Pastor Tony informed me we were to visit a Nigerian missionary in town; Pastor Mike, from Ogbomosho, Oyo State. I was happy to travel around the city. I expected to see lots of kids begging on the streets but was surprised to see only a few boys, leading their parents on the streets. Definitely not as many as we see them scattered all over the neighbouring African Countries begging for alms.
Pastor Mike had been informed that the Sister visiting was from Ibadan so his wife got some okra from her backyard garden to prepare Amala and Okra soup for us. After exchanging pleasantries the table was set and I was called for lunch. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw hot Amala and okra soup. I was about to sit when Pastor Tony told our host I did not like to eat as all I had been taking since my arrival was tea. I looked at him and with a smile replied, ‘don’t worry sir, I’ll try.’ Needless to say, I finished the food.
I shared my work, experience, dreams and aspirations for the Niger community with Pastor Mike and his family. They listened to me with keen interest and promised to take me around so as to get familiar with their culture before leaving for Nigeria. We were about leaving when I shared my food experience with them and how I had been on hunger strike since I got there because of the bread. Pastor Tony was shocked and apologised. We all laughed over it when Pastor Mike added that a sister that visited some months earlier called it, ‘bread of affliction’.
We left Pastor Mike and his family and headed straight to the market and I was asked to do the shopping. And the discoveries began: First, I realised there were no red peppers in the market. They eat green (unripe) pepper because they import peppers from neighbouring countries and it is more durable to import them unripe.
Then I discovered that most of their food is imported because of the hot climate, drought and the attendant famine, which especially, affected those at the lowest level of the economic ladder. I could see why there were so many kids on the streets here in Nigeria. Indeed, Nigeria is a privileged nation compared to the Niger Republic.
I was told that I would be visiting more places the following day. I couldn’t wait to know more about this Nation…
Something great is cooking regarding The Chronicles of Ma Funmi and because of this, I will be putting a pulse on writing about my journey and put the spotlight on the kids, their parents and some of my exceptional moments on the street.
It promises to be a great read. You will be inspired and challenged to roll up your sleeves and play your role on the stage called life.
Till then, remember; If you are not reigning (living your dream yet), then be in training. The dots will soon connect, don’t give up.