April 1, 2017

In search of the extraordinary

In search of the extraordinary

Yetunde Arebi

Man’s desire to conquer and dominate his environment  may have resulted in his quest into spiritualism; his belief that an extraordinary being or force must be responsible for all that we know of the world, the universe and indeed, man’s existence.

This Supreme Being who must be responsible for creation must also possess the ultimate powers to direct and alter the course of creation. If mortal men approach Him and seek His favours, there is no limit to the possibilities achievable. Thus, worship of the Supreme Being through the various religions becomes inevitable.

In the same way, the role of middle men between mortals and the Supreme Being cannot be ignored. These middle men, religious leaders, are believed to possess some higher levels of spirituality not available to the ordinary men. Through them, one has better chances to seek and obtain the favours of the Supreme Being for whatever one desires, good or bad. Yes, bad!

The fact that spirituality cannot be deciphered by sight or more appropriately, by the ordinary eyes, but by faith and nurtured by hope, many middle men (self or man appointed) do resort to trickery in their determination to convince their believers/followers of their great spiritual powers.

After all, I want to be like Jesus, is not the same as I am Jesus. Daily, a flip through the newspapers and other media will attest to the many nefarious activities of so called men of God. Many of the stories will leave your jaws hanging. From inability to manage personal and family matters to adultery, divorce, covetousness, aiding and abetting of crimes, armed robbery, kidnap, rape and even murder, our men of God have a finger in the pie. Yet these are not enough to deter patronage. The saying that you must buy lies in order to buy truth rules here.

Ironically, women, especially married women, form a very large number of patrons of God’s middle men. For their delicate necks and beautiful heads bear most of humanity’s burdens, nay, their family problems. Almost everything that brings a woman joy, may also constitute a problem to her. Her husband, children, (if she has or not) marriage, business, job, in-laws, parents, siblings, friends and associates may become problems at some point in her life.

Thus, her great need to be deep in spirituality also often makes her a target and prey in the hands of unscrupulous middle men. Many women have been conned into parting with huge sums of money, gold and precious ornaments, property, their total life’s savings and pension. In some cases, their bodies have been used to settle payments for spiritual transactions or used as guinea pigs to test spiritual potency and efficacy. Some have had to compromise and sacrifice their loved ones,( same they wanted to save), and even paid ultimately with their lives.

Sometime in the late 80’s, a certain middle aged female lecturer in one of the South west universities sent tongues wagging furiously when she suddenly packed out of her matrimonial home and moved in with a man of God. She left behind, though rented, the luxury of a lovely posh duplex, four children and a co-lecturer husband to put up in the harem of an illiterate cleric.

It was obvious for all to see that something bizarre had taken place and her friends and family would not stand for it. They got the police to harass the two love birds, sent emissaries to madam to come to her senses and to Alfa to let go of his clutches on their sister and friend, but all to no avail.

The university community was shocked beyond words that a brilliant, educated and sophisticated woman of her ilk could fall prey to such a silly game of spiritual hypnotism, but the pertinent question on the lips of many and indeed her highly embarrassed husband was, “what did she go to do at his den?” Thus, the marriage she was probably trying to save came to an abrupt tragic end as her husband sought divorce immediately and forbade her access to the children.

It was not as if she could have cared a hoot at that period anyway. But those who cared watched in deep pain and agony as a once pretty woman began a steady deterioration into a dirty old hag, labouring and tending to her man’s every need. It was obvious that she had surrendered her being and possessions to him as she began going out without her car while the new oga could be seen almost every day, cruising town in her car.

Needless to say that she was eventually debriefed, drained of all her juicy goodness and kicked out when there was nothing more to be gained as she’d also lost her job. We were young, but it’s a story I will never forget and one of which helped formed my mindset about certain things in life. If you look for the extraordinary, you will see the extraordinary.

In the early years of writing The Human Angle, a column I held for 20 years, twice weekly in the daily Vanguard, I received a letter from a young lady on the verge of depression.

Her problem began when she was introduced to a man of God who also had affinity with the third leg of our religious divide. Is it herbal medicine or traditional medicine? Her problem was that her husband was still seeing a former girlfriend, the one with whom she’d wrestled to win him to herself. Her request was that she should be assisted to be the only desirable woman in his roving eyes. Such that should another woman open her thighs to him for free, he would not be interested.

This man of God told her it was a small task, love medicines were his specialty. She must return at a certain date for the potion required for the job.

She returned on the appointed date to meet a challenge that would forever change her life. The potion was ready, but administering it was the issue. He gave her a black powder and a cowry. He asked her if she was sure that her husband loved her and she said yes. Her husband would be the one to administer the medicine.

He would make some incision with a blade in her vagina and rub the powder into it. Then he will insert the cowry into her vagina using his manhood. Perhaps, she ought to have left at that point, but she did not. Perhaps, the man of God had hypnotised her too or she was simply too desperate and wanted the medicine.

The story was that the man of God agreed to administer the medicine for her. Needless to say that they had sex. She said she had not been the same ever since as she was now finding it difficult to have sex with her husband.

A development that was causing disaffection and quarrels between them. She said she thinks about the cowry every time and has done everything possible to remove it without success, adding that it was causing her much discomfort in every way possible. She was afraid and didn’t know who to confide in. She was only able to tell me about it because I was a stranger and she was anonymous.

I was very young at the time and it was one of the first weird stories I came across. I had to seek help too. To my amazement, almost all the people I consulted said she had been scammed. There was nothing inside of her.

The man only wanted to have sex with her and got her cheaply. If she cared to investigate thoroughly, her friend might just be aware of the game. She should be grateful that he only did it once and was not interested enough to destabilise her marriage. I told her this much, urging her to go for an ex-ray and better still, ultra scan to be sure. That was my final contact with her. It was clear that if she did not find a way to shake off her confusion, the marriage or even her life might be over. A heartless man of God had defiled her body and ravaged her life.

But is it not appropriate to ask once again what she was looking for at such a place? Why would a man or woman want to take over their spouse’s life completely in the name of loving them? Growing up, we were made to believe in the saying that if you love something and it is truly yours, let it go and it will always come back to you.

It is clear to me that spiritual journeys are not for the lily-livered. If you must dine with the devil, you must possess a very long spoon. No matter the religion you profess, you must know whom you serve and how to serve him.

You must know your destination, have a road map on how to navigate the terrains and the appropriate help to seek, should you encounter difficulties along the way. One cannot claim knowledge of anything if one is not familiar with it. You cannot become a professional if you do not study to become one.

The holy books are there to give direction and if we sincerely follow them, it will be difficult to derail at all, and definitely not to the point of self destruction.

No religion approves of evil, and everyone has been given the spirit to identify right from wrong. If humanity desists from evil in any form, the world would be a better place for us all and no one would be forced to run from pillar to post, seeking help where there is none. May we never be faced with a situation beyond our comprehension or endurance. And should it happen, may the creator grant us the grace to identify where our help is.