I am excited,we are excited to continue #Christianfiction. We said #MondayswithGWA is here to stay. We apologize for not being around last week. I really loving this kick-ass, strong independent queen. We hope and pray that at the end, we are all able to take the lessons to heart and improve on our lives for what is the need if it doesn’t make us better humans. Now let’s dig in.
I had just completed my compulsory 1-year National Youth Service Corps program when everything changed!
It was during the Usoro Abasi festival, people had come from all over the country to celebrate. It was a time for all those who were living in the city to return to their roots. We even had foreigners trooping in to be part of the most famous Usoro Abasi festival. That year’s own was bigger than ever, our state was beautifully adorned, everywhere was cleaner than usual, some were fortunate to lease out their homes for some income as the hotels in the city could not contain everyone who came, yes, the crowd was mammoth. Though my uncle and I didn’t partake in the festival because of our beliefs it brought a dash of fresh air. It was interesting to see all these people troop in to the state to witness the festival.
The Usoro Abasi festival is a religious purification ritual and symbolic reenactment of the mysteries of the king yam which is accompanied by thanksgiving offerings performed by the Chief Priest of the town. It was usually held to celebrate the harvest of yam before the new yam could be eaten. It was always a colorful event with masquerades who were said to be ancestral spirit and came to bless the land at this time. It was also a time for purification of the land. It used to amaze me that even Christians partook in this festival and did not see anything wrong in it.
The festival lasted for a month with various activities and smaller festivals like the Ekpo festival and the Usoro Ita festival. At the end of this one-month event everyone dispersed back to their different destinations, but something had happened during this and would bring a change in the palace. At that time all we heard were the rumors surrounding the occurrence but the one thing we knew for sure is that the king and the queen were about to be divorced, and that the queen had left the town immediately after the celebrations! There were speculations, it was a topic for discussion at every gathering. Everyone wondered why the queen left and what must have caused it. The queen always had ideologies and the king tolerated her excesses perhaps because of love, but in their opinion, she went too far this time. She had publicly embarrassed the king, refusing orders and mocking tradition… The town was outraged, and the chiefs frustrated, scared that this new recalcitrant trend would soon become the norm in the town and the wives become uncontrollable. They pressured the king to act fast as such matters could not be left to get “cold”. The judgement was that the King divorce her and she was to be sent packing back to her parents. It was done as quietly as possible and we heard she was lucky, as If it were to be in the olden days she would have been banished to the evil forest. In my opinion, these were all barbaric customs and traditions that needed to be outlawed.
After a few weeks the news died down and the city was back to his quiet self. I wasn’t however bothered by all of these as what was foremost on my mind was getting a job and helping to pull my weight in the house. My beloved uncle was getting old and the thought of him continuing with the menial jobs worried me! Ete mmi would tell me not to worry that Abasi provides for his people. I wanted a job in the city, but I couldn’t imagine leaving my uncle by himself to do all the work. I wanted to be there to take care of him as he had done for me. I decided to therefore look for a job around whilst my mates went to the big city of Lagos to “hustle” as they say.
I soon got a job in the town’s secondary school. I was advised by many not to take the job as they felt it was fruitless! The students were always failing, they hadn’t recorded a single success in the WAEC exam in years! The school’s glory is dead they told me. You can do better than this, you have so much potentials, how can a first-class graduate be slaving away in Uyo, but i didn’t let that deter me. Ete mmi and I had prayed about this and my uncle was convinced that this was the right thing to do, that I had to take the job.
I resumed at the Secondary school on a Monday I would never forget. The school was in a sorry state, dilapidated buildings, lackadaisical attitude to work and extreme lack of discipline. They were short staffed, and I had to often take double or sometimes more subjects as all they had were Corp-members and old teachers. I got to work immediately and went above and beyond in my duty (If I say so myself, lol). This was not the economy I planned to make impact on, however I decided that this was my life and I was going to make the best of it. The new mantra was ‘Excellence’ ensuring that all the students excelled. The students loved me as I made learning fun and they soon began to do well on their work. I put in the extra work and time, followed up on those that were absent, did after-school lessons and weekend lessons for free so they could catch up as the O’levels exams that were fast approaching. It was difficult, it was hard work. It sounds very easy to say now and sounds like smooth sailing, but it was a period in my life that made me the person I am now. It molded me into some one strong. The children called me ‘Miss You can, Yes We can’. It was these words that I charged them with every day. They needed to believe in themselves, that they could do it, that they could make something out of themselves. We prayed, learnt and helped the weaker ones catch up and we had fun, we laughed, we danced, we made the best of the entire situation. The whole town soon knew something different was happening, students were excited, parents doubtful, mockers watchful and I extremely prayerful.
The WAEC exams were drawing near and I had to focus on the SSS3 students as we had a lot to prove. We wrote the exams in May/June and it was then time to await the results, the school was on vacation and so we were all at home. I didn’t stop praying and trusting God. I enlisted the help of those I knew to pray with me. We started a prayer chain and had some praying at every time of the day for 30 minutes. The result was due in September just before schools resumed for the new session and I keenly awaited God to prove himself and allow the efforts of my students bear fruits.
I was at home one day when I heard my neighbors shouting, followed by a knock on my door… well what was left of the door. I stepped out to see the king’s guards, they claimed they had been ordered to bring me at once. I could see some of my nosey neighbors grinning wickedly and overheard them saying they knew I would soon get into trouble. I said a silent word of prayer and followed. We got to the palace and I was surprised to see the school principal and teachers, even some students and almost all the townspeople had gathered! The king cleared his throat and spoke…I was lost in his rich sonorous voice, deep, yet soothing, I glanced at his beautiful face for this was my first time of seeing the king up close. I was away in my final year when his father died and as such didn’t witness his coronation. The king looked me in the eye, his eyes full of mischievous smile and his lips twitched a bit and i realized I had been caught staring. Gracefully he repeated himself, this time not taking his eyes off me.
See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey and our prayers is that the many lessons God has in store through this story are learnt. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Please don’t forget to drop a comment and also tell a friend to tell a friend to read. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising
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P.S Any error in the use of language is ours as we tried to get to the best of our abilities the right words to use.