I travelled to Sai, last weekend, it was eventful, those of you who don’t know the place, I am sure it’s on the map, google it up. Okay, wait, I will give you a clue. Sai seats by the border between Taraba state and Benue state. Sai is in Katsina Ala LocaL Government. The road demarcating the two states is a stone throw from Sai .You can vividly see Takum smiling at you while sitting under a mango tree in Sai. It was a long road trip for me, but let’s say okay except for the slightly swollen legs and a busted tyre right on the road passing my village, Mbagen, Buruku Local Government of Benue State. We changed to a spare and continued. Thanks to decent strangers who came to assist us without asking for weekend money, yea, that means much to me. It was adventurous as we started the trip from Lagos, despite rumours of herdsmen and the insecurity in the food basket. We still forged ahead. We didn’t see anything of sorts except a Hawker shouting “Munchi” as we passed Nasarrawa State. The Sai trip felt like ticking off a non-existing bucket list, though it wasn’t entirely a pleasant visit as we were there to witness my friends’ father being lowered down mother earth, I gulped in a lot of lessons and I saw historical stuffs and pictures that were well documented .The place is historical because SAI is the place where Christianity came into Tiv land. The Tiv people of Benue state, we were told the missionaries came on Horse back bearing good tidings and it was interesting seeing all the pictures of these heroes of Christian faith hanging on their Grandfather’s wall, Evangelist Gyanggyang.
As earlier mentioned I learnt a lot of things from this trip, I learnt the importance of documenting history especially in pictorial forms; seeing those pictures hang on the wall left a beautiful feeling within me, I was also thankful for their Grandfather who lived up to a hundred plus years, for the thought of leaving this history with us and passing it over to the next generation it’s like passing a baton.I saw pictures of Rev J.Offer who baptised my father
and Rev Degroot nicknamed as Ortese Agee (pastor strength) in Tiv as he would lift pillars all by himself building the church that still starts from 1946 in Mkar. Pictures of Rev Botha and the rest of them heroes.So I took shots too.
I bought ten tubers of yam for two thousand naira which was less than what I would use to buy three tubers of yam with.
Our shoulders are for people to lean on, especially family, I learnt that from the great man lowered down but gone up to meet his God, I listened to his songs about heaven and I am looking forward to reading his books and daily devotional too. I saw the beauty in family unity.
The memories of us etched in the hearts of others go with them till their last breath .We may depart this world earlier than them but our encounter and how we left them feeling, remains with them. The peoples’ lives he touched wailed uncontrollably as they comforted one another, the late Dr Sefan Gyangyang made sure their bills were not paid in his hospital and they were forever grateful.so it’s not all about money after all. I observed in a corner till I started crying myself, what a life! Well lived for others. One day at a time, one page at a time, we scribble in people’s lives as we encounter them every day.
I asked myself, what can I do with what I am given? And not what can I take from others?
Throughout this week, I have been thinking and finding ways to sow kindness in others, and with the little I started, left me living and not existing.
One constant line kept echoing as I journeyed where our forefathers received the word of God, it was, “God is light “. As I reached SAI and bent down to focus my lens on the memorial built, I saw again, boldly written in Tiv “AONDO KA IWANGER” which still means “GOD IS LIGHT”.
May the light shine through us as we walk this journey home.
The preacher’s kid in me can’t be hidden sometimes…smiles.