Wednesday, 24 September 2008

loosing fate in faith

As a child I went to a boarding school. My school was in a small village… it was next to a church (and its graveyard)… both were surrounded by woodlands. This meant my school was isolated from all... especially boys which was just the way my father liked it.

I remember one Saturday night, we watched a film called ‘It’ ... for those who don't know, ‘It’ is a horror film about a sadistic balloon wielding clown... an adaptation of Stephen King's book of the same name. Anyway... the next day, I went with Aoife to collect my hymn book for church from a deserted school building… let me just say that I knew of many stories that seemed to suggest that all our buildings were supposedly haunted which is why I didn't go alone.

As I took my hymn book from the cubbyhole, I saw a red balloon fall from nowhere and drift to the ground… Aoife and I looked at each other… to us it was a warning that signalled the arrival of Pennywise‘It’… but neither of us were part of the Losers’ Club so there was no fighting ‘It’… the thought of the clown getting ready to marinate me as meat freaked me out so much so that I left my friend for dust and I ran for my life…

I don’t know how much adrenalin kicked in but it must have been a lot because by the time I stopped to catch my breath, I couldn't see Aoife behind me… as I was trying to figure out if she had fallen foul of some atrocity, her voice somehow pierced through the deafening sound of my racing heartbeat… just like the Doppler Effect from an ambulance siren, the shift in her pitched scream was clearly evident as she approached and she ran past me; heading straight to church. At this point I started laughing.

Looking back now I think our reaction was a reflection of our childish fears interpreted in a physical form… or was it? A sign is still a sign… maybe it was God telling me not to watch such films. To this day, I will not re-watch that film or read the book.

My first introduction to impending messages of doom was the bible. I think it was the story of the shepherd... soon to be prophet... called Moses. He saw a burning bush that would not be consumed. As he stood watching, he was told by God to go to the Pharaoh and tell him to set the Israelites free. (This Pharaoh is not Rameses I or II btw because evidence of the exodus was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb and he pre-dates both Kings... plus Rameses II lived to a ripe old age).

Anyway... the Pharaoh... lets call him the Pharaoh of Oppression... the Pharaoh of Oppression’s faith did not lie in the God of Israel... he worshipped the gods of Egypt. He continuously chose to ignore God’s words and caused his people to suffer through 9 plagues and then he condemn all the first born males to their fate… death… this was the 10th plague.

Now prophecies in the bible are not all bad… there is Joseph's ability to interpret dreams... Pharaoh's dreams... that foretold that seven years of abundance would be followed by seven years of famine.

However; despite the fact that I am mostly familiar with biblical and/ or historic figures (e.g. Joan of Arc) receiving messages in the form of emanations from the divine… I also know a little of traditional mythologies of yoruba gods. Such as Orunmila… the deity of destiny and prophecy who carried Ifa (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. I guess the embodiment of his knowledge and wisdom are now supposedly distilled through the Priests of Ifa… better known as babalawos (in its singular form babalawo means father of secrets).

Again I am sceptical of such people… I avoid them at all cost... do some have the gift?... or are some just modelling themselves on the trickster god, Ellegua (who is supposed to open the way for Orunmila's wisdom)?

I once lost £300 from my suitcase in Nigeria when I was staying with family… someone else had lost $1000 the week before… cameras etc... had been going missing for a while. The househelp were all interrogated and they all swore to God that they were not the culprit. Their quarters were searched but nothing was found. We couldn’t figure out how they were getting the stuff they stole out of the house so fast and by now everybody was generally pissed at the culprit's confidence to be so audacious.

So it was decided that they would all be sent to a babalawo… let me quickly just say that I was not a supporter of this course of action o!

Anyway a whole heap of things happened to them that day and when the househelp came back, they were all scared shitless. The house girl was identified as the thief and we managed to get back least 3/4 of everything that had gone missing… I got back all my money.

Would I support doing so again?... No. I try and stay well clear of such things. My faith is key.

The footnote on Smaragd's post 'just the way you are' reminded me of a time when I was in University... I was forewarned… no it was actually we…we were warned against moving into a flat.

My mother always told me that 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed'... so my fighting spirit kicked in when I heard this warning and in defiance I insisted we move in... I honestly didn't believe that anything bad would happen if we did... I reminded myself of that line in Terminator 2 … ‘there is no fate but what we make’... I had faith and I knew that this wasn't our fate.

I guess another reason I didn't give into my fears so readily was simply because house hunting was a royal pain in the arse… especially with 4 other Naija girls. When we found a nice 5 bedroom house Busola pulled out. So we had to start again because this time we only needed a 4 bedroom place... most of the good ones had already gone. It was also exam season so I was stressed to the hilt with revision… which meant it was double wahala trying to sort out viewings. We knew if we waited until exams were over we would end up living in a dive.

I will not pretend that I am not fussy… I have certain standards… so when we eventually found a place… I was happy. Midweek after we had viewed the flat I got a call from Bubbles.

Shubby Doo: How now? I’m sorry I haven’t called before but I’ve been revising. Anyway I checked and I can afford my share of the rent.
Bubbles: Me too but rent isn’t the issue… it’s Chixster.
Shubby Doo: I don’t understand… you say rent isn’t the issue so what is the problem?… shebi we were all there when she said she it was ok.
Bubbles: She said she felt something strange and sinister when we were there… her spirit is unsettled… basically she got some sort of premonition that something bad would happen to us if we moved in
Shubby Doo: You’re not serious?
Bubbles: I am o…

Bubbles was serious... because Chixster was serious… I was seriously not convinced... maybe because I have always chosen faith over fate whenever they differ but I couldn’t quite dismiss her gift which had revealed this unknown foreboding future… why?

1stly - Chixster was a strong Christian.

2ndly - I had heard that it was a bad thing to ignore her advice on such things… she was gifted like her mother… it was her mother’s gift that had prevented the death of Chixster’s father… as I recall the driver had died in his place.

I called and spoke to Chixster and tried to appease her fears… no joy… but I wasn’t willing to give up on the flat despite the fact that Chixster wasn’t willing to move in.

I weighed up my options… like Busola, I too could break away but I’d already done so with another group of black girls and opted to move in solely with naija babes… hmmm... if I pulled out from this group then my only choice was living with Jay… how was I going to explain living with a guy (even though our friendship was purely platonic) to my folks? I wasn’t... so Jay wasn’t an option.

Determined, I spoke to Chixster again... she gave in a little this time… she said that the only way we were living in that place was if we waged a spiritual war against the premonition and won... No problem I thought... my fighting spirit was ready... I would put on The Armour of God (as in Ephesians 6:10-20) and go with her… Chixster said we should start by sprinkling holy water in every single room and praying... if her feelings against the place diminished we'd be winning. As I held the phone to my ear, I started to ponder how exactly we would get a priest to come with us on a 2nd viewing... hmmm... at that moment Chixster interrupted my thoughts & let it be known she had holy water we could use.

We went back.

The 2nd time I was there I felt ‘it’ too… but it so happened to be the room that I had chosen as mine that was particularly problematic… you see my room was the only one with a built-in wardrobe (I told you I had standards). When we opened it, we found a small skeleton…

Like Aoife… this time I started screaming.


ShonaVixen 24 September 2008 at 19:03  

yes i am...gurl talk of skeleton in the closet!!OOOh i dont know what i would have done!!Scream, Run, Wail, all in one go!! This is so scary...Reminds me of the story on Monday of the millionaire who fled from the mansion he was living in coz it was haunted...

Jay 24 September 2008 at 20:22  


UndaCovaSista 24 September 2008 at 20:41  

So what was it? The skeleton of a rat? Lol...

Jay 24 September 2008 at 20:47 are kidding!!!! I soo skureeed...well am def not going to sleep at this rate.

Afrobabe 24 September 2008 at 21:24  

Dannng 6th, getting closer

FineBoy Agbero 24 September 2008 at 21:28  

Shiiiiiiitttttt!!! Skeleton ke?!!!
Ah, no be small thing o! Now, where's dat person wey no believe in d metaphysical?
Thoroughly enjoyed dis post...

Afrobabe 24 September 2008 at 21:34  

Why didn't Chixster's mum save the driver too?

I feel as though we went to the same school...

Miss Definitely Maybe 24 September 2008 at 21:36  

I would have fainted
I aint sharing no closet with a skeleton whether its a person, tutankhumon , a rat or a gorillas'
tell me you didnt take the flat oh.

Maggie A. 24 September 2008 at 22:28  

A skeleton, uh?

"It" is definitely something to be aware of... whatever is done to work against "it" should be used.

How's the health?

Shubby Doo 25 September 2008 at 10:54  

@shonavixen – 1st… yay! I’m not so afraid of haunted houses as such anymore… I keep to my faith and have learnt not to go looking for trouble… but if things started moving I would move 2… move out!!!

sorry for any errors you faced while you were reading… I was still editing

@jarrai – cool…you got the silver!… no joke hun…just say a prayer when you think of it...then lay your head to sleep… it is well

@UCS – no it was not a rat… it was about 2 feet long and humanoid in shape…but not human… everything in the flat was empty apart from this so the landlord must have been scared to remove it too… Chixster suggested that it could have been used for rituals… I rationalised that it was a Halloween prop!

@afrobabe – 6th not bad…I need to head over to yours asap... no vex sha.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same school…

I think I remember the story as Chixster’s mother kept telling her husband he must not go to the office that day… but he had some important documents that needed to be dealt with…to appease his wife he stayed at home on the said day but he sent the driver to the office instead…the car was attacked and the driver died.

@Miss DM – I won’t lie…seeing it hanging in the cupboard… I was scared…

Er…we did move in and that was my room for 12months…nothing bad happened to us.

I made sure that my room got a double dose of holy water.

@fineboy agbero – sometimes faith means accepting your fate but if it doesn’t then for me it is faith over fate…always. God’s will not be thwarted… I really believe that he knows best.

@magalie – yes…there are things out there… that I will never understand… some I don’t wont to understand so I stay well clear…but if I sense ‘it’…I start praying… may the Good Shepherd always be our guardian on this path called life. Amen.

Smaragd 25 September 2008 at 10:58  

Shubby! u have to come back and finish up this gist sharpish! WTF! skeleton ke?

and just like u, i hate horror movies, horror novels, etc. Nightmare on elm street that i saw yonks ago still haunts me from time to time

the reason i posed that question is cuz i was wondering what i'd do if i got that message, would i comply? would i ignore it?
we never know the things we are capable of until our lives are threatened.

Faith over fate, that's the way to go.

tobenna 25 September 2008 at 11:05  

This has all the tell-tale marks of a Nigerian movie with the typical abrupt end.
I guess we should be looking out for Part 2 soon?

aloted 25 September 2008 at 13:07  


And u still moved in?? Omo u get mind God u get..not sure if i woulda wanted to move in anymore sha...

i also aim to choose faith over fate...may God help us all..

I loved reading the whole me thinking..hmmm

hope u r feeling better..??

olusimeon 25 September 2008 at 13:41  

liked the story..interesting even tho a lil creepy...

Jennifer A. 25 September 2008 at 15:59  

I was laughing when you wrote of how you found the small skeleton in your wardrobe...

This post was deep, yet cynical at the same time. Faith can win against fate...ultimately, VICTORY is always the portion of God's children. There are smaller powers here and there, but even the bible said, "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord?"

Abt ur friend's premonition...well, it's always good to pray over the foundation of any thing: apartments, houses, relationships etc. The ruler of this world takes no prisoners!

I lovedddddd this post! Best believe it. I'm glad I have u on my blogroll flying snow! Lol. *wink*

Jennifer A. 25 September 2008 at 16:00  

BTW, so why was there a skeleton in the closet again? Finish the gist...:)

Buttercup 25 September 2008 at 20:10  


Awaitin the continuation(if any)

how r u feelin btw?

kay-shawn 25 September 2008 at 21:46  

You haven't told us if its a human skeleton or what.
BTW, do you believe in ghosts, spirits and stuff like that? Even if it was a human skeleton big deal! Someone committed murder and hid the body or someone died and nobody discovered until it became a skeleton. Then you call the Police to come and solve the problem. Simple.
Ghosts do not exist! There's nothing like a haunted house. It's only the devil playing tricks with the mind.

Naapali 26 September 2008 at 03:00  

mouse skeleton? model skeleton? picture of skeleton?

Allied 26 September 2008 at 16:07  

There is a reason God gave us a discerning spirit and it is to distinguish good from evil.

Like you, I refuse to watch horror movies, I live alone and ever since I saw the grudge part 1, I could not sleep with the light off for 3 months. PSEG, (electric company) had few field months with that.

But seriously, Skelton? What did the landlord say when u mentioned it? Whose remains was it? I hope it was not the previous occupant of that room. But Omo, u get liver oh. I would just have jejely given up the house.

bumight 27 September 2008 at 16:01  

I just read the comments, and you still moved into the house? girl, u're strong!

My fighting spirit tends to come up everytime I'm warned of something (that i really want to do).

bottom line is the Spirit of discerning is a gift like Allied said.

bArOquE 27 September 2008 at 17:59  

...this is a long one, i'm off to the gym to push some serious weights...will read this when i get back...please dont loose faith sha

bArOquE 28 September 2008 at 11:36  

humanoid eh? so what did you finally make of it, was it really a halloween prop?...after 12months did you move out?...for some reason i was wondering if the skeleton in the wardrobe part was somew kinds figure of speech...oya update us, & more, esp abt Bubbles & Chixster (nice names)

Rita 28 September 2008 at 19:05  

I think when we are told to guard our heart, it is becos of some of these scary things (refering to ur boarding school experience) becos even without our knowing, something has been deposited in our subconscious that could bring fear...

I believe till date that people have the gift of receiving messages from God via dreams but the question will be from which god for some people?

As per the skeleton incident...hope u screamed well becos if it was me I would have screamed my lungs out and fled :-)
Something for sure is that no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper and God gives His beloved [peaceful] sleep in the midst of any circumstance

Shubby Doo 30 September 2008 at 15:53  

@smaragd - I can watch slasher movies like 'scream'... no problem but not films like amityville horror, poltergeist, the exorcist etc… NO WAY

why were you looking 4 me? e-mail me if you still need my help sha

@aloted - i am thanks dearie - FINALLY went to the doctor 2day - help me thank God cos she say make i no fear :-)

@tobenna - you think say nollywood go pay for this story if i write screenplay?

@simeoneomobaba - boarding school was creepy...sometimes it was just plain scary!

@jaycee - i think am 2 cynical about 2 much for my own good.

@buttercup - thanks for asking sweetie. it wasn't a cold... it was some sort of viral nonesense that made my glands swell up like balloons. hopefully I’m over the worst of it!

@kayshawn – hmmm…some say…the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making mankind believe he didn't exist

@SSD - i don't think so. i wouldn't go near it

@naapali – you tell me… skeletons are not my forte but I think I saw its cranium, spinal column, clavicle, ribs, pelvic bone, femur and fibula. Pretty sure I saw metacarpals, ulna and humerus… but I tell you it wasn’t funny!

sorry i know that was a very lame attempt at a joke

@aloofar – me 2 i was wet?!!! the person wey dey live for that room before scare me well well sha.

@allied – ‘There is a reason God gave us a discerning spirit and it is to distinguish good from evil.’

Well said.

I too have been known to sleep with the lights on!

@bumight – I think ‘fed up to the point of desperation’ is probably a more accurate description than strong

@baroque – a man that pumps weights! Interesting… what else can you pump?! ;-)

Chixster and Bubbles really were you to wanna know more!

You know what I thought the same 2…but I really don’t know if leaving a skeleton in the closet was meant to let us know that the place really did hide dark secrets.

We rented the place for 2nd year at uni so that is why we only stayed there for 12 months

@rita – from that day on, i too believed in the gift of some. Plus I’ve had my own premonition but mine was a good one that gave me hope and actually came to pass!

Vee 1 October 2008 at 10:51  

Hectic! And you still moved in?? You have faith chica!!

Love your blog by the way!

Anonymous,  1 October 2008 at 11:30  

Its a lie! really live skeleton????
yeepa! so babe is like me! ah mehn...this is serious beans mehn...

Thirty + 3 October 2008 at 11:32  

Humanoid Skeleton schwepps... please come and finish the story.

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