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BN Prose: Becoming a Danfo Evangelist by Flourish Joshua

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Every time I board a commercial vehicle, there is always this still small voice that comes whispering, “Timi, preach the gospel,” and when I try to use my handsfree to kill the voice, it empties me to satisfaction.

On usual days, I avoid boarding commercial vehicles, the ones Nigerians call danfo, for this same reason. This Timi is too timid. I’d rather hop on an okada to my workplace than have the still small voice to contend with. I’d also prefer one-on-one evangelism with my motorcyclist – and even at that, it’d take extra courage – than preach to a host of people in a danfo.

The other day, the empty-headed driver kickstarted his Volkswagen and the voice came like a thief in the night, “Timi, do you love me?” I didn’t see what was coming so I answered the Lord, “Yes, of course. You know I do.” The chubby woman sitting beside me stared at me, differently. I had thought aloud.

“Then, preach me,” the voice said. I instantly became restless and began to seek reasons to not do it. The fear and nervousness are usually like looking down from the top of an Olúmọ Rock. And it’s not even funny one bit. 

“Okay, Lord, when we get to that Mobil fuel station, I’ll begin,” I said. I was bereft of words. I began to search for the first two catchy sentences to begin with. To be quite honest, I didn’t want to begin with the overstressed “Good day, people. I bring you the gospel of our Lord Jesus…” kind of introduction. I’d sound too much of a pastor — and I didn’t want to — I wanted to be creative. Not to let my congregation know from where I am coming and to where I was going, but beads of sweat were already multiplying upon my face, in response to the mail of fear the devil had sent to me.

As we approached the fuel station, I could see, through my mind’s eye, the Lord giving me a strange look, as if to say, “Timi, we have gotten to the fuel station, as promised.” Then I summoned up the courage to begin. The more I tried to speak, the more my heart threatened to fly out as I thought of another junction to postpone the act to. But I soon found my bearing and gathered myself to begin. The moment I began, I didn’t feel like ending my sermon, funnily enough. The holy spirit snatched the sermon from me. The chubby woman beside me was first to raise her hands in response to my altar call, or should we call it a danfo call?

I used to see a lot of people preach in danfo and it gets me wondering how they do it. Does it mean they love God more than I do? Why does God want to turn me into a danfo evangelist? Can I not board buses in peace, anymore? Lord, you know I love you, right? So can we not do danfo evangelism every of the time? Can we not, please?

Other things being equal, if there’s any prayer I’d pray, relentlessly, it’d be to never have to stand to sell things in danfo buses to raise money. That’s another angle to suicide, for me; this Timi is too timid. 

Flourish Joshua is a Nigerian Poet, Satirist & Author of the award-winning poetry chapbook, "Arúgbó ń Ṣ'oge", his debut poetry chapbook. He is the Coordinator of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Ogun State Chapter. His poem, "There Is a Way That Seemth Right", was 1st Runner-up in the Lagos-Badagry Poetry League 2020. His poem, "Reincarnate", was anthologized in the 5th Chinua Achebe Essay/Poetry Anthology. His essay, "The Nexus", was 2nd Runner-up in the 7th Ngozi Agbo Essay Competition. His manuscript, "The Market Has no Breast" won The Grey House Literary Award for the most-creative 2nd Poetry Manuscript 2020. He has featured or is forthcoming in Rattle, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Praxis Magazine, The Sun Magazine, SynCityNG, Palette Poetry, Cultural Weekly, The Adroit Journal, Kalahari Review, Beloit Poetry, Glass Poetry, African Writers, ZenPens, AGNI magazine, Poemify, Naijahotstars & elsewhere. He writes from a serene & cold estate in Ogun State.

12 Comments

  1. ROSE

    February 2, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I can relate!! Help your daughter Sweet Holy Spirit!!

  2. Flourish Joshua

    February 3, 2021 at 1:24 am

    Thank, Rose. I am a gentleman, though.

  3. Flourish Joshua

    February 3, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Thanks, Rose. I am a gentleman, though.

  4. Interesting

    February 3, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Interesting read! Good job.

  5. Joshua Oyenigbehin

    February 3, 2021 at 5:06 am

    Nice Piece

  6. Tanimoomo Oyindamola

    February 3, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Help us Lord. Beautiful read.

  7. Oyedepo Joshua

    February 3, 2021 at 9:39 am

    It is well.. I can relate … The way the holy spirit deal with us sometimes..

    God will help us.

  8. Isimioluwa

    February 3, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Amazing

  9. Ayomide Olufolarin

    February 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Omo… The part of Timi being too timid ehn… God will help us!

    Great relatable piece ✨

  10. Neithture

    February 3, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Amazing piece!👏👏

  11. Zion Princess

    February 4, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Great job dear! More insights in JESUS Name.

  12. Flourish Joshua

    February 4, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    AMEN. Thank you, Ayomide Olufolarin!

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