By Chidiebere Kalu (Chidey)
Now I want you to get something straight, when I mean feud, it’s not as if any of us threw kitchen knives at the other, so don’t go creating an image of an Eastside v Westside thing in your head.
I’ve not been to many places in this world, but I’m not sure you can see more than 50 people who loves the Bible more than my mum. My mum doesn’t read the Bible, she eats it. My mum doesn’t pray, she spends hours and days talking to God. Woman can pray from 10pm till 7am the next morning. That’s how passionate she is about prayers and the Bible.
If she’s not reading the Igbo Bible, then it’s the English one. She has more than 5 different versions and she still buys more.
Sometimes, she reads the English versions and the Igbo version together, just to compare and contrast the difference in translation and interpretation.
She’d always call me to provide vocabulary and linguistic help.
Have I ever told you how much my mum adores me when it comes to the English language? Lord! Right from when I was in primary school, my mum saw me as her barrister, the only one among his kids that knows the English language more than a typical Brit. She’d always say, “I’m not excellent in speaking or writing English and that’s why I gave birth to Chidi, so that he would be speaking English on my behalf.”
She’d boast about my high level of intelligence and proficiency in English to anybody who’s within hearing range. She derives so much joy from that and so do I. I always felt happy and proud whenever she boasts about me.
So whenever my mum is reading her “Bibles”, she’d call me.
“Chidi, what is the meaning of this word? And why did Paul use it here but didn’t use it here? The other version has a different word in that verse. But I could understand a bit of it from the Igbo version”
I’d explain everything to her with all pleasure.
She’d always add:
“This is the word of God. This is God talking. Everything about this life is in the bible. How to live this life is in the bible. Forget about the different translations, they are still saying the same thing”
I knew all that already.
My mum trained all of us to know God, pray fervently and read the bible. I remember how she’d force us to go to catechism classes back in my younger days. She loved the things of God so much. I’ve asked her countless times why she didn’t become a nun, but she’d always laugh it off.
“If not that your English is not excellent, I’d have built a church for you. You need to be a pastor”, I’d always say with a huge grin which would lead to a big laugh between the two of us.
But as I neared adulthood, my mum’s strict control over me started wearing off. And that included the religious control. I started going to church when I wanted. I relegated so many religious activities to the background. Even though, I never halted my prayer life.
So as 2012 continued, I kept evolving into the man I am today. I started meeting different people, the opposite gender inclusive. Remember I attended a male Catholic secondary school. I also started discovering many of my talents. I started honing my songwriting talent with Chekwas’ laptop which he left with me before travelling to Abuja. My budding hustling spirit went sky high too, as I started doing a lot of things to get money,
So adulthood stepped in.
But even with that, my night prayers with my mum still held daily.
These night prayers weren’t a ten-minute routine, it starts with a Bible study session and runs into hours, sometimes. She’d interpret the scriptures in her own way and if I object to any of them, an argument will ensue. And trust me, you can’t defeat my mum in an argument. Even the biggest SAN would lose so badly in an argument with her. She enjoyed and encouraged the arguments as she saw them as a way of learning new things about the bible. So each night, she’d expect an argument. If I don’t bring up any chance for an argument, she will. If I said I had no question to ask (which would lead to countless arguments), she’d ask. Honestly, there were fun at times. But annoying at other times.
Remember, this was also the period I loved using to relax, read or watch Champions League matches. But she wouldn’t hear any of that. She’d switch off the TV and drag me out while my dad smiles. My dad would stand up and switch the TV on again and continue watching Cyril Stober doing his thing.
Deep down, I knew this “tiring” night prayers and Bible reading would cause a serious problem.
And a serious problem they caused.
TO BE CONTINUED…