Bros, how many times do you want to mention the word ‘careful’ na?
“Do you have kids in your compound” he asked, I nodded my head while walking briskly under the CMS bridge that reeked of concentrated male urine. “Buy them biscuits and sweets and tell them to pray for you. Also, be careful of that guy that’s toasting you – that tall one, and please don’t abort any pregnancy. Be careful”.
Okay sir, thank you. God bless you.
“Sister, you have to bless me too, anything, just bless me.”
Guy, you no sabi work. Go to Isale Eko and meet your seniors, you still dey learn work.
I looked into his face and saw the disappointment in his eyes; he must have thought I was gullible to believe his fake news. Me, Funmilola that wasn’t born yesterday. I no be mumu.
See ehn, I’ve had my share of fake prophecies from uncalled MOG’s and their useless tactics in the name of the Lord.
Let me tell you a particular one that stands out and makes me laugh whenever I remember it.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the talking drum and my service year in Oyo town seemed a perfect period to do so. I met a good teacher who taught me well (confession: I sometimes skipped tutorials). He was also strict as he often used his stick to hit my knuckles if I missed a proverb. I thought of him to be religious because he frowned upon my jeans and hair the first time we met. So whenever it was time for tutorials, I’d don my scarf, wear the ‘looseliest’ gown I could find and head to his church with a bare face and my glasses. As we got comfortable with each other, he became my chatty partner – we talked and argued about religion, Oyo town, politics, family and whatever topic our mouths settled on.
During one of our many conversations, he got to know I was single. I don’t know how my mouth spilled that news. It must have been Eyitayo’s Amala and Abula that I had for lunch – that meal does something to my tongue whenever I consume it. You should have seen the reaction on his face, you’d think I committed a crime. Nothing prepared me for the questions that ensued.
“Kilonshele, Funmi? Don’t men toast you? Abi you’re the one doing shakara ni? Time is going o. Hmm, you don’t know you’re a girl, and a girl is just like a flower, when it gets to a certain time, it will start to wither.” Yen yen yen
I must have rolled my eyes a thousand times in my mind. Wither ko, whether ni.
If you think the questions ended that day, you’re wrong. His concerns grew – as if I promised him a share in my bride price.
So, one day after tutorials, he called me aside: “Funmilola, there’s someone I want you to meet, He’s our Bishop, he will pray for you. He can also see, perhaps he’ll tell you what to do, or what you don’t know might be the cause of the delay. You can’t just live life like this ehn, by now you should be in your husband’s house. I’ve already booked an appointment, after the rehearsal we will go see him together.” My eyes rolled again
Toh, okay sir, thank you.
“My daughter” said the Bishop after he kept us waiting for almost 30 minutes, “you have a stubborn spirit.”
Hol’ up sir, wait fess, me? I?
“Your spirit is so stubborn that it chases men away whenever they see you. You don’t have a friendly face at all. What are those on your wrists? He asked, pointing to the beads on my wrists.
What do they look like, beads na?
“You see what I’ve been telling you”, he directed his words to my teacher, “all these children of nowadays ehn, they put different things on their body in the name of adornments. This is exactly what the problem is, you don’t know the source of whatever you put on your body. Do you know beads are used by idol worshippers? It is a way of identifying their members when they meet in the public. You don’t know what beads stand for in the spiritual world, yet you’ll go to the market, buy them and put them on your body, then when you have bad dreams, you’ll start looking for one Pastor up and down to pray for you. Oya, remove them!” He ordered in a voice I’m sure he uses in his deliverance sessions. “I know you’ll wear them back immediately you leave this office, my spirit did not lie when it said you’re stubborn.”
And so in my presence, the bishop and the teacher discussed my issue based on my physical appearance.
“Sir, her hair is even dreadlocks.”
It’s called locs, there’s nothing dreadful about it *rolls eyes again*.
“You mean dada, the fake one, that one that they go to do in the salon? I said it! I knew it! There’s something wrong, I couldn’t just place my fingers on it. You didn’t only lock your hair, you also locked your destiny. You see this hair, you have to cut it. It’s carrying a lot of demons”, he continued, pointing his fingers angrily at my hair. “If I tell you what this hair represents ehn, you won’t wait till you get home before you cut them.”
Me? Cut my locs? You dunno what is going on!
“After you’ve cut your hair, we’ll have to book you for a deliverance session.”
I don’t know how to look away when people are talking, not even in the midst of fear. I fixed my eyes on him with unswerving attention as he continued talking in the rubbish. I had no idea the thing pained him, so he scolded me for looking at him in the eyes and still reiterated that I was stubborn, else I wouldn’t have the guts to look at him.
I would have been utterly satisfied if he had said let us pray and then send me home with heavenly blessings. There was no need for him to squint his eyes, pretending to see into the future when he knew he was devoid of the gift of prophecy.
I grew up in Isale Eko and it wasn’t strange to see men in red gowns, looking scuffled in thick locs and unshaven beards, carrying a big book in their hands. They would stop in front of our house, prophesy and then beg for money. My parents ignored them and I was taught to do likewise. “Look at them,” my dad would say, “instead of them to go and look for work, they’ll go and be reading the Seven Books of Moses and get their brain working upside down.”
Lagos is full of drama and fake prophets are great actors. One once told my dad to pray for his son who is in the boarding school. Baba Funmi told her he has no son, that he’s got 3 girls. The shock on her face ehn!
Anyway, do you have any fake prophet encounter? What was your experience like?
Please shine your eyes and don’t lose your guard.