Within the past three decades, I have tried several professions, and failed. Well, I didn’t exactly fail; let’s just say things didn’t work out as expected. I have been a soldier, a police officer, fire-fighter, importer-exporter, a cab-driver, high school biology teacher, a nurse and a B-movie actor, a praise-singer and hangeron. And since 1999, I have been a professional cook, specializing in Asian and Latin American cuisines. It isn’t as though I am not a bright fellow. I am. I simply didn’t find my work challenging and stimulating.
And even when I find my job fulfilling, I generally run into brick walls. For instance, I was kicked out of the police for insubordination. I was kicked out of the Nigerian army for suspicion of planning a coup. The fire service kicked me out because I refused to save a burning house in a very poor neighborhood. I lost my import-export license because I refused to give the custom boss a hefty bribe. You see, I am not opposed to bribes; I just don’t like giving more than 2%. The Asians and Latin American revoked my visa because I couldn’t stay away from the spinsters. Kai, there is something about petit women (with grapefruits winking at the stars).
Year later I lost my teaching license because I advocated evolution (natural selection) as opposed to intelligent design, in a catholic high school. Right after that, I decided on a change of career. Truth be told, I didn’t know what to do with my life and time until I saw Reinhard Bonnke on Nigerian television. That was last year I went to visit the madams I stashed away in Maiduguri and Minna. Let me tell you about Bonnke. He is a German, but no German of substance knows who he is. He is a nonentity in his land; but in Africa and in other parts of the gullible world, he is a superstar. Nigerians love him way more than they love their president.
Reinhard Bonnke is perhaps the only televangelists to claim the ability to raise the dead. In fact I was at the Grace of God Mission Church in Onitsha, Nigeria when it happened. A man rose from the dead. And I think he may have ascended into the clouds, too. And then there are Peter Popoff and Benny Hinn, the grand-daddies of televangelism. I happen to like them both just as I like Jim Bakker, Darlene Bishop, Ted Haggard, Kent Hovind, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Whittington, and Randall Radic. They were my hero: people I looked up to even though they have been accused of adultery and pimping, stealing, misappropriation of funds, drug dealing and other crimes and misdemeanors.
But then, I kept asking myself, “why emulate foreigners when you have a group of Nigerian pastors, reverends, and parapsychologists to choose from?” Nigeria, you must know, has more than fifty super-pastors and reverends, fifty mega-pastors and reverends, and perhaps, another fifty stratosphere-pastors and reverends. Here is a partial list: Chris Oyakhilome; Enoch Adeboye; David Oyedepo; Samuel Abiara; Temitope Joshua; Paul Adefarasin; Daniel Kayode Olukoya; William Kumuyi; Nkechi Anayo-Iloputaife; Patrick Anwuzia; Victor Onukogu, aka Daddy Hezekiah; Francis Wale Oke; Felix Omobude; David Zilly-Aggrey; Emmah Isong; Anselm Madubuko; Alexander Ekewuba; Dominic Nwobodo; Umoh Ekwo; Stephen Akinola; Gbile Akanni; and Yomi Isijola the star of the Port Harcourt axis.
Just this morning I was informed that no pastor or reverend work alone. I was told that it is a cooperative effort between the men of God and other men of gods, i.e. the juju and medicine man; the onishegun and the babalawo; the occult and the wayowayo gang (which also involve the wuruwuru and jibiti masters). Whether this is true or not, I do not know. I am new at this. But I intend to be good at it. As a first step, I am going to (1) enroll in a Bible College; (2) sharpen my oratory skill; (3) dull my conscience; (4) visit the hills of Abeokuta and the forests of the Okija and other Shrines in south-south, south-east and south-west Nigeria. And then I am going to look for investors to enable me buy media time and build mega-Churches. And finally, I need the poor and the foolish.
Every Church needs the foolish and the gullible, the poor and the illiterates, the weak and the browbeaten, along with the hopeless. Otherwise, how else could Churches and their chief executive officers succeed? How else could pastors and reverends become multi-millionaires, with the ability to send their children and grandchildren to the best schools and hospitals and vacation spots in Europe and the Americas? How else could they afford to drive Ferrari and Jaguar and Benz and Lexus? How else could they afford to have multiple wives and mistresses with dozens of homes and investment portfolio around the world? How? All on the sweat and back of the truly gullible?
I hope to be ready for, and begin my new career in the period immediately following the 2007 Elections. I am therefore hoping that the economy will not improve. The political situation gets dire. People’s lives get desperate.The educational system gets attenuated. And the air of hopelessness deepens and become pervasive. All the aforesaid pulls and push people towards religion. A society of the desperate and poor is a fertile ground for foolishness. I intend to tap into it.
Although even in rich and well-to-do societies, you’ll see find people who are very easy to fool. The suckers! The Houston, Chicago, New York and the Los Angeles area for instance, are full of Nigerian Churches. Week after week after week, the main pastors or reverends visits from Nigeria; they come to collect donation, and also use the opportunity for medical checkup. These men of God don’t rely on holly water, candles, oil, and prayers. When they fall sick, they rely on medical doctors, not on God. But their pitiable followers believe in the efficacy of holly mumbo-jumbo. If you think “America is bad,” imagine what they do in the UK, especially in London.
I am benevolent. I am open. I am kind. I am liberal. If you want to join my enterprise, please contact me immediately with your CV or Resume along with your $10,000 processing fee. Space is limited, folks. You may send more than the stated amount. If you do, the Lord will reward you ten times the mount you send in. He will erase your bad credit. He will erase your criminal records. He will give you 100% raise. He will make your boss resign and then make you the boss of all bosses. My God does not disappoint. He will bless you abundantly. Praise the Lord.
Ha, my people; you children of Moses and Abraham! Bless you, bless you abundantly. The nation of Israel shall rise again. My God will bless you once your checks come in….
Praise the Lord…Praise His Holy Name. Please send or deposit your checks…