I was born into a big family house in Osu Nyaniba Estate. I was part of the fourth generation to live in that house. My squad missed the first gen guys (my great grand parents) by a couple of months, but their legends lived on in a ghostly way.
There is this funny story I must tell you! I’m told my great grand mum was a rich, tough, and very shrewd woman, so shrewd she outlived great granddad. She was so moved by his passing on that for weeks after, she continued to send dinner to his room; perchance his wandering spirit may be hungry, and her delicious food may bring him back.
My uncles were sly twenty-somethings by this time and always discontent with the measly food they got served. They’d wait till dark when the house was all quiet and feast on great grand dads dinner. Great grandma would come the following morning and say in an ‘amused wife’ tone “Eii Sammy these days 33 l33 oyeonmaa ei!” which was complementing his huge after-death appetite. She eventually found out and all-but disowned them.
I used to be scared of passing by that room, and of the plantain’s shadows from behind the bedroom curtains at night. We were also told not to throw brooms, because if you did, it’d come and throw you as you slept at night. Sometimes I’d forget and throw the broom, then spend the rest of the day apologizing to it and dreading the night. Throughout the many years that followed, I was always afraid of something…until I met Kwansima, the most wicked house fowl to ever live!
My mum kept a small animal farm behind our Domi house; a couple of goats, a turkey and about two dozen fowls, their queen was Kwansima. She was only as tall as up to my ankle, but she packed the attitude of a fetish priestess. This hen was so wild even the alpha-cockerel had to bring corn and do elaborate circular dances just to get some. She sat on her eggs with the seriousness of a military ruler. When she got down to eat, she’d puff out her feathers and make loud chicken noises, like she was her own motorcade. The younger guys and all the hens got out of her way…even the turkey and our dog! You should see her chasing a dog, you’d think Snowy was a lizard.
Kwansima was so wild and protective of her chicks, as if she was grooming them for the presidency. I’m not ashamed to admit that many times people, many times, she’d chased me around the house. The normal wild hen will chase you a few meters to send a message, but Kwansima chased till all of humankind got the message. With feathers puffed, wings spread out, beak shooting out of her head like a tiny pickaxe, she’d pursue until I dashed into the kitchen. She was not to be messed with.
One day after watching Bruce Lee’s ‘Enter the dragon’, I decided I was the human, and many years older too. ♬♫No one fowl should have all that power! ♬♫ So as I entered the coop to feed the whole lot, I was prepared for anything. In fact I went over to where she was brooding over her six preeesssiioousss chicks and made aggressive gestures at her. Her throaty expression could easily be interpreted to mean “Diiiiizzzzzz bbboooyyyyyyyy ooo. Sombodzy should tell diz boy about me ooo! Diizzz boy will smell pepper again ooo. He is looking for my trouble o. My patience is finiisshhinng ooo.”
In slow motion she lifted, half flying, half running towards me. I dropped the chicken food in my hands and started running, then with all the bravery I could muster I stopped. I remembered Bruce Lee and screamed “I-yaaaaaaa!” as I made Chinese faces. She kept coming. I closed my eyes, tightened my butt cheeks and just kept kicking wildly! Finally I felt my foot hit something feathery and clawy. I opened my eyes and saw Kwansima in the air. She summersaulted in the air and landed a few feet away, skidding on the ground with her claws digging into the earth.
I breath heavily “HMMMMMM…..HMMMMMMM”. She contemplated briefly and came at me again, this time a bit more cautiously. We battled like respectable samurais and when the third round was over, she decided to call it a truce. From then onwards, we lived in mutual respect. I never disrespected her in front of her kids and subjects, and she never came at me again. I walked through life with the Kwansima victory as my excuse for bravery. It was my reference point for being fearless. My glorious battle, my inclusion justification, my warrior initiation. Lol, did I mention Kwansima’s also my mum’s middle name? Sshhhhh!
A Decade+ On…
Anyways, a decade plus has passed and a Kwansima victory doesn’t give anything close to the confidence needed to live fearless. I’ve read many places that these days, the evil that men do, frightens even the devil. But you hear stories about house helps all-but killing innocent babies, terrible road accidents, unforeseen plane crashes, suicide bombing, mothers sending football star sons to mallams, worsening economic situations and even the bravest of men, the Kwansima warrior, cant resist a shudder of fear. Fear of the uncertain, of lurking danger, of failure of the countless things that could go wrong and suddenly, the need for a stronger strength source becomes very necessary. So here’s what I did;
I tracked down omnipotence down…it led me to God. I sought to know Him and what kind of protection He could offer…it led me to the Bible. I searched tirelessly for a weakness in Him, something I could exploit to my benefit, a truth I could use to influence him…in the process two things happened:
1. I genuinely fell in love with Him
2. I found it.
I found that weakness he has, that thing I could use to get him to do just about anything, and I’m going to share it with you for free.
I found out that God wouldn’t be my healer or protector or provider or anything else just because I have an impressive track record of good deeds. He wouldn’t do it because I chose Him over sin. He wouldn’t even do it because of all the people who benefit from things I do. God does all he does FOR HIS NAME SAKE! David knew this when he was writing Psalm 23 “…for His name sake…” His honor is so important to him. Throughout all your favorite Bible stories, check, He came through so that all would see and know that indeed, He’s God. Go under the Red Sea and ask Pharaoh.
So I plaster my day, my car, my well-being and everything else with His name and honor. I am literally encapsulated by His jealousy. I said to Him “G, I have no backup plan, no other basket, no nothing! If you don’t come through for me, I’m screwed! Plus the whole world knows I’m yours so if you watch me get messed with by the devil or battered by the economy or embarrassed, it’s your name on the line. Just in case you want to grant any devil any permission to afflict me, please remember that I’m Ben, not Job…”
I gotto tell you, it’s an awesome thing to be insured by His blood. On a daily basis, I see him rush to honor His name in my life. I know with all certainty, that come what may, it’s aaallllll working together for my good. Sometimes in very hard times I say to Him “Whatever good thing this thing is working together to God, it BETTER be something extraordinary o, yoo!”
So well, the way around this is to seriously set out to understand what his honor means to Him. What’s so special about his name that he’ll go to the ends of the universe to defend it? In the process you’ll discover amazing promises and find profound truths to launch your anchor into. When you’re done, silly thoughts like “God I’m going to sleep with this girl, for your name’s sake, don’t let her get pregnant.” Will give way to more sensible thoughts.
Try it though, it’s So. Much. Fun!
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