When a child is abandoned by the parents, it causes him emotional trauma, self hatred and hatred for all humanity. Oge had an overdose of all these. Perhaps, tough by nature, she paid for it, but more so, for the sins of her parents.
Getting a house maid today is a big deal. In the past, a maid was not paid but today she is on a rosy salary. May God help you if you have a set of twin babies! It means getting two of them. The credentials of most of them are similar: dropped out of school in SS1, yet, cannot read a verse in the Bible! “Where is your Bible?” you ask them and the answer is that they forgot it at home but not their clothes! “Name the disciples of Jesus,” you ask and they say, “Isaac, Peter, Isaiah …” Their defence for leaving the allegedly fat salary they were earning is the same: Relocation of the family to the US or UK.
To reinforce her CV, one of them told my wife and me: ”I’ve lived in Lebanon and Dubai”. One day, I went to her room at 5am to call her for morning devotion, she kept quiet for a while before retorting, ‘I am hearing you’. Imagine!
“The old order of things changeth, yielding place to new,” Alfred Tennyson had penned many years ago. Yes, things have changed, even in getting housemaids. You have to pass through agents, who know how to make the most out of their scarce commodity! In the past, it was a benevolent gesture to the girl and her parents. We had one, let us call her, Oge, who we enrolled in a special evening school, owned by Lagos State Government. She became disobedient and troublesome and was returning late from school, though her school was close to our house. We started to suspect amorous relationship between her and a youth in her school, soon after. One night, she wanted to attend a vigil the Youths in our Church were holding, but suspecting that her preferred venue might be in the youth’s room, to her chagrin, we refused to oblige her.
I went to her village one day to see her people and was told that, after her birth during the civil war, her mum abandoned her and ran away with a Nigerian soldier, without leaving a trace! She grew up, not knowing her mum or dad. I went to her grandma’s house and noticed an unusual scene and also her poor comprehension during discussion. When I narrated my experience to a man in their compound,
he was surprised that I visited her, ‘a mad woman,’ he said. When I returned to Lagos, and told Oge that I visited her grandma and the money I gave her, she was angry. I did not know that she did not want us to know that she was dumped and also the mental status of her grandma. We became more tolerant to her misconduct, attributing it to lack of parental care.
She had a friend, let us call her, ‘Favour’, who left her church and joined ours because of me. One Sunday morning, God told her that He would show her the man that would marry her. As many people were dancing during the worship service, a youth’s dancing steps exceeded all others. God told her that he, Godswill, was the one. “It wasn’t God speaking,” she reasoned. She could not swallow that, a former Deeper Life Bible Church member, who had been drilled to be sober! She visited me that evening and met the youth, and wondered why I would allow a man dancing in such a ‘sinful’ manner to visit me. She was however, surprised that, without knowing what God had told her about the Ajasco-dancing youth, I introduced him to her. Not long after, he proposed marriage to her. Not long after, a Minister in Deeper Life, an Engineer, also proposed marriage to her. She insisted on God’s will and married Godswill, our beloved brother.
We reported Oge’s offenses to her, but noticed through her behaviour, reflected by keeping distance from us, that she believed her version rather than ours. Their friendship was blossoming deeper as Oge’s misbehaviour increased, until it reached a crescendo, and we told her to go. She went to stay with my nephew, whose wife was also her friend. My niece, my nephew’s elder sister, came and pleaded with me for her to take Oge from there. I obliged her. A week after, she brought her back to him, wondering how we kept such a girl for years. Oge was there for a while and the husband saw what his sister saw and what we also saw, and sent her away.
One of our Church members took her but did not send her to school. She later sent her away for undisclosed reasons. Oge then went to stay with her friend, Favour. Friendship, they say, is always better from distance, and so it was with Oge and Favour. That was when Favour realized what we were telling her about Oge. She forced her out of their house. Not knowing where to go, a youth, trust youths, when there are issues like hers, though he did not have a room, he took her to squat with him in a makeshift shade. Within a time, plus time, they were blessed with three children! Beaten, she remained with him, and tortured, she was still glued there, having no choice. At a time, seeing that nobody ever visited her nor related with her, and she never said anything about her dad or mum, Uncle concluded that she was a spirit.
He tried to do what is in vogue, which my dog did not do, by attempting to sleep with his first daughter! My male dog died and I thought the male one would cross the mum. It did not, but some human beings do. The girl told her mum, a lady familiar with pain! She endured it. At another attempt, the girl reported to the police and the court has sent him to jail. Oge and her children have left Lagos and she is now married.
It is now a common knowledge to Oge’s boy friend in prison, the father of her three children, that she is not a spirit after all. If she ever doubted herself, whether she was really a spirit, she knows now the truth. She might have been angry with Favour for driving her out of her house, not knowing that one day, God would use her to bless her beyond measure. Nobody knew that her mother was alive, as she never visited home since the civil war ended. Nobody knew why she never enquired about Oge, her daughter. Nobody knew that she and her soldier husband had left anywhere they went, and have settled in Lagos, the same city with Oge.
Godswill, Favour’s husband, had known Oge’s mum, her husband and their children, all the years, but did not know that Oge is their daughter. Oge’s mum had known Godswill too, and that he is from her village but she never asked about Oge from him. It is not enough to have children you will not take care of. When a child is abandoned by the parents, it causes him emotional trauma, self hatred and hatred for all humanity. Oge had an overdose of all these. Perhaps, tough by nature, she paid for it, but more so, for the sins of her parents. God in His mercy, has unfolded the debacle, a tragicomedy indeed! She has now united with her parents and siblings!
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002471; [email protected]