Monday, November 19, 2007

Aye Ole - Infinity

I've been missing for a while, due to many reasons. My internet access at home is not so reliable, and I'm so reluctant to go and update my blogs in the dodgy internet cafes around here. The last time I went into one, I experienced such a horrible nightmare, but that is another story for another day.
Anyway I recently bought the Infinity Olori Oko CD cos I had been hearing about their music when I was in London and I liked what I heard. I've enjoyed listening to it, I think their songs are thought-provoking, interesting, uplifting and encouraging. By far the best track on it is "Olori Oko", but I also love "Aye Ole" and "Only Praise". Anyway if you can, go get the album. Here is a video of their fourth track, Aye Ole:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Funeral and Churches

I finally get to blog again, thank God. I have been very busy in the last few weeks; I’ve hardly had the chance to pause for a moment to gather my thoughts and blog about stuff. Hubby was around for a bit, and I was so happy to see him! I had missed him badly. The first thing he said when I went to pick him up at the airport was: “You’ve now got a tan!” which I though was quite amusing. Apparently I have acquired a tan while sitting in the heavy Lagos traffic. I had lots of fun while he was around and it was a bit strange because both of us had never been in Nigeria together until now. He’s gone back now, but I still have things to do so I’m still in Nigeria.

Then my grandma’s funeral was last week. I went to Ibadan where all the events were taking place. I spent the whole week running around getting things done at the last minute. Thank God in the end, everything went well. We all got a bit emotional during the church service and when we were at the cemetery. And it is hard to think that someone who was alive two months ago, is now gone. But life must go on. It makes me stop to think though. What is the real meaning of this life? If you consult the writer of Ecclesiastes, mostly he says that everything is meaningless. That is, without God, everything is meaningless and fleeting. That is something to reflect on.

I'm back in Lagos now and I’m still absorbing some of the funny things I see in Nigeria on a daily basis. Something that has struck me since I’ve been around is the number of churches there are. On almost every street, there is a church, sometimes even two or three! Churches and fellowships have sprung up in the most unlikely places, including old warehouses, a disused sports field, a Sweet Sensation restaurant, several uncompleted buildings, and the house next door. Then, there are also countless billboards, posters and flyers on the roads advertising this or that prayer meeting, healing service, special programme, revival, seminar, etc. I don’t know what to make of it. Is it that Nigerians are now far more religious than before? If that is true, then why does it not reflect in our mentality, character and attitudes? Or perhaps is it that churches are now big money-making businesses, selling prayers and numbing the minds of people with lots of motivational speaking? I’ll throw that question open to the public.

Now I personally have no grudges against churches. After all, I’m a Christian too. But I had it up to the neck two weeks ago and had to go and have a word with the church next door. This church is right next door to the house I’m staying, and they are quite annoying. Or perhaps I should say they are VERY annoying. Every single day of the week, at all hours of the day, they have a meeting or an event. And they make so much noise! They go on and on for hours with their annoyingly loud PA system, disturbing the neighbourhood. Imagine how much noise they make when we have to shout to hear ourselves in our own house. Everybody in the street complains about them, but nobody had ever done anything about it. I had joined in the grumbling for some time, but one day it was the last straw. Early in the morning, around 5.00 am one Friday, they started singing and clapping, abruptly disturbing my sleep and waking up the whole neighbourhood. I was soooo angry because I had a headache and it was as if their noise was right inside my head. I couldn’t sleep another wink so I had to listen to their noise until 9.00am. Finally the person bellowing into the microphone shut up and I was finally able to have some peace. The rest of my day was going well until 8pm when they started preparing to have a night vigil! Everybody in the house started complaining and hissing. After an hour I couldn’t bear the noise any longer. I could not imagine going to sleep with that racket right beside my window so I decided to pop down to the church to ask them if they could turn down their microphone.

You would not believe what happened next. I stepped into the church and a man sprang up from his seat. While I was still trying to explain why I was there, he said that I had committed an abomination by wearing trousers in the house of God! I had gone there with the intention of making a polite request but when I heard that statement, I became livid. What? I told him he should not tell me such rubbish, and anyway I hadn’t come to join their service, I just wanted some peace and quiet next door. The guy then said I should go and drink Phensic and fall asleep. I was like “What?!” The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by people. Some were saying that I had no respect for the house of God. Somebody asked me if I didn’t know their time table as they had a vigil every month. Another person said that I might end up in an early grave if I was not careful. I talked back to all of them. We stood arguing outside the church for almost 30 minutes because I was not going to take such rubbish talk from anybody- usher or not. Eventually one of the elders came out to find out the cause of the disturbance and I told him all what had happened and he agreed to turn the volume of their PA system down. I’m not proud of what I did, but I thought it was about time the church knew that their neighbours are not made of wood. They can’t just be making so much noise because they are the “house of God”. Besides aren't Christians supposed to love their neighbours?

Well I have some errands to run, so I've got to go off in a minute. I just want to say many thanks to those nice people that sent me an email, you know who you are. God bless you!
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