They are not so popular these days, but a few years ago wayside VCD sales was good business. One CD could carry as many as 25 Chinese films. Who needed hardrives when you could get the entire Police Academy collection on just one CD? I’m telling you, those sellers had enough content to run a blockbuster TV station! They displayed their CD collection on wooden stands and wide floor mats that could showcase hundreds of CDs at a time. If he had to move, he could carry the stand or put all his CDs into a big Ghana Must Go bag and be gone.
They usually set up at high human traffic areas like Circle, Kaneshie and the Accra Mall areas. So if you’re heading somewhere but have a minute to spare, you could scour through the collection and buy entertainment for a full month in one CD. There were many genres to choose from, but one in particular was traded in much the same way weed is passed around in a prison cell; the ‘Blue Feem’ –not film, feem.
Porn was the premium label genre. It usually wasn’t displayed. If it was, it’d occupy some obscure corner –obscure only to the untrained eye. Responsible men will look through Adventure CDs and Action CDs and it’d never occur to you that the whole time, they were waiting for people to leave so they’d ask the seller “How much be the…theeee…the ummmn, the abonsam cartoon over there?” I knew a guy like that.
This guy was a porn addict. He had been struggling to keep it in check, but his raging lust disobeyed all urges to heed The Spirit’s convictions. He couldn’t be left alone overnight with an internet-enabled device without porn feasting. His password –HeWhoIsWithinMeIsGreater1980%– could not restrain him when the urge was great. He was a youth executive at church, and this addiction held him back from being as impactful as he could be.
Throughout a particular day he’d tried saaaaaaahh to suppress the urge and he’d succeeded till that night en route home, he alighted at a bus stop with a wayside VCD seller. Wearing the most serious face, he looked intently at the ‘Die Hard’ collection, skipped the ‘American Pie’ ones, observed the Hindu movie collection, then decided the pretense was enough.
“Boss” he confided in the seller “I beg, you not get some blue ones for there?”
The seller looked him in the eye, and saw lust dancing Kpanlogo. He smiled knowingly, went into his VVIP collection and showed our guy a few. He didn’t have time to vet and preview each one, so he quickly selected the World Erotica Selection. The images on it made his heart beat in wild anticipation. He paid five times the price of the regular VCDs and shoved it into his bag. He rushed home, humming Cisco’s “Unleash the dragon” to snuff out the gospel music that was trying to play in his mind. The Pentecost church in his area was also doing a convention. He blocked his ears by singing Shaggy’s “It wasn’t me” out loudly. He was too hard to reason.
He pulled out his laptop the second he entered his room and locked his door. He made sure the curtains were stretched out so no one could peep in. He plugged his earphones in and increased the computer volume to 130%. He nestled on his bed, hiding the ‘Our Daily Bread’ devotional under his pillow. He put his phone on silent, took out the CD from the erotic case and slipped it in. Then he fingered a portion of Vaseline from the container. He was ready. His heart was beating like Syto children at PE. He pressed ‘Play’, ready to start his marathon night. Windows Media Player was taking tooo long. He tried closing it. The bloody machine froze. He cussed at the laptop and cursed it. Then he tried the ashawo player and VLC picked it. Yeeeiiisshh! All was set to show.
He looked intently at the screen, wondering which nationality will show first. There norr he heard in a pitchy Nigerian accent “This is Pastor Mathew Ashimolo from KICC International! Raising champions, taking territories. Bretheren, your life will never be the same again…” A collage of the world renowned preacher was showing, preaching God’s word, with moving worship in the background.
Cold water poured over him. The Vaseline weighed a ton on his finger. He was so shy “Ow Ashimolowo! Ow ow ow ow.”
That’s how come he got his nickname “Ashiiiiiimolowo!” we call him that till date. But it’s funny, there’s little difference between him and Jonah, and just about all of us. We have such a high calling on our lives. We know that if we apply ourselves, we could do remarkable things and transform the world we live in, but we’re held back by the weakness we cant break free of. The chains we cant see have us bound tightest. We are pathetic versions of the men and women we could be if we gave God the driving seat in our lives.
The blades of the things we do in secret gradually cut off the eagle’s wings that would have taken us to the mountain tops. When God tries speaking to us, we shut Him out with our own versions of Ciscos and Shaggys. We harden our hearts and justify our intents till the deed is done and the fleeting pleasure subsides. Meanwhile there’s a Nineveh waiting for us, a great destiny, an awesome ministry. Let’s not contaminate the glory on our lives with the itch in our groins or the greed in our hearts.
Let’s not wait for an Ashimolowo encounter before we see the extent of damage we’re doing to our own selves. If you’re reading this and there’s any weight holding you back, I’m praying with you. Ask for grace. Be real with God, let Him see how desperately you crave His freedom and I promise you’ll hear the chains fall of.
Go on, be legendary. That’s what you were made for.
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