My 11th COMMANDMENT


What gut do I have to be ungrateful to God or to complain?

This resurfaced several times in the week ended; I had another episode of experience and learning. A visit to Akonko, a village in the outskirt of Ogun state, almost linking Ibadan in Oyo state was a big one.

I loaded my bag with leggings-socks as we have been told that mosquitoes there are weight lifting and we possibly may be coming back with mosquito bikes like boil. For me, that is the scariest part.  Other expectations were that there is no electricity nor telecommunication network and we are going to be there for about three (3) days documenting the village and its residents. Hmmm, God help us.

We set out early and kept going and going like we were travelling to the east, but we eventually got there and wow! It’s for real.  I have been part of village outreaches, so the village setting; the mud houses and bushes were really not concerns for me (though doesn’t sound like where I would naturally want to be).

Then the lessons began. After resting some few minutes, we visited the farm. I noticed on our way to the farm, everyone we met gave us a well composed greeting with a Big Bold Smile, children and adults alike. For real! or are we riding on the goodwill of our host? I thought. My mind flashed back to what transpires in Lagos and I was quick to conclude this People are indeed courteous and hospitable. There are some places you live in Lagos that you just automatically lose your morals, everyone rides their own horse. These people are obviously tagged the poor, but they’ve got what money cannot buy.

My presumption was confirmed as I further interact with the residents of the village.  They were much more open than I thought, they seem not to have a choice, they just wanted a better life and feel our presence and mission could enhance this.

Looking at the people, they were not different from us, just that they don’t have the opportunity and hope we have. No good water (We didn’t take our baths for three days, only necessary areas with sachet water), no electricity, no good roads, and most pathetic, no single good healthcare centre and no good school. The sight of the school breaks my heart, a dilapidated building that has just three teachers taking from Nursery to Primary. Those attending a better school trek one hour to school and back every day as transportation is another huge issue there. Wow! How can people be subjected to such life, I see a great level of neglect on the part of Government especially when I heard they had voters’ cards. Now that is hell crazy if you understand what I mean.

Reminiscing on where I am coming from, where I am, my high hopes of the future, I sighed and said to myself;

“Thou shall never be ungrateful. By any form of complain or unseemly countenance.”

That sounded like a commandment. Yea, for me, it is my 11th, as being ungrateful or allowing situation affect one’s countenance seem now like a sin. A colleague buttressed, “if God would not further do anything else in our lives, I think He has tried.”

I thought to myself, “We and these people cannot definitely have the same prayer points”. We have hopes alive, cannot explain what their state of mind is (definitely not what you would wish). But if the people in Akonko can live happy, there is then no excuse for someone like me.

Wait a minute, sorry I forgot to mention they made very sumptuous meal with little or no ingredients. The village called Akonko is one I’ll definitely not forget.

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