And the spirit left him
By Yetunde Arebi
It happened so suddenly. It was the least of the things he ever thought could happen to him or anyone he knew closely. So he was not prepared for what his reaction could be. But not that anyone could ever think that such a calamity would befall them, not to mention preparing for it. After all, no one thinks or prays that something bad should happen to them. Still, it does anyway.
Oluso, as everyone in his neighbourhood at Meiran, an outskirt town between Lagos and Ogun States called him, surely could never have prepared himself for what happened that fateful day almost seven years ago. As a spiritual head of a prominent white garment church, whose prowess and fame of unquestionable visions and prophesies were almost second to none, the shameful event of that afternoon had taken all who heard the story or witnessed the drama by great surprise.
How was it possible that the spiritually gifted man of god, who assisted others remove the specks in their eyes could not even suspect that he had a big log in his, until a mere mortal, lacking in spiritual gift of any kind pointed it out to him. And even as the evidence stared him in the face, along with the confession of the star actor in the scandalous drama, Oluso still found it difficult to comprehend or believe the unfortunate fraud his wife had just unfolded before him. An aged uncle lives on the same street and was one of the few ‘elders’ summoned to the scene of the incident by Oluso that day.
The day began like every normal Monday. His wife, Mummy Bimbo, also known by neighbours and church members as Iyawo Oluso had gone out to her shop as well as attend to some other businesses. It was practice that Iyawo Oluso tended to her private business every other day of the week, except Tuesdays and Thursdays when she also attended to those who came for spiritual consultations at the church. Usually, she would not return before 7.00pm, unless something was wrong.
So, Oluso was very surprised to see his wife walk into the church compound which also housed their home at about 2.00pm. She greeted him without actually stopping to exchange pleasantries or offer explanations for her unusual timing. According to Oluso’s explanation to those who first arrived at the scene of the drama which qualified for the rating of best seller that year, he paid her very little attention, even as he began hearing strange noises from her room. But not long after, he saw his wife dragging out travelling boxes and huge sacks out of their apartment into the compound. He was stunned as the meaning of her actions dawned on him and quickly dispatched his visitor.
He rushed into the house and began asking his wife what in the hell was going on. Before she left for her shop that morning, everything was perfect, all their children had been given their feeding allowances and transport fares before they left for school. So, what could have happened in the last couple of hours to his wife to warrant her coming home to pack her things and leave her matrimonial home of close to 15 years. Their eldest child was already in Senior Secondary School (SSS1). But she told him to leave her alone as nothing he had to say could make her change her mind. As he tried to wrestle the boxes from her grip, a big truck began blaring its horn from the gate. It was then he realised that the matter was not one to joke with.
A couple of hefty looking men jumped out of the truck and began loading Mummy Bimbo’s things into it. Now desperate, Oluso fished out his phone from his pocket and began calling some of the people he felt sure could wade into the matter and prevail upon his dear wife from leaving him so unceremoniously. My uncle was one of the first to arrive at the scene. By the time Iyawo Oluso was done, everyone walked away, subdued, flabbergasted. My uncle revealed he’d never seen a woman as cold and wicked as the one he saw that afternoon.
Oluso’s wife informed them that until that morning, she had been living a double life. She announced that of the five children she had, Oluso was the biological father of only two. The first and the last, another man was responsible for the three in the middle. She said she had gone to meet with the man at their regular rendezvous when Oluso’s younger brother saw her with the man. Tired of hiding their love for each other and living a lie, they both agreed that it was time they revealed the truth and moved on. She told him not to beg her as she would not change her mind.
He should also be prevailed upon by my uncle and ‘the council of elders’ he’d put together that Oluso should not bother to look for the children, not contest her revelations as she was their mother and therefore would know who she had them for. She announced further that they had already made arrangements to pick the children from their various schools, so he should not expect them to return home that day. While she was dropping her bomb shells, the hefty men continued loading the truck. Done, she bade all the ‘elders’ goodbye, jumped into the truck and they drove out of the church. My uncle said it was as if they were watching a Nollywood home movie, except that no one was laughing.
Then, someone suggested that they call Oluso’s brother to confirm Mummy Bimbo’s story. He was equally shocked at her swift action, and described it as irrational and a confirmation of guilt. He said though he had caught her, he had decided to keep it a secret and protect his brother’s marriage because of his position in the church. On hearing the part about the children, he concluded that it was the best decision she could make under the circumstance, since the man she was caught with is their biological father. Oluso was advised to act like a man, (whatever that means) and believe that it was an act of God. He must thank his God as things could be worse, they insisted. What if she was not discovered now and he had trained the children up to University level before the truth was revealed, they asked?
Mummy Bimbo and the three children never returned to that house. Developments after their exit further revealed that the man behind Oluso’s ill fate was a prominent and wealthy member (not regular, though) of the church. He was much respected and courted by Oluso because he was a heavy donor to the course of the church and even assisted in personal areas of their lives. He had his own wife and family, so no one could have guessed that such a relationship was possible between Mummy Bimbo and himself. But as they say, every day for the thief, one day for the owner. But the irony in this case is that the thief walked away with the priced loots, leaving the owner empty handed (well, almost). He is lucky to have been given two out of the pack. What if all five were given to the thief?
For several weeks, the man of god and spiritual head of a prominent and successful white garment church was beaten butt down. Spiritual visions and consultations were shut down while he bemoaned his predicament. It was very obvious to both members of his congregation and neighbours that Oluso had been caught napping indeed. He’d not only been cheated on and betrayed by his wife, but he’d also been publicly shamed and scorned by her refusal to acknowledge her sins and genuinely feel remorse as well as plead for forgiveness. Had that not been the case, perhaps, Oluso’s pain might have been less intense and traumatic. This way, he had been taken for a fool, blindfolded and taken on a long ride on a roller coaster, then unceremoniously pushed off into spiritual wilderness. A most callous and unkind act.
Oluso was a person of interest to me simply because he was Oluso and for a very long time, I would ask my uncle for update on him. He tried as much as he could to recover from his ordeal but it was not easy, not with two young children staring him in the face and wondering what had happened to their once peaceful, happy and united family. He tried to hold on to the church and members, but it was a difficult task, especially for one who prided his calling on the ability to see into the past, present and future.
He took another wife but things did not work out and his congregation began to grow lean and I lost interest in his story. I paid my uncle a visit over Christmas and was not really surprised by the sight that greeted me as I drove past Oluso’s church. The church had now been converted to a school for Nursery and Primary pupils. I was informed that Oluso could not really recover from the loss of his wife and this affected him adversely. His health deteriorated as his congregation deserted him. Eventually, he had to shut down and leased out the premises to a young man in the neighbourhood to run his school. The spirit had left him! Do have a wonderful weekend!