8.45pm i left my house for the church. The programme started since 7pm but i spent the previous hour trying to decide on which church to go. You see, i had two things in mind…first was safety(yeah, because of where i am) and the other was time(i wanted a place where the service wouldnt drag into the wee hours of the day). So i thought and thought…i tried to imagine myself in a particular church in front of my house..heck no!!! I pictured myself not going anywhere at all. I was already sleepy anyway.
So, 8.45pm i sauntered out of the gate and willed my legs to direct me wherever i ought to be out of the numerous churches surrounding me. Yeah, i have a permanent church but the gist is..cross over service usually drags into the day so i wanted to avoid that.
After all the worries and concerns, i later found myself in my church. Dont ask me how i got there..my legs took me there against my wish. I went in, noticed a lot of empty seats, sat down and began to enjoy the programme while darting furtive glances at my big wristwatch(as if looking at my watch would hasten the time). You know now, i was anxious to see the new year and didnt want to be caught unaware.
At 11.30pm, people began to troop in as if they all planned it together. For the life of me, all these people were waiting till some mins before 12am before they entered church. Yeah, i was gobsmacked..so people still did these things!!. I thought i was late at 8.45pm but they made me look like an early comer. Infact, too early.
Then, i noticed a particular guy. I would name him “Juwon”(got the name from Africa Magic Yoruba). Handsome in an unattractive way..(If you know what i mean).
Well, he sat down just two seats from me and i could preceive a strong smell of alcohol. Alcohol isnt friendly, it always give you out. No matter how much you chew bitter kola or lick tom tom(tongue out). I was irritated. Well, usually, the prayer gets kinda hotter few mins before the new year. So i sneaked a peek at “bro juwon”. He was realllyy jumping up and praying so hard while moving about. I was dazed and at the same time, trying to conceal my laughter. It was all so amusing. He prayed and prayed while clutching his big bible to his chest. The big “iron” chain on his neck, though hidden under the shirt was flapping about.
Immediately the MOG(man of God) said “happy new year”..guy started to dance “atilogwu”. I think atilogwu is a ‘coming out’ dance for young males in some culture in a part of naij. And yeah, i read “Buchi Emecheta’s- The slave girl” where a girl’s brother sold her in order to get money to buy costumes for his ‘coming out’-atilogwu dance.
After the happy dance, guy kept praising God with an arm raised and the other firmly clutching his big bible to his chest and then i saw him march out of the church. He disappeared into the night. Mission accomplished.
Again, going to church at whateever time of the day in my part of Nigeria calls for safety measures. You would feel a certain apprehension or foreboding when there are armed police men/MOPOLS manning the entrance of the church. It really freaks me out. It brings out an awakening to my hitherto free mind. Then, i begin to think of sitting close to the door or going to the far back in order to be aware in case of trouble(as if that matter anyways..puny thoughts,dont mind me).
So, on this day, there was wild jubilation and commotion as a result of the excitement of the new year. Some people actually left after the 12am jubilation, bro Juwon inclusive. That was how a fully clothed policeman poked his head inside, trying to see if anything was wrong. They are around at every sunday services too. It completely irks me but hey..its the security situation of Nigeria. But pray, what can these policemen really do? Would anyone with a sinister motive not escape their perusal? When there are many entrances to the church. Well, it just beats me. So, are you one of those people who go to church on new year eve just to say ‘happy new year’ and then disappear at 12.05am?
So, the curtain has finally been drawn on 2014. Welcome to another season, another era, a better journey that will be full of undiluted fun, a better walk with God and fulfilled dreams. Yeah, i havent said it..happy new year, welcome to a new day. It shall be full of pleasant surprises.
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