The year was 1998; it was that time in life when man did not have a pesewa. I had not heard of Kpakpakpa movement, but I guess that was how we lived…a hustle here and a hustle there. Something happened to me that year too. I met a lady, and for the first time in my life I was prepared to do anything for her. Well more like, to do anything for her to sleep with me.
I imagine at that age all this rush of testosterone hits the body. Her name was Alice, she was cool but not drop dead cool. OK to hang out with…and she had the body of a goddess. I discovered three weeks into our friendship that she belonged to a
cult church, located somewhere in Achimota. As with many mushroom churches, the leaders, one Prophet Ezekiel and another Prophet Xavier, had fought. Prophet Ezekiel lost, broke away from the Children of the Light Church and moved a sect to an uncompleted building somewhere in Accra, with a new found Children of the New Light Church… how original!
Alice invited me to hear Prophet Ezekiel deliver a Wednesday sermon. First of all, who delivered a sermon midweek at midday ? I could see we weren’t going to go far, me and this indolent soul. I saw beautiful curves and lovely full lips, and those voluptuous tatas…..Man, I had plans for us. If she wanted me to come to Church or whatever cult-like gathering they had every day, why not, as long as we did not have to drink some poison Kool-Aid, hold hands and make a death pact.
On Wednesday afternoon I sat very close to Alice in an old uncompleted building that served as Children of the New Light Church. ‘Prophet’ Ezekiel was an animated lanky figure at over 6 feet tall. He told the congregation that before he found the Lord, he was a thief….Somehow I believed him.He moved his long arms and gesticulated with his hands like the talons of an eagle ready to swoop and pick. He moved with ease from the Old Testament to the New Testament and back to the Old Testament. He probably knew every verse in the bible. He spoke about Noah and the flood and the way he sent fountains of spittle my way I thought it was the flood all over again.
As for me, I was in a different dimension, and it involved Alice alone. I moved my hands closer to her. ‘Prophet’ Ezekiel spoke in a stereotypical Ga accent ;
“Some of you ‘ave evil in your ‘earts” he boomed at us
Yes, if getting Alice into my tiny room was evil, so be it.
“The wicked shall perish they shall be cast in to burning fire…” he added. Such a negative guy, this Ezekiel chap, I thought to myself. He prayed for the holy spirit to descend on us and suddenly there was a lot of noise in unison. I wasn’t familiar with tongues at the time and it threw me off the first time I heard it.
I heard Alice say over and over again;
“Raybaba babayaa shede raybababa”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Where had I heard this sound before? Oh, I remembered – it was a character in the Namco game, Mortal Kombat,. Raiden a character in it had said something similar every time he flew.
I laughed so hard and joined in the chants, making it up as we went along…these buffoons. God loved me!
I suddenly heard a rumbling like thunder, I looked around in fear. The noise was not coming from the skies…it was actually coming from my stomach. Alice looked straight ahead chanting her magic lines. I knew what was happening to me. Suddenly, I needed to use the gents and real bad….I knew the shrimps I had with the kenkey and hot pepper was suspect.
Should I tell Alice?…oh how?
“Where is your bathroom I asked?” through clenched teeth
She pointed towards the back of the Church still chanting all the while
I sprung up and heard ‘Prophet’ Ezekiel say ”Touch not my anointed”
I scrambled out of the church and realized there was only a small roofing sheet planted as a dwarf wall where members squatted or stood and… urinated. The Children of the New light Church whose aim was to find light had not found a proper lavatory yet!
I run into the middle of the road and tried hailing a taxi. Five minutes later I got an empty one. I mumbled the name of a hotel I knew in the area and jumped into the back of it.
My goal was simple…reach the toilets of that hotel.
I felt another wave of movement in my stomach and cried out in alarm. The driver glanced worriedly at me in his rear view mirrow. By this time I was sweating profusely.
I prayed to God that if I got safely to the hotel,I would go to that Children of the New Light Church next Wednesday and endure another ‘showers’ of blessing from ‘Prophet’ Ezekiel.
God obviously did not take my promise seriously and another wave hit me, immediately after this thought.
This time I promised to go to the Children of the New Light Church and NOT laugh at them.
God didn’t find this promise genuine either and I was hit by another wave of cramps. I found it difficult to concentrate.
I continued to make desperate promises and finally I knew what I had to give up…Alice.
“God, please get me to the hotel without any incident and I will never see that girl again” I promised.
I discovered that letting in fresh air and breathing slowly helped, I clung to the handle of the car door and yelped in pain.
I realized the cab driver was playing Sisquo Unleash the dragon….I felt like I was going to unleash my own dragon in his cab. Why hadn’t I settled for more rustic settings like the bushes at the church. After what seemed like an eternity, the driver finally pulled into the parking lot of the hotel. I gave him whatever I had in my pocket and just left my change with him. I struggled and hobbled to the lobby, waving off a woman there, who insisted on going through a whole lecture on the different available rooms.
I gasped “Bathroom” then screamed “toilet” when she still wasn’t grasping what I was asking for. She looked at my half crazed, sweaty face and pointed in the direction of the toilets.
I got there and was hit by the smell of cheap disinfectant and curry.
There were three stalls and the middle one vacant. I almost burst into tears of joy.
It was the best feeling I had experienced thus far. I told myself that the greatest inventor was the man who invented the WC.
I sat on my throne like a king
I heard a phone ring in the stall to my left and a man with a distinct Indian accent answered the phone
“ can’t talk now, will call back”
I randomly thought of Alice and Prophet Ezekiel and suddenly I heard a scream from another man in the stall to my right, “Sweet Jesus!”, followed by “oh my God! oh my God!”
I didn’t find it funny at all, because suddenly I empathised with him. I understood the man on my left and the man on my right. Here we were, three different individuals, bound by our endeavours to just have a little decent down time.
It was beautiful to be alive and be on the throne in dignity. I stayed long enough on that throne to have seen the rise and fall of five kingdoms.
Life was funny, me whimpering like the dog I was, the Indian on my left and this man with his blasphemous and heretical talk in the right stall.
I remembered Prophet Ezekiel and his words as I run out of the church….”Touch not my anointed!”.
The phone rang again in the stall to my left and the Indian fellow started a conversation. Then I heard on my right, the blasphemous one say “Thank you Lord”
I walked gallantly out of the stall and was shortly followed by the sacrilegious gentleman.
He was about six feet two inches, and he glanced at me sideways as he washed his hands.
“God has a plan for you my son” he said suddenly turning to me.
“You are destined for great things my brother” he obviously could not make up his mind whether I was a son or a brother.
Before I could say anything, if I was even expected to say something, he continued, “Let me introduce myself, I am Bishop Xavier of the Children of the Light Church, I want you to join me for deliverance this Sunday”