Some months ago it was drizzling and I was in a hurry to get to work. As I drove by, I saw a crowd at the bus stop, and I spent a few seconds contemplating whether to stop or not. Eventually I decided not to, but just before I could speed off I noticed one man; he stopped me like he knew me, smiling and waving frantically. I was confused so I stopped abruptly, almost causing an accident. It turns out I didn’t know him; he was just desperate to get to Circle. I wasn’t amused, but I’d stopped already so I reluctantly let him in.
He wasn’t such a bad company to have and he was profusely grateful. Just before he got off he handed me a note he’d scribbled something on, looked into my eyes and said with great intensity “If there’s anything you need, anything. Anything Google or Mahama wont give you, call this number.” With eyes wider than tyre rims, I swallowed hard and nodded. He smiled and got out, and suddenly he was lost in the crowd.
A few weeks later Elorm wrote and asked if I could do an interview with Samson. It was interesting because I’d been meaning to talk to him myself. There’re are so many strange things about his story I really wanted some clarity on, but I just didn’t know how to get through to him. How can you reach a guy from Judges? I mean Tema, Akosombo –I could find a way, but how can you reach someone all the way in Judges? Google couldn’t help and certainly not Mahama. It took a while, but slowly it came to me like a whisper “Call that number”. So I dug deep into my laundry bag for the khaki trouser I was wearing that day. Crumpled in the back right pocket was the paper with the number on it.
It rung thrice before an auto-tune voice answered. “What do you need?”
“Umm, Hello. Like last two weeks, I was driving to work noorr-“
“What do you need?”
“I need. Unfortunately I didn’t ask his name but-“
“I SAID WHAT DO YOU NEED ABAH!”
“SAMSON. I’d like a meet with Samson from the Dan tribe.”
“O. What life is that?” I thought to myself. “Mttcchheww. If you wont help me, tell me, but don’t hang up like that.” Then I benched the whole thing. But just this past weekend I was beside the main road that passes in front of my house when I saw the strangest sight.
Two Volvo trucks were reversing, there was at least two meters between them, and stretched out in a split atop them was…was…was Sampson!
He somersaulted off it and landed right in front of me. He looked like he’d been carved from a hill. Fat was as absent on him as common sense is far from an idiot. His arms were like speed ramps. And when he lifted one and swung it towards me, I wished I’d written a will already. But they stopped a hair’s breadth from my right ear, and the mosquito I hadn’t heard suddenly stopped whining. With the prickly nose of that mosquito, Samson killed 497 other mosquitoes in my compound!
I was like “Wow! No one else but you Sampson. Only you p3.”
He smirked and said in a deep voice with some exotic accent (not Ewe) “I heard you wanted to talk.”
I scampered to the porch and arranged two plastic chairs.
“Like seriously?” he asked. So I pointed to the low wall fence and he jumped right on. Strength was screaming out of him like cheap screams from the scent of a GHC 2 tulaale perfume in a 1ltr bottle.
Me: I’m not sure if this is a good idea anymore.
Me: Well you’re here, all 5 tons of you and I worry many of my questions would upset you and I saw what you just did to those mosquitoes and I feel like one before you now, so….”
Samson: (laughing) You are a funny Ghanaian. I don’t have that kind of temper anymore. Many things change about a man when his hair grows back. I promise you, nothing you ask will bug me.
Me: In that case, are you still upset with Delilah?
Samson: (pause) I’m not. I don’t blame her. I went to her house. I had my head in her lap. I put myself in that position. I, put, myself, in that position. It’s too easy to blame others for our mishaps, but true change comes when we take responsibility for our own actions.
Me: Too deep too fast Solo. You let’s start from the top. How does it feel knowing your birth was heralded with angelic visits? I mean this was centuries before Elizabeth and Mary had the honors. Your angelic announcement, with its details and all, you were like the first, no?
Samson: Well, dad never got over that. I mean, mom comes and tells him about a strange man coming to tell her I’d be born, then he asks God for the man to return and explain stuff more and the man does.
Me: You know, that’s the first major thing I learned from your story. Manoah –your dad- he asked God to proof further that he was behind the message and God obliged. Means when we’re in doubt or need further info God is willing to give it.
Samson: He gave me plenty in my time.
Me: No doubt. You were the perfect stud ma guy; well-built, butch looks, deep wisdom, fame, I bet all the women were dying to be yours.
Samson: Hmm. Ben, sometimes the one you really want doesn’t want you o.
Me: Are you talking about that chic from Timnah?
Samson: She wasn’t just some chic, she was the chic. Chai that Philistine babe na true babe.
Me: You know, I was going to fault you for falling for her, because I was thinking if you hadn’t strayed aalll the way to the Philistine area, you wont have seen her and all the wahala she brought.
Samson: But you found out God was behind that yeah?
Me: Yes, and no one got that not even your folks. No one got that God was leading you to want to marry this girl because He wanted a chance to fight the Philistines.
Samson: You see, that’s why I have an issue with people putting God in a box and deciding for him what he can and cant do. People must be sure that the relationship they have with God is sure and true. From that point on, just about everything is unscripted.
Me: I’ve realized that sometimes the biggest impediment to a better revelation of God tomorrow, is the revelation they have of him today.
Samson: True, but chale Ben, I loved that girl oo, kwer!
Me: Aww, and they gave her to your friend. That guy too he’s brown o.
Samson: I know right! I mean, you accompany me to my wedding. Something happens on the last day of the wedding feast, I get pissed, I have to kill 30 people to settle a debt, I zone out for a while, return and find that my woman is with you. I mean who does that?
Me: I feel your pain bro, in Secondary School, I had my AGISS crush taken from me in similar manner.
Samson: Sorry, and no hard feelings Ben, but whoever that girl was, she couldn’t have even stood behind my Timnah babe. I mean see me, see, see, do I look like m3 p3 obaa fu?
Me: You never got over her, did you?
Samson: Well she died didn’t she?
Me: Yes. She was burnt with her family. That’s interesting because it was in trying to avoid that fate that she betrayed you in the first place.
Me: But Sammy, I feel like she was a foretelling of Lady D o. I mean this girl smooched you and cried aaah for seven days for you to tell her the answer to the riddle, the one she betrayed you with. Couldn’t you have taken a cue from that? I mean that’s the same way Delilah bugged you.
Samson: That’s easy for you to say Ben. You didn’t feel the softness of her lips or the warmth of her eyes. You didn’t hold the curves of her waist or stroke that long flowing, glossy black hair, so it’s easy for you to say. But that doesn’t mean I was right. Obviously, that was my weakness revealed to me and when Delilah came along she had a much harder time, but charle when they say don’t play with fire, don’t play with fire o.
Me: (laughing) But for a mighty ruler, you don’t handle heartbreak too well. I mean, what’s with tying the tails of 300 foxes, two by two, and using them as fire weapons?
Samson: ENOUGH! NO MORE OF THAT! No more.
Silence as I was clearly shaken. My life’s highlights flashed before my eyes.
Samson: Sorry. I didn’t mean to flip, but even the strongest men have breaking points. Nations sing songs about our heroic feats and thousands praise our looks, but when we put up the show that makes the crowds roar, we can hear the deafening silence of an aching loneliness in our hearts. Everyone feels.
Me: I agree. So if you were to live all over again, what are some of the things you’d do differently?
Samson: First I’d make better friends; not wife snatchers or friends who don’t do anything noteworthy. I’ll also be more attentive to the Spirit. I took him for granted. I didn’t hear him pack up and leave. God had done so much with me, I couldn’t imagine he could live without me. Then I’d find a woman who I’m priceless to. My ex betrayed me over a house, and Delilah over 5,500 pieces of silver. I’d find a woman who wont trade me for all the tea in China.
Me: So when they betrayed you were those your saddest moments?
Samson: Surprisingly no. I thought it’d be. I thought life without my ex or Delilah would be the worst thing ever, but nothing is worse than being a clown to people you were destined to overcome. Nothing is worse than the aching emptiness that comes when God’s spirit leaves you. I was watching Avengers the other day and your heroes had sophisticated suits and flash speed and psychic skills and laser powers and all that. I did more damage with nu’n but a jawbone, and it’s because God’s power came over me, but in my worst time, I needed a little boy to lead me. That was so much worse that losing a woman’s love.
Me: I agree. I think most of the time, we worry about losing the wrong things, when in fact losing what we have with God, is the worst thing that could happen.
Samson: Yup, story of my life. So much potential, so much I could have done, and I had to screw it all up.
Me: O don’t be too hard on yourself big guy. I mean that last day when you removed those giant pillars, you killed more Philistines than in your entire life.
Samson: (sigh) I know. My hair had just started to grow again and though I couldn’t see the 5 kings and all those heathen guys laughing at my shame, my heart bled. God listened and gave one last surge of strength, and as the roofs came down and I heard them scream, I imagined all the other things God would have done with me if I’d been more attentive and lived much longer. If in my weakness and death he did such a mighty thing, then I shudder at what he’ll have done if I’d remained loyal.
Me: Goosebumps Sammy, they’re all over me now. That is not a situation to envy.
Samson: Not at all. You don’t know what you have till you lose it.
Me: So I know it’s late and you must have a ton of things to do, and your Volvo trucks are waiting, but last words.
Samson: [SIGHS, LONG SILENCE] People think when they receive prophesies then their fate is sealed and that destiny is guaranteed. We think that when God does a few mighty things through us and gives us a few testimonies, we’ve become irreproachable. If we’ve heard God’s voice before, then no matter how stupid we act, he’s stuck with us. [Pause] Well, look at me. Never let the wonder of the great things God does in you life lose their sizzle. Refuse to let time fade the color of God’s kindness to you. Wake up everyday with just as much gratitude, just as much fervency as you had in the beginning.
Never become so cold, so long that you cant hear the bang when God shuts the door behind him. If you can do that, the skies of your dreams will become the floor of your reality.
Me: Wow. I’m never forgetting those words. Thanks Sammy.
Samson: THAT’S NOT MY NAME!
Me: Okay okay okayooo.
Then back on the trucks he hopped.
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