Mystical Tour guide: Welcome to Nigeria. The 1st most religious country in the world. 990th most Christ-like country. Here, take a left to see where people worship their pastors instead of God. Further down, past the waterfall, you’ll find a zoo where people are chained by religious doctrine. Do not hesitate to throw iron bars at them. As long as it’s coated in a bible verse, you’re good. Don’t forget to shout something about forgiveness on your way out! Tweet @TheRealPilgrimsProgress to share your thoughts.
Jokes aside, the above scene always plays in my head when I think of religion in Nigeria. I guess Obinna Udenwe sometimes chills in my mind’s imaginarium because what else could have prompted him to write Holy Sex: A Church Erotica, a book that rips off the sacred veils religious leaders are often draped in.
Holy Sex tells the stories of five women who have cause to attend Saving Grace Incorporated (SGI), a fictional church which dredges up memories of many real churches. Once you get past SGI’s chandeliers, the Beard Gang protocol members, and Slay Queen ushers, you meet Pastor Samuel, AKA Pastor FineBoySlim, AKA Pastor Holy Milk. From the book’s title and the cover image, it’s not hard to guess Pastor Don Samuel is sleeping with female congregants.
‘You need to get married? Kimon down for some Holy Milk!’
‘Oh no! No job since you graduated two days ago? Two squirts of Holy Milk.’
‘You need a child? Holy Milk’s gon’ give it to you.’ (**Sing last part in DMX’s voice)
The pastor is handsome so ladies do not hesitate to throw themselves at him. But others, like chorister Chinazo, have grace handed to her on a platter of: “My love, I am a man of God. I know the ways of the Lord more than you do. Have you ever seen me preach against sex? No.” Mind you, Pastor Samuel is supposedly blameless because God has instructed him to use his milk for good. He only obeys the Lord grudgingly #BlessHisObedientSoul.
At the end of the book, Pastor Samuel leaves pregnant and psychologically unbalanced women in his wake. One person is also murdered.
Dear Reader, you didn’t hexperret it? Gerrarahere for lying, mehhn. Shiii!
While Obinna Udenwe definitely touches on an interesting issue often swept under the rug in many churches, he didn’t make me a fan. Yes, I love that he went there. Count me in when it comes to controversy of any kind. Religious ones are especially finger-licking good. However, I felt like the stories were repetitions, with slight changes in characters and reasons for meeting the pastor. The end was the only thing that was interesting.
And yes, I know many Nigerians have praised the book, but we all have our personal tastes, m’kay? I’m not asking for anything spectacular, just a well-told tale with no feeling of deja-vu except that’s the literary style. People like Jowhor Ile have spun stories about things as mundane as traveling in a bus, and I’ve slow-clapped when the story ended.
Dear reader, I don’t know your flavor so I’m going to say, Give the book a shot. You might love it and end up wondering how I don’t. Or you could roll your eyes at the end. Obinna Udenwe’s Holy Sex: A Church Erotica is affordable and available here on the OkadaBooks store. Plus if you sign-up via http://bit.ly/OkadaInstagram you can get N150 free credit towards the purchase of Obinna’s book here.
Chiamaka Onu-Okpara is a freelance editor with an absolute love for anything weird. When she isn’t wading through punctuation errors, she binge-watches cartoons and writes speculative fiction.