On the Lord’s day…
For the first time, I strutted into a big modern church close to the city gate and the airport. The church had caught my attention during my numerous travels in and out of the federal capital. The presiding pastor never ceased to amaze me with his peculiar way of stressing sentences, I watched him on national television for a long time and liked his teaching. This church has its headquarter in Lagos. In fact, a bigger church was just built recently to accomodate more people.
So as I jejely waltzed into church this sunday morning, I was met on the way by mean-looking,gun-totting, mobile,plain clothe, policemen armed to the teeth. Not far from there I saw armoured personnel carriers/tankers. There were all kinds of security operatives represented-civil defence,army, police, name it all. I was flabbergasted o,hmmm. The double barrel gun in their hands were pointing skywards and you could not even look at their faces.
I sha waka pass jejely. After I passed through the three levels of security stationed at each point, I walked more confidently towards the entrance of the church not knowing it was not yet uhuru. Behold, there was a long queue. I stretched my neck to see what was going on and discovered it was security. Again??? People stood in line one after d other as bags were collected and you stepped into the security booth, which scanned you and you entered. Then your bag was handed over to you. This was another level entirely. I never witnessed this kind of thing down south. Is this what I’d be passing through every service day? I was still in shock as I followed everything gingerly with my eyes and mind. By this time, I was not smiling again. All the ushers and protocols smiling at me, I gave them a bold face. I could not even imagine sitting in that service when already the fear of the unknown had crept in as a result of ‘stop and search’. (Na to dey look with the corner of an eye every minute ni o, to confirm if everything still dey alright.)
To cap it all, I was assigned a seat at the extreme end of a row directly facing the podium. I had not sat too long before I noticed the effect of the a/c on me. There were goose pimples all over my skin. I was practically shivering(are you laughing at me now?like seriously?) You are thinking this is a story of ‘when the village girl goes to town?” Hell no. I am not just used to extreme atmospheric condition, a/c particularly or lemme just say I hate cold. Let me digress a lil’ bit…
Rewind to 2012, my amiable friend who had been away on research at the east side called to inform me she would be at UCH for more research work. So, off I went happily. Her schedule was indeed tight because on getting there, she was called or she had an appointment in some departments for interviews.
Well, this cheeky friend of mine had a whole office to herself at the university college hospital! Did I hear you say, wow! (Of course Prof Temitope Alonge must hear about it, hehehe). No sooner had she gone than I realised that the a/c in the office was blowing way too cold. I was shivering in seconds. I searched frantically for the control, I could not find it. By this time, the blood was already draining from my face, my blood was running cold,my fingers had become stiff(lol). I suffered inside that a/c until she came back o. Infact, I had to go and thaw myself outside under the scorching sun for a while. That was when the blood returned and started circulating.
Another instance was when Mr Banji(you should know him) came to pick me from work for the usual weekend journey home. He drove by himself and the a/c was full blast. There was a woman colleague sitting in front with him and they were busy discussing. That was how I started to suffer in silence o till we reached the ancient city. I didn’t wake up normally the following morning. I fell sick. I ate breakfast in bed.
Fastforward to the present, I continued to check my watch. I desperately wanted to escape to my normal body temperature. I had no choice than to stay but I really enjoyed the message. The interior of the church wowed me too. The multimedia, seat arrangement, media etc you could also request for tea, zobo, milk or whatever(I can’t laff oo). The congregation was ok, you see I kinda belong to the old school xtianity where you dress to church in prim and proper clothing (not that you’d be seeing breast in church, they call it cleavage), you cover your hair (well, so much debate on this, do the one that pleases you, am still practising the xtianity of my childhood, you dare not go to church without scarves. I grew up with this mindset and am still loving it,lol)
First-timers like me were recognised and we were asked to fill a form. In the form, they asked for the best days and best way to contact me. I avoided the question. I didn’t want them to bother cos I was still sampling….. To be concluded later. Xoxo
Olasiyan olanike yetunde
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