The elders were heading to Ayetoro Grammar School which was located far away from Alao’s shrine. Assh!!!! Iya ologi uttered weakly,the weather was cold and drizzles of rain beat them intermittently.’ E pele iya wa,we’re almost there’ Akanni said tenderly. He was a huge man,with a protruding stomach and profound whisker like tribal marks.
But his tenderness, and humility protruded even farther than his stomach. Iya elepo untied her head gear and wrapped it around the older woman’s shoulders. She was once tall and lanky,with a skin that glowed as brightly as the sunlight hence the nickname iya elepo(although she also processed palm oil in her youth).But the moment old age hit her she halved her size and height. She was also known for her folk tales and gossiping habits,her mouth was like a typewriter even though half of her dentition had fallen out. She said anything,and everything, her skills of denial were also quite notorious.
‘Ehen? Who am I seeing from afar??’ She asked her peers with exaggerated hand gestures, ‘Isn’t this Alamu? Akintaju’s demonic son? Where could he be off to at this hour?’ She asked inquisitively.’ Don’t you think that’s a rather stupid question?’ Opeifa asked angrily, his fat cheeks bulging increasingly as he spoke. ‘Where else could he be off to? Its the church of course, he rounded off’. ‘Hmmm esin yi ma lagbara oh(this religion is quite powerful)’ so even the likes of Alamu go there? I’m beginning to doubt the potency of this new religion’, she said loudly as she looked pointedly at Alao’s face.
He nodded his head, and kept whistling.’ I don’t have time for her nonsense’,he thought to himself. The moment Alamu crossed paths with them, iya elepo’s words ceased.’ Ah!!! Opeifa laughed loudly, woman!! Have you no more words? Or has your tongue been caught off? Soro naa,je ki o gbo eh(talk now,let him hear you)’ he said to her mockingly. When they got into the school’s hall where the church program was being held,they seated themselves on the only empty pew left in the hall and the men removed their caps as is customary to their tradition.
The hall was brightly lighted, there were candle sticks in every nook and cranny of the large room and the golden candelabras shone brightly.” Ehen! Awon elesin yii lowo gan oh” (these religious people have lots of money) iya elepo said quietly to her friend. John leaped for joy the instant he saw the elders including his beloved father seated in the hall. He had prayed for this moment ever since he returned from lagos.” Isn’t that your father?” His friend and assistant Samu asked happily. “Yes he is,john replied. God is indeed faithful!” He added. The sermon begun a few minutes later,and Rev Theo stepped on the stage.
The middle aged white man with greying hair was welcomed with a clapping ovation and the faces of the youths shone with smiles whilst the elders looked keenly in anticipation. His translator, Akowe Matti(teacher Matti) also stepped onto the stage after the opening prayer. He was the only teacher who arrogantly convinced the people that he was fluent enough in both yoruba and english. ‘”You have to believe that Jesus loves you”…………..”E ni lati gbagbo wipe jesu feran yin” matti shouted with a crooked smile on his face…………”Let the word of God inundate your mind and spirit………….” “E je ki oro olorun wo inu ati eti yin” (grant this word entry into your mind and ears) “don’t stop till this word becomes a microcosm in your microcosmos” “e je ki oro yi di owo nla fun yin”(let this word become a huge sum of money for you) he reiterated.
‘If I don’t know what he’s saying, I should at least translate my own version,else these hen pecked villagers will think I’m an illiterate’ he said to himself. John and Samu laughed quietly from the front row as they cast knowing stares at Matti. “He’s too proud to keep quiet and translate only what he understands”Samu whispered to his friend. Feeling guilty and ashamed, Matti frowned at them and continued his re-mixed translation of the Reverend’s sermon.. After the sermon, Rev Theo made the altar call and many indigenes including Alao and the elders got saved.
“Is there any sick among you? I can see an elderly woman who suffers from nausea and chronic angina” said the Reverend. “Se enikeni…………… Mo ri obinrin agbalagba kan ti o ni ori fifo nigba gbogbo” Matti said loudly. “That should be what it means, he thought to himself and smiled foolishly”. Due to the inaccurate translation no one stood up. Miraculously,the Rev was led to iya ologi’s seat by the spirit. He laid hands on her head and yelled saying ”Out”. She fell under the anointing and got healed instantly. The women were stunned by this miracle and even after the service ended, they just couldn’t stop talking about it.
As he came down from the pulpit, the Reverend motioned to his translator saying “Mahtey(pronunced matti by in yoruba) I wanna have a word with you,please come with me” in his foreign accent.