Last Sunday, I incurred the wrath of my driver when I told him to take me to a church so that I can worship the King of Kings. He protested that he would not come and I thought he was joking.
He did not come. “It is only old men who are about to die who go to church. They are tired of the world and want God to forgive them and welcome them into His kingdom. Many people in South Africa don’t go to church.
Most of the churches in South Africa are owned by Nigerians. They are industries. They use it to make money ne”, he rapped. Another encounter. The driver that brought me from Nelspruit to Rustenburg took to his heels when I alighted from the bus and said; “thank you, Jesus”. “You don’t like Jesus?”, I asked in awe. “No, no, no. People use that name to cheat and deceive. I don’t believe in it”. I gaped in shock. “We don’t go to church here.
Only old men and women go to church. You know what is right and you do it. That is better. If you go to church, you will be contributing to another person to make him fat. Look, my friend.
There is no truth in the world. Once somebody says true to God, you are being cheated”. Throughout the six-hour journey, there was no mighty church building. All the buildings are industries.
But in Nigeria, all the warehouses have been bought over by churches. What an irony! We pray all the time in Nigeria and yet Nigeria is sliding backwards. South Africa is marching forward. Our leaders sit at the front rows in churches and give fat offerings and tithes. Unlike in the days of old from the Bible, no pastor or Man of God can look a corrupt leader in the face and tell him the truth.
For Eagles to play ball, we have to pray for them to play. My wife accused me that since I left Nigeria they had not seen light in Shogunle area of Lagos.
I don’t work in NEPA or Power Holding. And yet, our leader claimed that Nigerians are happy there is steady power supply. A governor will tar one small road and spend more money in publicizing it. One Governor listed among his achievements in a state that he paid salaries regularly.
He was applauded. Another said that he brought Mr Biggs to his state. He got a chieftaincy title. We are in trouble, indeed!
Taxis are Lords
At Nelspruit where the Eagles had the misfortune of drawing all their two games, the cab drivers were gentle and listened to the passenger. Their only fault was that they talk too much. It is a general disease of the people of that area.
Even when you are not listening, they would talk and talk to the point of annoyance. But out here in Rustenburg, the cab drivers are kings. They give out orders to passengers. Nobody challenges them. A driver determines who sits at the front with him.
He could pull-up on the road and ask the person at the back seat to swap with the man or woman at the front.
His words are law. And once you are seated at the front, he would convert you to his conductor. You would collect the money from all the passengers and he would tell you how much the total sum. God save you if you make a mistake. You would pay dearly for it.
Failure to obey the driver, he pulls out a gun. The Police recognize their power and the people obey them foolishly. Once you are in, you are a zombie. Nigerians who live here have warned us to be careful and not to go alone.
The streets here are busier than Nelspruit and abound with pick pockets in day time. There are more people here.
It reminds you of Oshodi before the era of Babatunde Fashola. They know visitors with the eagle-eye of immigration officers. Once you notice somebody following you, cross the road and stop where people are. That is how good this place is.