. “Moreover you did not watch me march,” he replied still frowning. At this statement Chinelo laughed aloud, “now you are talking, you should have said you were upset because I missed the sight of you marching, don’t worry you will march for me alone when we return to the lodge,” Othuya forced a grin.
“Alright, will you wait for me, while I get my own certificate?” she winked; Othuya did not know what to say, Chinelo was very good at relaxing his nerve each time he took a matter too seriously.
“Why should I wait for you when you decided to come behind schedule,” he tried to be firm.
“C’mon, even the military men always waited for us to leave our hostels back in camp, let alone you a bloody civilian” Chinelo giggled as she pulled him along. Othuya swallowed the laughter he wanted to unleash. “Funny girl,” he murmured as he walked along.
That night the lodge was filled with entertainment, the blast of music filled the compound, although some of the batch passing out travelled the same day, a good number of them were still around, as they said their goodbyes, many of them had travelled from far to live in that state for almost a year, as that was one of the visions of The National Youth Service Corps, to bring and unite youth from different part of the country together; the south-southerners, the south-westerners, the northerners, the easterners and everywhere across the nation were a youth can be found.
This was the very reason why English language was made the lingua franca in the lodge to maintain peace, nevertheless some of them had picked up slangs that was found in their host community. These youth had mingled with each other for the past one year, during the one year different set of people came into the scheme and some other passed out until it was their turn, as the scheme was notable for working in batches, A, B, and C.
For the past one year, for most people emotions had crisscrossed emotions, some had become emotionally attached to another, some of them had become fond of each other, especially those who were roommates, they could not come to terms with the fact that they had to part and may not set their eyes on each other again. Some other people had fought tooth and nail and afterwards still became fond of each other. People and luggage filled the lodge that particular evening, some stayed back in their rooms reminiscing on their times together, some other raised their voices in their rooms as they settled their discord.
While some people lobbied around the lodge saying words of prayers together for their future, the auditorium was filled with a number of people, in small groups. Some people held each other tightly, affirming to themselves that they would still see each other; these were people who had come from extremes of the country, also some other people hugged tightly and would not loosen their grips, others sat in small groups and discussed into the night as most of them were going to travel the next morning, especially people who had to travel long distance.
Chinelo sat in the auditorium with her friends, a good number of them were not passing out, but because Chinelo was a loveable person, people were endeared to her, she was a very patient person, as cool as a cucumber, and could accommodate any kind of person, her friends would tease her that she could live with the devil conveniently, and she would answer back, with a smile “God forbid!” there was an incident back in the middle of her service year, in the lodge when it was Chinelo’s turn to prepare dinner, on that day, she slept off in the afternoon and woke up a little later than she should have, she prepared yam and stew and the yam had come out salty.
Meanwhile, there was a particular Brother in the fellowship who was known to be very notorious, but since the family house was a home for all, moreover people were not accepted into the lodge based on the fact that they were born-again or not, hence they had a mix of various kinds of Christians.
Nnamdi was known to cause trouble each time he was not satisfied with the meal prepared, he had been counseled often times that life is filled with the good and the bad, and he should be ready to swallow the bad ones too.
On that fateful day, his football club had lost to their opponent, and as a result he was cheesed off by the time he returned to the lodge, and would not calm the inferno that raged within him. He struggled to pick up his dinner as it was common of those who were emotionally attached to sports. He entered his room to eat the food after picking his food flask from the kitchen, and found the food salty; he dashed out of his room to the mini-parlour where most people stayed to take their meals if they did not want to use their rooms. He knew it was Chinelo that prepared the meal, as he found her in the kitchen with the Sister’s coordinator who always assisted whosoever was on duty in the kitchen.
Nnamdi found Chinelo walking along in the mini-parlour; he held his food flask in his hand, and gritted his teeth as he stopped behind her.          
“Chinelo!!!” he alarmed as it was not compulsory to refer to any one as a Sister or Brother, Chinelo turned back to see who called her name with such alacrity. She knew the food was not too ok that night but she felt anyone should still be able to manage it.
“Yes Nnamdi,” She answered back. “I did not know Poison is now on our food time-table in this lodge,” Nnamdi retorted. “I beg your pardon?” Chinelo answered confused, her gaze meeting his.                “You should have simply told us we are on punishment tonight,” he continued by now they were already making a scene.
“Nnamdi what exactly is the matter, make your point pop and plain,” Chinelo did not have an idea of what exactly he was indicating, she never thought anybody could have put up a terrific confrontation simply because of a meal, moreover she was not the first to prepare a salty meal, when such happened everyone managed to put up with it, and hoped to eat a better one the next time.
“I mean what was that you prepared for us as dinner?” he scowled, Chinelo was not aware he only transferred the aggression from the football match to her, nevertheless she ate the dirt. “Oh! That you mean? You would have simply made it clear, much more I am sorry, it will not repeat itself. I am so so sorry.” Chinelo answered politely eating the crow and was almost walking away as she dismissed the case.
She felt that was enough to get over the situation, but it was the opposite for Nnamdi who acted as if he had just gained energy from the devil to start a warfare. People who stood close by also felt the matter should be put behind since Chinelo had acted respectfully too. Nnamdi pulled Chinelo by the arm such that she was facing him.
“Excuse me young lady, is that all you have to say?”  
Flustered, Chinelo turned to him flashing a surprised look, “leave my arm Nnamdi, are you going to resurrect the dead because of a single meal,” she expressed uneasiness with the way he gripped her arm. Those words hit him hard, and he reacted even more fiercely.
“Exactly what I am going to do tonight, if you don’t get something else for me to eat.” Chinelo chuckled, she was shocked at the display of shame he put up, nevertheless, she ate the humble pie.
People started to calm Nnamdi, and told him to forget about the whole matter and let it rest. Nnamdi just ignored them all and faced Chinelo, Chinelo spoke calmly, “okay your Lordship Nnamdi, what would you have me do, now that you know it is late to leave the gate or even prepare another meal?” as it was one of the rules in the lodge.
“Ermmm ermmm… I don’t know, “he began to stutter, he did not know what to make of her politeness, he expected that she would answer back, the same way he approached her, but he had forgotten he takes two to fight. “Just help me find a way around it,” still tight lipped he shot his hand forward lifting his food flask to her.
Chinelo gently received the flask and walked away, “I will be back.” Everybody was amazed at the level of maturity and comportment she displayed especially with such finesse with which she handled the matter, she was not moved at all when he ranted, it was unlike some other people who would give it to him fire for fire until the fellowship executives intervened.
Chinelo returned into the kitchen, setup the fire place, placed the yam pieces into a pot and added excess water, boiled for few minutes and poured the water away, she did this twice and bit a piece of the yam and found that it was okay, she cleared the fire place, returned the food into his flask and headed for where he left him, he found him there still standing with a frown still painted all over his face.
“Here is it,” she said as she handed him his food flask and added “once again, I am very very sorry,” and walked away in a slight daze. Nnamdi felt very embarrassed and stupid that day, as everyone looked on him with a look of disregard, he walked away to his room feeling very bitter for causing a fine kettle of fish.
Some people who were at the scene muttered, “You finally met your match today,” Chinelo’s roommate who had come out of their room to watch the whole scene followed her hastily back into the room. One of them clapped as they entered the room, “Chinelo you are indeed a woman of virtue,” Chinelo giggled.
“I can't just stomach that entire rubbish, I mean  I can’t imagine what I would have done to that big-headed Nnamdi if I were the one, he feels he can run down anybody the way he likes, mtchewww” she gave a long hiss. Chinelo smiled again, “my dear, nobody can make you feel stupid, except you permit them,” “but believe me that guy has really got fat in the fire," another person added.
“Chinelo I have always seen that nugget, but my dear, I just saw it in reality today,” the lady that clapped added. “I can't take that, not for all the tea in china," the lady that hissed added again, Chinelo answered still chuckling, “I have addressed the issue of offences a long time ago, I used to react very badly to situations before, until I told myself, nobody was worth that energy. I’ll rather save it to pray and seek the face of the Lord, so I have learnt to forgive people in advance. I tell you I have forgiven him for the next time he will put up another stupid act.” They all stared at her with intense amazement, “what is it??? Why do you stare at me like someone who fell from heaven, it’s simply a training I gave myself to subdue my flesh.”
The ladies left their gaze on her with their mouth wide open, “I guess you want me to call Nnamdi to help you put those jaws of yours together?” Chinelo giggled that evening. At the mention of Nnamdi, the ladies adjusted and said “no thank you, we are perfectly fine.”
“I see the fear of Nnamdi is the beginning of wisdom for you girls,” Chinelo laughed loud, “Not for me,” another vivacious lady in the room said. “Until then,” Chinelo said laughingly.
……………………………………………………………
The next day after the passing out parade, everyone finally picked their luggage, as the other corps members helped them to the junction where they would find a taxi.
Chinelo walked along with her roommates and other friends, Othuya also walked beside her with his luggage. When they eventually reached the junction, the ladies said their goodbyes, Chinelo held them all close to her chest, and hugged them tightly, emotions surged through them as tears flowed down their cheeks, while Othuya stood there wondering why they got so emotional after all.
Chinelo kissed them all on their fore heads, and said in their ears one after another, “I love you,” after a while they loosened their grips as a taxi pulled to a halt right in front of them.   
…………..To be Continued………..             

Saturday, 8 March 2014

A Rule of Love

“You said you wanted to see me earlier,” Chinelo said calmly as she adjusted her body to the back rest of the chair she sat in. “Thank you for waiting behind, how was the bible study today, hope you were blessed???” Brother Othuya asked as he settled on a seat close to her.
Othuya was the General Secretary of the Corpers’ fellowship where he met Chinelo who was also a corps member at that time; and they both resided in the Corpers’ Lodge. They were rounding off the service year in two months time, Chinelo was not an executive in the fellowship, Othuya suddenly had an unexplainable likeness for her, they were both mobilized for the scheme at that same time, although from different Church backgrounds, everybody tried to relate as one in the Corpers’ Lodge.
“I was blessed Sir,” Chinelo answered, the President and General Secretary enjoyed so much regard and preferential treatments especially when these Brothers always received Visions and Prophecies virtually every hour of the day.
“May God’s name be praised,’’ Othuya answered back, “Well I will go straight to the point, this is majorly an instruction from the Lord and trust that I will not say what God is not saying, “Chinelo was a lovely woman to behold, a portrait of beauty, she was a quiet and gentle person after all. She relaxed in the chair, and listened to what Brother Othuya had to say, God is saying that you are my wife-to-be, nonetheless so that you don’t think I am one of those Brothers with several God said, I am going to tell you I like you, and wants to be in a relationship with you, But you know man must not compromise God’s instruction and decision, God must have the final say after all. “He did not even take notice that Chinelo gave a clueless face all along, she sat in there relaxed as she divulged the news. “I hope you will be ready to carry out God’s will after all?”Othuya asked.
“Huhn!” Chinelo gave a solemn sigh, although she did not like his approach, especially the way he made it appear like God had come down from heaven to tell him, she was going to be his wife, nevertheless Chinelo knew Brother Othuya to be a devoted Brother in the Corpers’ fellowship and many of his revelations had come to pass in their midst, so she answered, “alright, let me take time to pray about it.”  Othuya answered, “alright go ahead and pray, its good, but be sure I said as the Lord spoke to me,” “it’s alright have a nice night,” Chinelo said as she stood to her feet.
“Sister Chinelooo,” Othuya dragged her name, “don’t you think we should even pray before you leave?” Chinelo looked around, pulled back her seat and sat in it, “I am sorry,” she said as she bowed her heads for prayers.
………………………………………………………… 
As Chinelo laid on her bed in the same Corpers’ lodge, she ruminated on what Othuya told her, although she had always admired him, especially his godliness, she did not like his straight-jacketed Christian life, he always preached holiness gap between Brothers and Sisters in the fellowship and would always scold any two found discussing together for too long, but Chinelo assumed the only benefit of such attitude was that such brother may be loyal to his spouse, nevertheless she still felt he should soften a little.
She turned on her bed as she put the pillow over her head to pray about the issue. She prayed on and on that God will lead her right maritally. She mentioned Othuya in prayers a number of times and eventually slept off after a while.
…………………………………………………
Othuya continued to send Chinelo several messages reminding her of his intentions. They were passing out of the National youth service scheme in few weeks time. A dinner was held in the Corpers’ lodge to celebrate the batch passing out, before the winding up programme begin to becloud their schedules.
The dinner was held at the auditorium in the Corpers’ lodge, executives from the batch passing out were dignified with special seat at the front. Othuya was seated close to the “Papa” as the President was fondly called. Othuya adjusted his long tie intermittently, although most of the brothers used a bow tie he refused and commented that it doesn’t make a man appear serious, more so the last time he remembered wearing such was on his tenth Birthday, he took everything serious and formal.
The dinner started on a warm note, as the evening unfolded, everyone enjoyed themselves all along. Othuya had sighted Chinelo from one of the tables as it was a round table dinner, although she looked beautiful and resplendent in the teal armless mermaid dress she wore, she sat with her legs crossed, calm and sill in the seat she chose, she giggled once in a while as the anchor man and woman cracked their ribs moment after moment.
She released her neatly done hair over shoulder, and tilted her head once in a while to adjust the hair. As much as Othuya glanced at her, she seemed not to take notice; she was a reticent lady, although he liked her appearance, he did not like the fact that she wore an arm-less dress that could reveal her armpit if she raised her hands up, he was going to rebuke her for it he thought.
Chinelo sipped the glass of fruit juice on the table before her. She followed the program, she was in the midst of her friends, and the one seated close to her said something in her ears once in a while and made her chuckle.
Othuya and Chinelo were from two Christian backgrounds with a large dichotomy. Othuya was from a Christian background where everything was believed to have a serious spiritual implication and opined that nothing should be glossed over, everything wrong in a man’s life was believed to be demonic, and enemies were prayed against more than the blessings of God, where the members managed to dress in a modern way simply because of their fear for the second coming of the Lord Jesus to meet them well, a church background were they had married Christianity and primitiveness. They assumed everyone who dressed otherwise is too flamboyant and knocking on the door of hell.
Meanwhile Chinelo came from an opposite Christian background where their doctrines were not to tight and difficulty to follow, their dress sense was freestyle, opposite sexes related and mingled well, such church setting where everyone was excited in church, and females were not bothered about covering of the head, even some men permed their hair conveniently, approaching the extremity of modernity, slangs flew across the church, and there were replies to what the pastor said a number of times when excited.
Othuya and Chinelo were born-again Christians indeed but from two extreme backgrounds, with different godly values and virtues, but since different people come together the for the National Youth Service Scheme and everyone was referred to as a ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister’, they felt it was going to be easy to merge, especially when one of the lines of their anthem read, ‘one for all, all for one’.
The batch passing out were asked to introduce themselves, each of them stood up, mentioned their names, the university they graduated from and if they were engaged or not, when it was the turn of any executive or the very popular ones amongst them, they hailed such person by screaming their nickname, turn after turn, then it was Othuya’s turn and everyone screamed ‘Uncleeeeeee’ as he stood to his feet and adjusted his tie, he answered very formally unlike the others who took the event quite lightly.
“I am Othuya Lawson, a graduate from the University of Port-Harcourt and I am not engaged,” he said firmly and sat back in his seat. The whole auditorium roared, someone from the auditorium shouted, “but why???” just to tease him, because they knew him to be very close in character to the military men that trained them on camp, very rigid in everything. He jumped to his feet and gave a quick response, “because men like us only follow the leading of the Holy Ghost and not some lustful desires.” As he said those words, he left his gaze on Chinelo for a split second, the whole room echoed loudly, and cheered at his reply, some ladies clapped their hands together, “always acting spiritual” someone said silently, Chinelo sat in there unmoved.    
After several awards were given out, and a number of fun filled programmes done, the last event on the agenda was dance, and off course everyone stood to their feet, same gender faced each other, the opposite sex, and others in small groups danced together, it was a splendid evening after all, several genres of music filled the room.
The guys, who had always wanted an opportunity with specific ladies, seized such now, Othuya watched on her desired lady from across the room, but because he felt it was ungodly to stand too close to a lady in such an atmosphere, he refused to walk up to her, he looked at her intermittently. Although Chinelo had made up her mind on the answer she was going to give him, she was not going to push it.  
            
Later that evening when everything seemed to have slowed down, Othuya walked up to Chinelo where she was seated with her friends, and asked to see her for few minutes, Chinelo had waited to see if Othuya wasn’t going to come talk to her in such a friendly atmosphere. “Excuse me ladies,” she said to them with a clueless face and followed him, she walked behind him quickly as he led her to a quiet part of the auditorium, he pulled two chairs for the two of them.
Chinelo sat there calmly as Othuya began to speak, regardless of the several stunts spurned by him especially during the dinner party, Chinelo seemed to like him, more she was ageing and with the myth in the society, that if a lady did not get hooked to a man while in the university, and throughout the service year where she gets to meet with several people, then it might be difficult for her to find a spouse.
“I guess God must have spoken to you eventually,” he started to say, “huhn” Chinelo managed a grin. “Okay, so what did God tell you, because he only keeps re-affirming it in my heart?” Chinelo remained silent in her seat, “it is okay by me.” You mean God has confirmed it to you too???” He gleamed for joy, “whichever,” she answered with a chuckle, he did not seize to amaze her with the way he  mentioned God every passing second, as he much as he liked him, that was the only part of him that lifted her eyebrow, but concluded she could put up with it.
“Thank you very much,” he said with a bright face, how he wished she had given him this answer before the dinner, so he could have boldly stood to his feet, and answer seriously engaged like some did, the news warmed the cockles of his heart.
Chinelo smiled all along as he expressed his words with gladness, he discarded the topic of the dress he was going to raise beforehand so has not to stab the joy in the atmosphere. Othuya muttered some things to her as the night ended on a great note for him.
…………………..To Be Continued……………………..