Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Chronicles of a Pastor s Wife!


Many atimes we perceive the life of a Pastors wife to be one of glamour and power.We hardly see
that most times beneath it all they are just everyday women who fell in love with pastors. Sis. Amina
Chiejina first lady of Glory House Int’l Port¬Harcout gives us a peek of what its like to live the life …
of a Pastors wife.


 I never planned to be a Pastor’s wife (PW).
It wasn’t anything I even remotely desired
to be. You see I had grown up as a Clergy
man’s daughter and seeing the demands of
the Ministry made me know it was not the
life for me... or so I thought!

I had met Pastor Ikem two years back on my
very first visit to Glory House; he was the Pastor
in charge of Visitation and first timers and had
given us first timers a small welcome speech at the
reception after the service. After the reception he
came up to me with a broad smile.”Welcome Amina
“he said as he read out the name tags that we were
all given.” Hope we will see you here again”. I
nodded and quickly left to join my friend who was
waiting for me in the corner of the welcome room
.
I see Pastor handsome likes you she teased as I
rushed out. I laughed. Oh please Talatu. , like me
ke? Please o, me and a Pastor that will be the day!
“. You see I wasn’t the conventional “Pastor’s wife
material”, yes, I was born again and spirit filled but
I also had dreadlocks and was a very funky dresser,
anklet and all. Don’t get me wrong even when I
wasn’t born again I never never dressed “ trashy”
but nothing about me said “PW” and besides the
over “spiri” brothers were not my type.

I loved Glory House and the very next week I
signed up for membership class and yes the dashing
Pastor Ikem was my teacher. Talatu was right
Pastor Ikem liked me and even though I didn’t like
the fact that he was ‘nyamiri” and wasn’t exactly
enamoured with the idea of becoming a “Mama
Yard” I knew he was the one. He was smart, funny
and we soon became firm friends. When he asked
me to marry him I wasn’t surprised but I wasn’t
sure I could deal with it. I prayed long and hard,
asked myself several questions and after realizing
how much I did love him I said yes.

One year later we exchanged vows in front of
family and friends at my family Church in Kaduna.
My friends teased my endlessly especially Talatu
“Pastor Mrs.. How art thou? hope you will have
time for we mere mortals” she teased. “ A beg stop
that rubbish my friend ..I’m still me and IK won’t
have it any other way”. Talatu let out a fake gasp
“ ahh! Is it my pastor you’re calling IK like that”.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy being a PW but I had no
idea just how hard it would be! Suddenly I found
people expected me to be super human, I couldn’t
be anonymous, I had to always look perfect no bad
hair days allowed! At a point a friends stopped
inviting me to gatherings with the excuse that
they didn’t know I could attend non-church events.
Suddenly even going to eat grilled fish at a park
was an issue. All I kept hearing was “you can’t do
this, you can’t go here, you can’t wear that….don’t
you know you’re a pastor’s wife?” I knew there was
a price for the oil and I quickly tried to conform and
look the part. However the hardest part of being
a PW was sharing my darling Ikem with so many
others.

How was it that out of all the hours in a week, the
hours I seemed to need him the most where when
he was “ministering” to others? Why couldn’t we
do stuff like other newly- weds did. Even going
out was a chore as some sister (why was it always
sisters) was sure to see him and try to get some
“counsel”. After a few months I found out I was
getting used to him being there for everyone but
me. I guess he felt I would understand but I didn’t.,
Why did he always have to be the hero? Couldn’t he
be more like Pastor Feranmi? Pastor Feranmi was
one of the other Pastors and unlike my husband
he knew that family time was family time. One
afternoon as I cried out to his wife sister Titi I was
surprised to discover that Pastor Feranmi wasn’t
always like that. “Pastor Feran! She exclaimed
“Ah your husband’s own is good, there was a time
for weeks on end I was only seeing Pastor early in
the morning....It’s only God o! With time he learnt
to balance Ministry and Family life and that’s
why you see me enjoying now. In spite of his busy
schedule he tries to make out time for me and the
boys. I think the wake-up call was when the boys
refused to bond with him. My dear just continue
to pray for him and be a pillar of support and with
time he will get it”.

Another aspect of being a PW was that everyone
assumed I had the answers to everything! More
than ever I had to draw strength from The Lord
Holy Spirit, how else would I know how to counsel a
woman whose cheating husband had just battered
her or a young girl dealing with her parent’s
divorce. Then there were those days when I wished
I could just sit down in the pew like everyone else.
Then as I was finally getting the hang of things we
got a call for a meeting with the GO at the HQ
in Lagos. We had no idea why Go wanted to see
us , but our curiosity didn’t last the long as five
minutes into our meeting the GO told us the very
last thing I ever wanted to hear ; we were being
transferred to Port Harcourt to start off a new
parish.... To be contd.


Ps: This story is fictional and inspired by PW Ama and others.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Josephs Story


 Recently there was a competition to write a modern version of the biblical story of Joseph. Find my entry below... let me know what you think.


“A taxi from Jibowu to Ikoyi?” the woman interrupted, reading the address. “Please, that will be too expensive. If you are not in a hurry, just wait here. My son is coming, and we are going to Obalende. From there take a bus to waterside just tell the conductor you will drop on Lugard.”
Joe was immediately worried, remembering all the horror stories he had been told about Lagos. What if this woman wants to kidnap me, he thought to himself – but then he looked at her kind and wrinkled face, and decided that she looked safe enough, and moreover, she was a fellow easterner. In the ensuing conversation, she told him that her name ‘Mama Okey’, a widow, who lived with her son, Okechukwu, an accountant at an Indian owned company. As they made small talk, they discovered that they are from the neighboring towns of Ihiala and Okija. This immediately puts Joe at ease, and before long they are chatting away like close relatives.
Ehen, Mama Okey, did you hear about Obodigwe’s kidnapping? Do you know it was a set up by his ex-wife?”
Ezi okwu?” Mama Okey retorted. “You mean it?”
They were so engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t notice the smartly-dressed young man standing beside them.
“Mama,” the man called out.
It was Okey. Mother and son embraced warmly, and as her son apologized for his delayed arrival, Mama Okey introduced him to Joe, explaining how it was Joe’s first time in Lagos and that he needs help getting to his destination. Okey’s car was one of the flashy “jeeps” Joe had only seen in those Nollywood movies, and so he was excited to jump in.
They dropped him off in Obalende, and before long Joe found a bus going to his uncle’s area.  He disembarked and walked down the street, scanning for numbers on buildings. Before long, he had arrived at No 12. Surely my uncle can’t be so rich!, he thought to himself. He had been told by his late father that Uncle Pius was a senator in Abuja, but he was shocked all the same.
As he stood outside the lavish house, Joe remembered how his uncle sent for him after his mother’s burial. Joe’s uncle and father were first cousins, and although they had drifted apart, they had been extremely close as children.
“What’s that your name again?” Uncle Pius had asked after the burial. “Ehen – Joseph… I hear you have finished your secondary school”.
Uncle Pius had then gone on to tell Joe how he had always offered to help his dearly departed cousin by helping with Joe’s training, but Joe’s mother had always refused, as Joe was her last child. Now that Joe’s parents had both passed on within the space of a year, Uncle Pius had wanted to help.
“Your mum always said you were the most brilliant of her children,” Uncle Pius had said. “How would you like to live with us in Lagos? Anyway, I’ve already spoken to your older siblings and they are okay with the idea… so since I’m going to Uyo for the Presidential Retreat, you will go straight on to Lagos. I have told my wife, and she is expecting you.”
After giving Joe his address, Uncle Pius walked away, but then turned back. With a mournful look, he said, “Your parents both meant a lot to me.”
“Yes? Can I help you?” The voice of the policeman standing outside the gate stirred Joe from his reverie.
“Yes?” the policeman repeated.
Erm… I’m here to see ‘Madam’… Mrs Atuanya. My name is Joseph Atuanya.”
“Atuanya,” the policeman grunted, “I sabi everybody for dis family… how come I no know you? Anyway, wait, make I tell them inside.”
Fifteen minutes later, Joe was ushered into the kitchen by a middle aged lady, whom he was later discover was the cook, Dora. After a few minutes, Dora told him that Madam wanted to see him in the living room.
Joseph meekly followed Dora down a corridor. She left him in the living room, where he came face to face with his uncle’s wife, Angelica. She was so beautiful… so this was his uncle’s notorious American wife? Joe mused to himself. She was actually from the island of Barbados, but as far as everyone back home was concerned, ‘Nwunye Pius’, as they called her, was an American. Her skin shone like glass, she had a slender, hourglass figure, and she had very light skin and large light brown eyes. She smiled when she saw him.
“Wow! I had no idea you were such a big boy… Pius kept on describing you as his brother’s baby.”
As she spoke, Angelica looked him up and down, and pursed her lips as she smiled.
“Welcome my dear,” she went on, “Dora will show you to your room, I’m sure you’re exhausted… so have a bath and make yourself at home.”
It was the next day that Dora explained to Joe that, as a serving senator, his uncle was actually based in Abuja and only came to Lagos every other weekend. He also had a huge house in Abuja, but decided to leave his family in Lagos to continue to run the family businesses - a car sales shop and a thriving supermarket called TRUST Cash and Carry. 
That weekend, Joe’s uncle was in Lagos and sent for him almost as soon as he arrived.
“Joe boy, welcome to Lagos. Well, like I told you back home, I have always wanted to help one of you, as your father really took care of me as a small boy during the war. I am sure that in the few days you’ve been here, you must have heard about my shop in Victoria Island. Well, I need you to work there. I know you must want to further your education but you can always do so part-time during the weekends, and stay in the shop during the week. My last manager was a fraudster, and since then, I’ve been looking for a close family member that can come in and run things there. My wife is always away, traveling to visit the children in the States. I trust you… you know blood is always thicker than water. Anyway, I’m exhausted; we will talk more at the shop tomorrow.”
In the next few weeks, Joe quickly learnt the ropes, and in fact exposed more pilfering than his uncle could ever have imagined was taking place at the store. In no time, Joe endeared himself to his uncle and his wife. Soon, the kind of profits that the supermarket had been recording before his uncle decided to go into politics, were being surpassed. 
With time, Joe’s uncle kept his promise and got him admission into Lagos State University, as a part-time student of Accounting. Life was hectic, but Joe was happy! He loved working at the supermarket, and enjoyed his studies immensely. He only had one problem – his uncle’s wife, Angelica… whom the household secretly called ‘Spreespreespree’, a nickname given to her due to her affected western twang. Joe thought the woman was weird… she would stare and smile at him for no reason and then call him ‘Joey Baby’. Once, he could even have sworn she touched his bottom, but then he thought it must have been a mistake.
With the passage of time, Joe got very close to other members of the household - namely Dora the cook/cleaner, Ifiok and Danjuma the mobile policemen (‘Mopol’), Bennett the driver, and ‘Baba Pam’, who doubled as laundry man and gardener. Of all of them, he shared the closest bond with Dora. One evening, he and Dora sat outside the kitchen eating some suya that one of the Mopol had bought them.
As the gate opened, a sleek Honda drove into the premises. Madam was home. Joe got up to greet her and brief her on some developments at the store. As soon as he stood up, Dora grabbed him.

“Be careful,” Dora whispered.
Joe looked at her in confusion.
“Yes, Joe, you heard me - be careful,” she repeated. “I have seen how Madam looks at you. Why do you think all Oga’s staff are old-old men… be careful. You’re her in-law, but a bad woman is a bad woman.” 
Joe shook his head and released himself from her grasp. What is Dora on about? he wondered.
He walked straight to Angelica’s room and knocked on the door. In that household, even her driver had free access to the house, so entering her room was nothing strange, but today was different.
As soon as Angelica told him to enter, she asked him to close the door.
“Joey boy… so how’s the supermarket doing? Anyway, I trust you….”
As she sat down, Joe noticed that her nightie was transparent. He did a double take and then looked away in embarrassment. She noticed the movement of his eyes and smiled.
“Come on, Joe,” she said softly, “come and sit by me, you know your uncle is always away, and I get so lonely at times.”
As she spoke, Angelica took Joe’s left hand and slipped it under her nightie, and in another swift movement started fiddling with his trousers.
“No!” Joseph drew away from her sharply, “Aunty, what are you doing?” he screamed.
“Aunty! Open this door or I will start shouting here, o! Aunty!!” 
The next thing Joseph felt was a hot slap across his face.
“Will you shut the hell up!” Angelica exclaimed. “Wow, you’re more stupid than I thought, and I’m gonna make sure you pay for turning me down!”
With that, she opened the door and pushed him out. Joseph knew he was in a lot of trouble.
The next morning Joseph hurried to the shop without saying a word to anyone, and when he got back he was shocked to see one of his Uncle’s orderly’s by the gate. His Uncle was sitting outside in the gazebo and was clearly upset.
“JOSEPH! His Uncle screamed. Joseph ran to greet him.
“Daddy nno, how was your journey Sir..”
“Mopol” his uncle called and beckoned to the two Mopol , “teach this idiot a lesson and when your done with him take him down to cell, Next time he will think twice before messing with me”.
Joseph woke up the next morning with a severe headache, the last thing he remembered before he passed out was being beaten with a metal rod. He knew his Uncle’s wife had told her husband something but it wasn’t until he overheard two officers discussing outside the cell that he knew the details.
“ Do not mind the useless boy, e dey steal millions from Senators business , na the wife catch am red handed!”

Monday, August 06, 2012

BibiNATURALS

Hey everyone!

Theres a great review on some products created by yours truly. Check them out on.

http://deepbrownkinks.blogspot.com/2012/07/product-find-abuja-bibi-naturals.html

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Journey



“I’m Pregnant!” she announces triumphantly, and everyone rejoices. She goes to ante-natal classes to prepare for the birthing process... yet nothing and no one can prepare a woman for what will turn out to be a journey of a lifetime… the journey called parenting.
I remember when I had my first child, it was surreal. I couldn’t believe that the baby lying on my chest was mine, my baby, my son, my child! I was a mother and I although I was excited, I was also a bit confused, and to be honest a little scared. I wondered what kind of mother I would be to my child.
I had decided before my first baby’s arrival that I would breastfeed him, so I was quite frustrated when my baby wasn’t latching on. At a point, my younger sister who had come to help out took him from me and bottle-fed him. “This breastfeeding thing is too painful jare”, she complained. I didn’t care about the pain, and later on with lots of determination and the help of a lactation consultant, I was able to breastfeed successfully.
I think the first time I came to the full realization of my new status as a mum was when my cousin came calling. My son was barely a week old, and I left him with her while I went to take a bath. Almost as soon as I stepped into the bathtub, I heard his cries and then my cousin’s voice saying, “Mummy is coming, okay? Your Mummy will be back soon.” Listening to my cousin as she tried to soothe him, it occurred to me, “Wow, his Mummy… I’m his Mummy... I am responsible for his nurturing and care. God has given him to me to look after.” Wow… the revelation of that hit me like a thunderbolt! I knew it was a task I would never take lightly.
I soon realized that being a parent, though a natural occurrence, was also something that had to be learnt. I could decide to take each day as it came, or in addition be purposeful and mindful of the role I had to play in the life of my child. As I was enjoying the privilege of being a mum and getting to know my son, he was soon joined by another brother and a sister. I remember my husband’s despair at learning I was pregnant so soon after the birth of our first. “Oh no! I am so in love with my son; do we have any love in our hearts for another child?” The answer came as our second and third children arrived. We both soon realized that the answer to that question was a resounding “Yes!” Somehow, God gives you a heart large enough to love whatever number of children one is blessed to have.
Another thing I realized as I had more children was how uniquely different each child is, and how parenting isn’t just about schools, scolding and spending money on your child. A lot of parents equate love with spending a ton of money on their children, but this should not be so. While you can’t love without giving, you can give without loving. Ask any child and they will tell you that they would rather have their mum and dad than any gift in the world.
While you can’t afford to show bias towards any child, it’s important to know that while Tolu enjoys reading, Tayo may be more athletic. It’s important to learn each child’s personality traits and carefully use wisdom to handle each child’s peculiarities. In this way, it becomes easier for the parents to encourage and nurture each child in the path that God has drawn out for him or her.
Even though I’m a mum, I believe that a father’s role is just as important as that of a mum. Many fathers have erroneously handed over the parenting portfolio to their wives, believing that their role is only to be breadwinners. The absence or presence of a father may be the difference between becoming an inspirational figure like Oprah Winfrey, or ending up a nameless drug addict on the backstreets of nowhere. Oprah has often acknowledged her father’s strong role in getting her on the right path in life and preventing her from becoming another cautionary tale. In fact, statistics have shown that children who are raised without fathers are more likely to end up as criminals than children raised by both parents.
While a mum is often the one that cuddles and nurtures, a father is equally important to provide security and guidance to the child. In fact, nowadays mothers and father play interchangeable roles, in that although the father may be the primary breadwinner; Mummy may be involved in bringing home the bacon too. Likewise, it’s not uncommon to see many modern fathers changing diapers, in order to give mothers time to do other things. While mothers may spend more time with their children, it’s often fathers that have the time and energy to engage in the kind of boisterous play that young children love.
Nothing can be compared to the warm embrace of a father who loves you, and words of affirmation from an adoring mother. One thing that has helped me personally in my journey as a parent, has been looking back at my childhood, and reflecting on what I loved about it, as well as the things made me miserable. If your parents forced you to study medicine, which you absolutely loathe, why are you now forcing your son who loves music to join the karate club? Or forcing your daughter who prefers science to study law? Who knows, if her interests are nurtured and encouraged, she may end up being the first Nigerian astronaut, or she may even invent the cure for cancer. Let’s buckle up as we embark on this journey called parenthood... for there are no stops on this journey of a lifetime.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Enenche Akogwu- Channels Reporter: RIP

Just heard the sad news of the death of Enenche Akogwu. The young man was killed by suspected Boko Haram followers while investigating the Kano bombings being carried out by the same sect.

The fearless reporter was Channels Kano correspondent and often covered Nigerias troubled northen region. At the time of his death he was 31 years old. I cant imagine how his family and loved ones will feel.


Update: Just a few days ago some of his colleagues gave a moving tribute to him on their breakfast show. One of them (suleyman) was vivsibly upset and berated our Government for not being able to secure the lives of its citizenry. Lets continue to pray for our Nation, that one day our Leaders will get it right.

RIP Enenche Akogwu

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chopsticks!

Like the average Nigerian, I love Chinese food, so whenever I want to eat out, one of my first choices is Chinese cuisine.


With my love for Chinese cuisine, it was natural that I was happy at the prospect of dinner at Chopsticks. Chopsticks Restaurant is quite popular in the nation’s capital, for its consistent quality and top-notch service.



However, I noticed that on this particular occasion (a friend’s birthday celebration), their service was quite slow. I think the fuel subsidy issue was affecting them, and they were short-staffed.



As starters, we were served vegetable spring rolls and chicken wings, along with chicken corn soup. It tasted really good and we couldn't wait for the main course, but wait we did!

Luckily it was a fun wait, as we were in great company. As we chatted and joked, our main course arrived... an assortment of sauces, chicken with green peppers and cashew nuts, beef in oyster sauce, and prawns in hot sauce. Our waiting was not in vain, as everything tasted superb. The vegetables in the sauces were not overcooked and the flavours all in the right balance.


It’s very easy to see why Chopsticks will never have a dull moment.



Chopsticks is located at No 52 Mississipi St, Maitama, Abuja

VANILLA RESTAURANT

I have always been a fan of Vanilla Restaurant and its rich, varied menu. It’s one of those restaurants where you can eat anything from local ofada rice to exotic pasta with prawns and cream sauce.

So when I had a chance to dine at their new location in Maitama, I was quite excited! It was a party, so we had quite an extensive range to sample from.

First up were the starters, and we were served with prawn and mayonnaise spring rolls, vegetable spring rolls, sesame chicken and jalapeño poppers. The starters looked good, and we all tucked in. However, the jalapeño poppers tasted like aloe vera rolls. They were... awful! Not nice at all! If anyone has ever tried eating a fresh aloe vera leaf, just imagine that as a starter. Thankfully, the other starters were much nicer, and soon the awful aftertaste of the jalapeño peppers was a distant memory. The starters were served with an array of sauces and some chicken salad. In my opinion, the chicken salad had a bit too much lettuce in it, but otherwise it was fine.

Next up was an array of main courses: grilled pepper chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken and Cantonese chicken. The grilled pepper chicken was ok - it was very well done, making it easy to eat. The jerk chicken was also quite authentic. At a point, I had the grilled chicken mixed up with the jerk, so I was confused for a moment, wondering why the grilled chicken tasted like jerk chicken. I was quite relieved to eventually discover that I had mixed them up, and that the actual jerk chicken did in fact taste like jerk chicken, and the same went for the grilled chicken. In addition to the chicken dishes, there was also prawn curry, which looked delicious. I didn’t have space left to sample the prawn curry, but I would like to believe that it tasted as good as it looked.

All in all, the food was not bad at all, and I quite enjoyed my dining experience. However, I do think I prefer the ambience of Vanilla’s former location. Perhaps it was the lighting, or someone in the room who tripped a couple of times... I don’t know. Also, I wasn’t very pleased that there was no clear-cut distinction between the ladies and the gents. However, this new location has much more potential on the whole, because in addition to the restaurant, it has a lounge as well as an outdoor sitting area.

Kudos to the restaurant manager, who was on her feet throughout the dinner service. One word of advice: please smile more. A pretty manager who smiles at the diners can do no wrong in their eyes.

Vanilla... I wasn’t completely blown away, but I will definitely be back!

Vanilla The Lounge, The Restaurant, The Garden Bar & Grill is located at 28 Pope John Paul II Street, Maitama, Abuja