A Novel Written by: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
“While we cannot dismiss fear totally, we can increase our chances of winning by being rational in dealing with our circumstances as they are in the present moment. They say it is all in the mind.…David killed Goliath because he believed in a big God and saw Goliath as a small problem… Moses led the Israelites to cross the Red Sea because he heard a big God speak… Esther said if I perish I perish because she had great faith in a big God…She never perished!!! The door of success opens only to those who push hardest… Give your life a push, strive for success…Who is the next Success Story?” All the over one thousand Students raised their hands and screamed “Meeeeeeeee!!!!!”
Gbayike prayed passionately for them!!!
She walked towards the car with a few of the staff trailing behind her while she gave them different instructions. At last, she finished giving the instructions and returned to the car. She bent towards a male occupant of the car who embraced her and gave her a kiss as the driver moved the car out of the compound again. The security details at the gate of the school gave salutes.
Gbayike woke from the dream!!!
“No, this is not a dream! I was not sleeping” She explained to Sister Wonuola. “I was writing lesson notes here when I felt dizzy and laid my head on the dining table…”
“If I may ask, who was the man in the revelation who kissed you? Apparently, he must be your husband in that revelation” Wonuola asked.
“I think you are right, he must be, because we wore the same fabric and sat together at the back seat. He behaved like my husband”
“So, who is he? Did you see his face? Is he someone you know?”
“Yes…He is someone I know very well…Yes, I know him…I know him” Gbayike was becoming emotional now. She had started sobbing. Wonuola mover closer to her and grabbed her by the side, drawing her nearer.
“Is he the one…?” Wonuola whispered silently to her ear.
“Yes…He is the one…Brother Morakinyo!!!”
“I know…I know he is the one” Wonuola rubbed her hand on Gbayike’s head. “Sister Gbayike…this is God speaking!!! He is personally assuring you of a bright tomorrow with him…The speech you gave to the students of the assembly ground in that revelation was meant for you…He knows your passion about education, so he used a private school to speak to you”
“I have always desired to have a private school of my own… I love education. I can’t imagine myself doing any other thing apart from teaching…I can’t. I wish to impact live through education”
“He got you there…Finally, Sister Gbayike, will you say yes to him”
“I don’t know…” Gbayike’s lips were shaking as she spoke.
“You don’t know what…!!! Sister Gbayike stop being childish…The Lord has spoken…Don’t allow Brother Morakinyo go astray again…!” Wonuola was annoyed and almost shouting now.
“Sister Wonu, please take it easy with me…Please…I said I don’t know if he wants me again…after all I made him go through” Gbayike said, her voice cracking.
Wonuola held her two shoulders and looked straight into her eyes before speaking to her. “Sister Gbayike, one step after the other, when we get to that bridge, we will cross it…Is that okay?”
Gbayike shook her head and managed to say “Okay” although only her lips moved. She was barely audible.
“Now, talk to me, will you marry Brother Morakinyo?”
Gbayike stared at Wonuola as if unsure of what to say, then she smiled at her and said slowly… “Yes, I will marry him”
Pastor Kalejaye stood, walked to the dining table and picked his Bible before returning to the settee where Gbayike knelt waiting for him. She was drenched in tears as she waited for the revered man of God. Pastor Kalejaye pulled her up, got her seated on the sofa and handed over the Bible to her.
“Sit…Now open to Genesis Chapter 2 verse 15 and read aloud” Pastor Kalejaye commanded.
Gbayike collected the Bible and started to read. Her voice shook as she read. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”
“Stop there…” Pastor Kalejaye commanded again. “Hear me, the Garden of Eden and the assignment therein was what qualified Adam to have a wife. Every man who claims to need a wife must prove he has a garden of Eden from God…A visible assignment from God to man” Kalejaye paused and watched the reaction on Gbayike’s face. Gbayike stared blankly at the Bible in her hands, waiting for the next instruction from the man of God.
“Now the question to ask is if the brother we are talking about has got a Garden of Eden in his hands…The answer is Yes!!! He has the conviction of a definite call of God upon his life and he has responded appropriately…Now read verse 18”
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” Gbayike read further.
“Good, take a pause again…That is the situation in the life of this brother…Ministerial loneliness. He needs a helper in his Garden of Eden but…proceed to verse 19”
“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name” Gbayike finished reading verse 19 and paused.
“Go on, read the next verse” Pastor Kalejaye instructed again.
“So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam, no suitable helper was found”
“Stop there…in all his searching, our brother has not found a suitable help because the help appointed for him by God has chosen to play hide and seek… Hear me, your delay has led Morakinyo to commit serious blunders which you are not unaware of…but am glad God has chosen to spoken to you by Himself” Pastor Kalejaye bowed and stayed in that position for another minute. When he lifted his head, his eyeballs had become red.
“So, what do you want now?” Pastor Kalejaye asked slowly and firmly.
Gbayike opened her mouth to talk but she could not find the right words. At last she managed to speak out amidst sobs…
“I will marry him”
The wedding was held within a month. Pastor Kalejaye convince the marriage committee to give express approval for the marriage. For him, Morakinyo and Gbayike had been in unofficial pre-courtship in the last one year and so had no reasons to wait any longer.
“Besides, the two are matured and ripe adults” Pastor Kalejaye explained to the Chairman of the Marriage Committee, Deacon Femi Olugbenja.
Only few members of the church attended the wedding which was held within the office of the Senior Pastor in addition to Gbayike’s parents and Wonuola, her Chief Bridesmaid. Morakinyo and Gbayike had requested for a low-keyed ceremony. His Royal Highness, Oba Folagbade Lagooku (Ogajafowomeke II) The Adigbaare of Onigba-Iwofa and his Queen were also present to attend the occasion. Mrs. Durotoye and Lanre stood for the groom’s family. Aarinola and Mrs. Joju took care of the welfare and hosting of all the guests while Barrister Wole Olaoye compered the event.
That weekend, Gbayike and Morakinyo returned to Onigba-Iwofa quietly. The circumstances surrounding the death of his “former wife” and the “loud marriage ceremony” held less than a year ago made it difficult for another lousy ceremony of any sort to be held. Pastor Kalejaye had also counselled that the couple avoid any lousy ceremony.
The wedding was conducted on a Wednesday and the couple travelled to Onigba-Iwofa on Friday morning. Dasofunjo, the church driver assisted to move their belongings especially the gifts collected during the wedding, using the church bus. Barrister Wole Olaoye and a few other members of the Evangelism sub-group joined them on the journey using another bus belonging to the church. Morakinyo and Gbayike were conveyed with Barrister Olaoye’s new Shagari Style Benz car.
As the car drove out of the Church premises where the couple had lodged in the Guest House for two nights, Gbayike recalled the dream she had about the big school and the car that she saw in the dream. She recalled the name on the signpost of the school she saw in the dream was His Glory Model High School, Onigba-Iwofa, Oyo State. She closed her eyes tightly and fell into Morakinyo’s chest and prayed silently.
“Lord Jesus, I have obeyed you after several months of stubbornness…I have surrendered finally and obeyed your will. Here am I Lord, use me as it pleases you for your own glory…” as she prayed silently, stream of tears ran down her eye sockets. Morakinyo saw the tears and used his hand to wipe the tears off her eyes. He placed a kiss on her forehead and she relaxed completely on his chest.
The journey of the bridal entourage to Onigba-Iwofa was the shortest Morakinyo had embarked on since the first time he travelled to the town. With Gbayike beside him, he felt a renewed strength and vigour for the assignment ahead and journey seemed like a few minutes. As the vehicles cruised the dusty road from Shaki to Onigba-Iwofa, he kept staring unbelievably at his wife. He couldn’t believe his eyes that at last Gbayike had become his forever.
His mind raced back to the troubles Gbayike made him pass through while it all lasted. He touched her again to be sure he was not dreaming. Gbayike was sleeping on his laps now. He smiled again and lifted his head satisfactorily like an athlete who had just won a game.
As the vehicles made it closer to OnigbaIwofa, Morakinyo closed his eyes and payed: “Lord Jesus, here am I, returning to the work you sent me. With my lack of wisdom and unbridled zeal, I made a mockery of the first phase of the assignment. I have returned with my wife; Sister Gbayike to resume the assignment. Please Lord, glorify yourself in our lives and make this second phase a most successful one for us to the glory of your name…in Jesus mighty name I pray” As he prayed, streams of tears rolled down his cheeks. He bent towards his wife and spoke to her ears “Welcome to Onigba-Iwofa”
Gbayike smiled and woke gently. She lifted herself just as the vehicle moved past a signboard with the inscription; “WELCOME TO ONIGBA-IWOFA” She looked at her husband and smiled again. Morakinyo held her hands and they began to pray.
Pastor Joju, his wife and Mrs. Paseda had travelled ahead of the bridal entourage the day before to prepare grounds for the new couple. They had gathered a few of the leaders of the church, including Odesola, his wife, Major & Mrs. Labode and Madam Mobiyiina Ajanaku, from Awofolaju village to welcome the new couple to Onigba-Iwofa. A small reception ceremony had been put in place at the palace of the King unknown to Morakinyo and Gbayike.
As the vehicles drove towards the parsonage, a guard of honour was waiting to receive the couple. The Mercedes Benz conveying Morakinyo and Gbayike stopped at the gate. Shocked, Morakinyo stared at the wonder amusement of the church leaders forming a guard of honour at the gate of the Mission House. He grabbed a piece of white handkerchief nearby and quickly wiped tears from his eyes.
As the couple stepped out of the car, a loud noise of “Hallelujah” rented the air. What was supposed to be a quiet welcome glee was gradually becoming a carnival of some sorts. Some members of the church who passed by had wondered what was going on at the Mission House when they saw some of the leaders gathered in waiting and talking in low tones. A few had stayed back or hanged around waiting to see the essence of the gathering. Their waiting had paid off when the robust Mercedes Benz car had arrived bearing the former Pastor and his new wife!
After some minutes of praying, dancing and rejoicing, the church leaders escorted Morakinyo and Gbayike to the palace so as to pay homage to the King and have a brief reception ceremony organized by His Royal Highness. Morakinyo was stunned at the level of preparations that Pastor Joju, his wife and Aarinola had made to welcome him and his wife to Onigba-Iwofa. Although, he didn’t want any elaborate ceremony, he was pleasantly surprised and happy at the display of love by the church leaders. He was most happy to see Odesola was back in the church and Major Labudanu now doing well as a leader in the church.
The reception at the palace was brief and also attended by all the traditional chiefs of Onigba-Iwofa. His Royal Highness, Oba Folagbade Lagooku (Ogajafowomeke II) The Adigbaare of Onigba-Iwofa, welcomed Gbayike into the land and assured that she will enjoy her stay. He also prayed that she will experience the blessings of matrimony and the fruits of the womb which will start coming in the next nine months.
From inside the palace, loads of different dishes began to be served to the amazement of Morakinyo and his wife. The King had made arrangements for a sumptuous for all the guests who attended the brief reception in honour of the couple. The Queen was everywhere supervising the palace staff and other volunteers and ensuring that all went well.
EPILOGUE…. January 2021
The entourage of the Cowbell Mathematics Competition officials from Lagos drove through the thick traffic at Adigbaare round about toward the premises of His Glory Model High School, Onigba-Iwofa. As they approached the gate of the School, the security men politely requested they all disembark to wash their hands and walk through a sanitizing chamber before returning to their cars for onward movement into the school compound.
The gentlemen and ladies in the cars all complied and spread themselves to the about twelve points of wash-hand basins designated for the sanitization process. They all adorned their face masks.
The School Administrator, Prince Olapade Lagooku, followed by the Vice Principal (Administration) Mr. Basanwo Ajanaku and the Registrar; Mr. Bayonle Olabode walked towards the guests at the sprawling car park. After a few introductions they led the guests towards the administrative building.
The guests marveled as they walked with the School team towards the administrative building.
“Prince Lagooku, you have wonderful and beautiful buildings here. We commend your school” The head of the Cowbell team commended.
“Glory to God. Thank you Sir” Prince responded.
At the corridor of the administrative building, they were met by the Director of the School; Pastor Ipegbemi Olagunsoye, the Principal; Mrs. Kanyinsola Paseda and her mother in law, who is also the School Counsellor. They welcomed the team and led them to the office of the Executive Director.
The office of the Executive Director was large and expansive. There was a dark walnut bookcase lining the entire left side wall. A leather sofa settee with a fur rug over the back and an Indian blanket draped over the arms laid majestically at the centre of the shinning, Italian tiled floor. The right side wall has two large bookshelves lining it. On the two right shelves were two antique clocks and a painting of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye with the inscription: “The siege of failure is over!!” A 74-inch flat screen television hung on the left wall in between the two book shelves.
A huge Macintosh laptop sat on a corner of the big table, hooked to a laser printer on a small end table beside it. In between the second wall was a large life-sized picture of Morakinyo and Gbayike on their wedding day. Another picture of Pastor Kalejaye and his wife hung on the wall directly behind the executive table. A first visitor into the office cannot miss the imposing picture of the Senior Pastor and his wife.
Seated at the end of the executive mahogany table was the Executive Director of His Glory High School, Pastor (Dr) Morakinyo Olagunsoye, now sixty-five although he looked quite younger than his age. His wife, Pastor Mrs. Gbayike Olagunsoye now sixty-one-year-old, but cuts the appearance of a thirty-nine-year-old damsel. The two rose to welcome the Cowbell team and offered the seats immediately.
The only white man amongst the Cowbell team who appears to be the head, rose and explained their mission.
“My name is Richard Blimey, a Briton. I stand on behalf of Mr. Bruno Gruwez who has just been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Promasidor Nigeria Limited and resumed office on January 1st 2021 to congratulate your school. For the fifth time running, His Glory High School, Honiggg- bba-High-wo-far has won the National Cowbell Mathematics Competition…That is a record no school in Nigeria has ever achieved !!!”
A few journalists clicked away as Richard Blimey spoke. Gbayike smiled and exchanged glances with Morakinyo who squeezed her hand and smiled back.
… For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry…. Habakkuk 2:3
THE END 5:19PM
February 19, 2021.