How to be a Nigerian Pastor.

Before you jump to conclusion that you’ve known what am to talk about or the idea is up in your head crawling while you smile, my dear I think you got all wrong. I’m talk a different thing. If it is funny, you laugh. If you find it quite boring, make sure a pharmacist is near your residence. Panadol and Amalar(the Yorubas should forget about garri) will do a nice job on your system.

Are you an intending pastor or a warming up one (You are in the dreams while you are at the Theologian school) or you are already one? I don’t want to start asking you, who called you. You might have missed a call from a late relation during your mid nightmares. Any person questioning your call to the ‘Lord’s ministry’, is a devil. He/she will surely die by tsunami. Why should you pray for their repentance, when they are so bent in truncating your hustle? You must understand that it took years of starvation (may be fasting), putting on one cockroach infested coat while you are at one street corner shouting at top of your voice. You always tell your doubting Thomases that you will make it because your faith is too strong that it can push away a mountain. Your shoes are more like a flying canoe, it rains, and you see a paddle; you’ve gotten to your destination. When you can hardly afford a loaf of bread or some balls of akara. Mama Juliet was too good as she helps on daily basis with a food flask filled with rice and meat. When you went to the village for Christmas celebrations, your siblings and mates are too busy sharing bags of rice. You made efforts to share the word of God; some persons will label you as an idiot. They would spread your name around or even refer you to psychiatrist. God will judge your landlord. He’s always on your neck once the month is close to ending. Those times were in the days of turbulent waters and bad breeze.

Now, you are a Nigerian pastor. Moreover, for those of you pastor outside the shores of Nigeria, you better come home and ‘invest’. This land is filled with butter and honey. It doesn’t matter the name your church is called, but you should be occupied with the thoughts of your members prospering (unless tithe and offering is mean less). Your church might be located near an Indian hemp market (never mind, the odour chases legions of spirits. They are as well helping in the work). I should not tell you to get yourself a nice suit(you can borrow or get one on credit). Your hair must be afro (so you can perm it when the spirit has instructed). Don’t try going for a skin unless your assistant image will be drawn on the signboard. You must understand that Nigerians are too tired to work. They face many problems. You can proffer solutions. You might decide reconciling a quarreling couple by the strokes of the cane (you are ‘Daddy’). Make predictions or guess (be sure where you set your sights or Exodus. Genesis begins your name).

Nigerians are football crazy. Make no mistake saying that Super Eagles will win African cup of nations. Tell somebody, Arsenal will the UEFA Champions league. Cause pandemonium, broadcast the death of a top politician. You must sale’healing pure water’. Let the anointing oil cure headache (ringworm and eczema should be out of question).

You must get yourself a secretary, so nobody enters your office anyhow. Consultation fee should be left out. If you are invited anywhere, ask for flight tickets. Don’t look too cheap, you are a man of God. You should be conversant with Bible verses. It doesn’t matter if you cram. Upgrade your vocals or betterstill, produce your own English words. Pretend one day, you had no means of transportation. The car which you’ve always dreamt about, will be yours. Use a Bible passage to tell your congregation, you bought a new suit or a pair of shoe. You can document your life’s hustles and stories as a book, I should not tell you how they will love to read a book written by ‘papa’. God bless you as you continue in the Lord’s vineyard.

His Death.

Mama’s face wore nothing, but grief and anger. She was bitter. Her eyes had swollen up. She can cry no more. If tears could be measured, hers would have formed a little stream at the backyard. The sympathizers and fellow mourners, who came calling immediately the corpse arrive our compound. The ambulance had two occupants, the driver, and one lady that has a familiar face. I can’t recall where I did meet or know her. It was the driver whom spoke to Papa because the lady had lost her voice.

‘Are you Mazi Okoro?’, the driver asked.

‘Yes’, Papa answered in a low voice after looking at the ambulance, the driver, and the lady. I know him to take precautions when answering to questions. If I should read his mind, the driver might have missed his way and decided to drive in and ask his way around. I know he can’t remember any of his relation abroad that would die for the corpse to be brought home.

The only relation outside the shores of Ndoke was Uncle Sam, who died a decade ago. He was brought home in company of friends that knew our compound. Who could this be? Who died? So many questions keep pondering on my mind. I kept calm as I watched the driver held Papa by the hand and whisper something into his ears.

‘What!!!’, Papa shouted as his face looked more of a person that drunk the ‘Iba’ herbs. His voice always tell situation of things. His happiness will you tell from a loud laughter that echoes. He always tells everybody how he hates to be angry. His anger starts where your happiness stops. He would tell anybody that cares to know, he do silly things whenever anger becomes a cloth to him.

‘Obiora!!!”, it was Mama’s voice. She calls me this way anytime she comes back from the farm. Of course, I have known the calls to be her warm water for bath, but today I was tongue-tied and rooted where I stood near the entrance to the sitting room. She called again and I heard her murmuring that I had gone out when she had told me earlier that I would help her in the kitchen for the dinner preparation. I could hear her slow footsteps as she walk up the little sandbag stairs made by Papa to fight erosion, while the hoe and the machete clatter together.

‘So Obiora, you are around and you kept deaf ears to my calls?’, She said angrily without noticing either Papa nor the ambulance driver or the lady. My neither lips nor legs moved as tears strolled down my cheeks. I think I have spoilt everything. Mama is a ‘detective’. She has an instinct of knowing a situation without been told. She will possibly tell what the driver and the lady brought home. She was the one that told Papa something was wrong with Uncle Sam three days before his corpse was brought home.

‘Nna anyi, Ralph is dead!!!’, Mama’s voice echoed as she flogged herself to the ground. Her voice had attracted a hand of neighbors and passersby. Papa never said a word to her and she announced that Ralph is dead!!

Ralph should not be my elder brother. We spoke on phone few days ago. I remember his last loud laughter as his usually do. He sounded healthy. I know him, he don’t hide anything eating him up. His secrets are not far from my ears. He has grown to be Mama’s favorite son and friend. He loves Mama and Mama do too, Ralph almost broke Mama’s heart and earned himself an indelible phobia from Papa.

Ralph went away with the entire savings of Mama and partly Papa’s village council savings. For six months, nobody heard from him. My greatest worry was Mama as she almost fell ill not because her money, but her son and friend. Papa was furious; cursing the day Ralph was born. The whole village will soon be on his neck while Ralph was nowhere to be found. I recall Ralph telling me he would soon ‘travel out’ without disclosing his particular destination. I made it a lip-sealed as I swore to make it be.

During the searching times, I thought he might have traveled out as he told me that ‘everything is now ready’. I was surprised to be called on phone and behold, it was Ralph! He made mention of ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys and how he fell prey to them. I only told him to comeback for Mama’s sake, but why should he come home when Papa was too angry to listen? With which face will he stand at Mama’s presence? According to her, the savings were for Ralph’s university education.

‘It’s okay. God has His reasons’, it was Mama Onyinye, late Uncle Sam’s wife. ‘Cries cannot wake him up’. The same words Mama had used the day her husband was brought home. It’s now clear that Ralph had died as I heard the lady said something of a gun fight. Ralph can hardly hurt a fly, but I have to wait the truth must be told.

In no due time, young men of my age bracket starting to work on a marked space for the grave. They wore smiles as they took turn to dig while they ‘shine their shoe’ (referring to hot gin). I only to giggle at their silly joke of Ralph having a duplex in the spirits’ world because Ralph always says he will build a duplex. Two persons occupied my mind. One was Papa, he had pretended to be mourning. I do watch him from time to time, as he would mutter unheard words. He’s not concerned about Ralph’s death rather the money that he termed to have been squandered. To him, Ralph was somewhere hiding or probably spending the money. What was brought home was a mere coffin. I know Papa to be heart-hardened; he had to soften it because Ralph remains his son. You don’t speak or think bad about the dead.

My thoughts also were for the lady. I could now recall where I did meet her. I sneak away from home to visit Ralph at his hiding place in Onitsha. He lives with the lady and he told me that she’s his savior if not he would have no other option than to jump into the River Niger. Her name is Esther, though she has advanced in age. Ralph promised to marry her.

‘Hold it by its bottom’, said one of the gravediggers as they carried the coffin into the grave after the invited priest concluded a little requiem mass.

As the coffin was entering the grave, Mama loosens her grip from those that surrounded her. Her intention was to jump into the grave. What was she living for? Kudos to the gravediggers as they held her firmly.

“Who is in this compound?”, a voice called from outside. The voice resembled that of Mazi Odogwu, the village council’s chairman. I heard when Papa was talking with him on phone yester night. There was no other thing the money in the custody of Papa, though Papa had pleaded to be given time since it was just two weeks since the dismissal of his late son. No, Mazi Odogwu hates excuses. You don’t give him ‘no’ for an answer. He never came for a condolence visit, which I suspected he was told by some gossips that the village’s council money had gone to the winds.

“Mazi, you are already here?”, Papa asked as he emerged from his yam barn, where he has been since cock crow.

“Yes, I told you of my coming”, Mazi Odogwu retorted.

“Obiora, get those two plastic chairs”.

“No, No. I’m not here to sit down. Give me what I told you and let me take my leave”.

Mazi Odogwu words were hurting. He’s behaving as if he has been quarreling with Papa since ages. This man deserves some hot lashes of koboko from the police-eliza. Man inhumanity to man. I don’t blame him, Papa should carry all the blame. He went against Mama’s advice of not taking the treasure ship position rather let the village council operate their money from the bank.

“How much is your money?”, Mama asked coming out of her room.

Mazi Odogwu struggled with his words as he finally said, “Seventy thousand naira!!!” as Mama throw a handful of naira notes at his face and went back inside. He began picking up the money as he laughed hysterically. This man knows no shame. I hope Papa learns from this.

Mazi Odogwu’s was one of many more persons who always come to ask after their money Ralph had borrowed from them. Mama had spent her whole savings paying debts upon debts. I know she might have tampered with the money I did be using for my visa process. Ralph’s death has brought nothing, but anguish, bitterness, and almost famine. Thanks to Mama’s farm and Papa’s barn.

“not again!!”, I heard Papa shouting on top of his voice this early morning. I sensed anger in his voice. I rushed out to behold Esther and a man that had beards all over him. He also wore dark goggles, making him look much of an Adaka. Mama stood near the kitchen door, looking more downcast. The poor woman has done her best. Possibly, we are looking at another debt collector. I wondered what made Esther to come back after Papa had almost strangled her to death.

“Well Papa, I’m Okechukwu by name. Am not here to harm or cause more mourning to your family”, said the man in an American accent. “Ralph is a good friend of mine. We ate together while he was in Onitsha”.

His words seemed like a soothing balm. He was able tell us how Ralph helped him to secure a visa to America, but it’s quite unfortunate that he died as a result of gunfight when a group of boys attacked him because of debt. He was bitter when the news got to him and decided to come back.

“To give back as I had promised Ralph when he was alive”, Said Okechukwu as he got his hand into his pockets to produce a cheque. “I’m offering the sum of ten million naira”.

“Ten gini!?”, exclaimed Papa as he fainted.

I quickly got hold of a bucket of water for Papa’s revival. Mama on her part had her eyes tearful.

How to get Facebook ‘likes’.

I don’t know reasons behind Mark Zuckerberg’s idea of having the ‘like’ button almost on every place on Facebook. Whatsoever might be the reason or purpose, God bless his hustles (forgotten he’s an atheist. Well, may Amadioha help his career).

Several times, I did see most of my friends stuggle to update or post a picture they would if not thirty ‘likes’, atleast fifteen. Some persons would feel on top of the world anytime they login into their account to see fifty comments on updated status or photos. Some will even go ahead announcing it on the streets and neighbours. Where it will look prettier and fantastic, it is when all these foreign guys(It does matter if it’s a Somalian or an Iraqi) commented and ‘liked’ the status or photo.

Now, if you wanna get enough ‘likes’ on your status or photo. If you are a guy, forget about updating ‘Am so hungry’ (Bro, you better look around if you can lay your hand on kuli kuli or Agege bread because that status might get you blocked). Since you are a guy, make sure you are funny and informative(it doesn’t matter where you copy and paste it. You surely get a pat on the back and girls will rush in to call you ‘darling’ ‘honey’. Let your head not swell, just keep up the good work. It’s only God that will pay you). If you are a girl and nobody seemed to ‘like’ or comment your status or photo. My dear, it’s your fault. Does it mean you don’t read other ladies’ status or view their photos? God will forgive you for being too blinded.

I should not telll you how ladies have thrown decency to the gutters. They flaunt everything and ‘likes’ and comments fill up their wall. You must take a photo having your finger in your mouth(of course, you are sexier. Next posting, try boobs snapping). Try updating, ‘am so lonely and nid company'(you can’t imagine the rush to comment and like. Some guys will even ask for your address).

God will judge all these married men and women that now take over all ‘likes’ and comments. If you guys are social network frenzy, join Twitter(Just meet TB Joshua, he will surely prophesy how your tweets will be retweeted). God bless your hustle(Apologies to Elnathan John).

Welcome to Amadioha ministry International 1.

Please, don’t ask me who called me or why I chosed this sort of name for my church. You should understand that the world is fast becoming a global miraclous place. May be you don’t know, hardwork no more pay. You have to follow your dreams with ‘gra-grality’ and you will surely achieve alot. I shouldn’t remind you that suffernerss has been long erased from the dictionary of the common man. If you still have it, sorry! You are among men more blinded. You think, you are wealthy when you stuff enough naira notes in your back pocket and arrogantly say, ‘do you know who my father is?’. You are rich if you can afford garri and kuli kuli or kai kai and buns. Did I hear you grumble? That’s balance diet!

So in this ministry, we are trying to build world changers and potential leaders who travel far and wide. Obama can testify and Goodluck will bear witness. Here, we make HIV to be involved in accident,malaria will surely get tumor. We prophesy and call names. Don’t expect a prophecy on football, if it should be, just think of Super Eagles winning the FIFA World Cup. I should talk of plane crash? Nope, witches also fly. They should crash land.