Tanya Williams walked down the corridor to her office. She had been in the office 2 hours and already she had to do some transactions. 'All in a day's job', she mused.
She slipped off her red pumps and put on her black flat shoes. She was dressed stylishly in champagne coloured trouser suit and a red camisole with a watch and a pair of earrings.
'If she was going to stay on her feet, no need staying for long hours and having cramps that would steal half her sleep' so she thought as she slipped out of the office.
She walked elegantly across the street to the nearest bank. The Nigerian Government changed their minds the way young women changed their outfits.
Today they wanted more banks spread across the nation. The next day, they wanted only banks that had a certain amount of money in their vaults.
Today stealing was corruption; tomorrow stealing was not corruption. It all seemed a little like every Nigerian was a character in the book 'Animal Farm'. It was almost as if life was a game of chess.
"Good morning" she greeted cheerfully as she entered the banking hall.
It was impressive but what she needed more than decor; was quick service delivery. Some banks seemed a little dense when it came to fulfilling their promises. She entered the bank and made her payments in record time. She exited the bank and entered an eatery to take some lunch before reporting to the office.
She entered an eatery and walked straight to the counter.
It was directed at the under paid overworked young lady behind the counter. She was having a terrible morning emotionally. She knew to deliver but handling her soul was a little difficult. Sibling rivalry was getting to her.
The #BringBackOurGirls had succeeded in being noticed but whether it was succeeding in bringing back the girls, she was not quite sure. The news reported three new bombings in Jos and one or two in Kano. She was not quite sure. A popular pastor said on twitter that physical battles were to be fought with physical weapons and spiritual battles with spiritual weapons. She wasn't sure if the government was listening or if they cared. There was no word. All she wanted was for those girls to be released back to their parents.
These were some of the bitter truths of the country called Nigeria. She was far from perfect. A few minutes later, the overworked eatery attendant was free and in front of her.
"What do you want, madam?"
"Hi, I am Tanya, I'd like some fried chicken and rice with a milkshake". She smiled to put the young lady at ease.
The young lady worked as though scared of losing her job each minute. It gave her a subservient attitude and no room to innovate or no hope of a promotion. Life was not meant to be lived like this.
"I would love to invite you for something I think you need"
Life was meant to be savoured.
"Here's the card. It is an outfit that trains and equips young people with skills to get better jobs" The girl collected it hesitantly.
"I would love to see you there on Saturday; it could be a turnaround for you if you would practice what you hear".
Most people thought you were going to hand out money to them at such events. What they didn't realize was that learning to add value was better than just collecting money. If you learned to add value, you would always be able to serve out of choice and not out of fear.
"I will think about it".
Tanya mused about silly answers like that. 'I am not a man and it is not a date, it is a chance to get more skills and give you a chance to make more of what God has gifted you with' she thought to herself.
She wanted to give her some advice but refrained, most people got offended when they got advice from strangers. They were more defensive than willing to learn. That was the story of the life of a growing economy and its peoples.
"Thank you for the excellent service" she said as she took her tray and looked for a seat.
She had learnt from one of her coaches to be kind at all time no matter what. It helped make others have a good day.
She sat and began devouring the meal quickly albeit delicately when her reverie was interrupted by a very confident voice. She was not disappointed when she turned to the source of the interruption.
"I hope you don't mind if I join you"
She groaned inside as she gave the clicked response made popular by Nigerian girls who wanted to be polite.
"It is a free world, you can sit anywhere"
She bit her lip. No break, thank God and no blood. She continued eating.
"Where are you from?" No game, brother!
"I'm Port Harcourt but I grew up in Lagos" She murmured between meals
"I am Subomi Williams and I am a Lagosian" He grinned in a convivial manner.
She warmed to him instinctively "I am Tanya" "I am a business man by choice and a lawyer by profession"
"I am a reporter" she smiled
"I am a collector" he smiled again, "I love art".
"Hmmm" she mused as she bit into her juicy chicken "The only art I know is putting words on my blank MS Word document, that's art". She laughed.
"Let me take you out to dinner" he offered
'Does that actually work in Nigeria' she thought to herself. She smiled warmly and informed him sweetly that she was busy all week.
He laughed loudly.
"I don't do this often, If you need to think about dinner, let me give you my card"
He offered his card as he saw she was about to leave. He stood up before she did his card in his hand, his hand in the air.
She hesitated a second before she collected the card. His contact could come in handy.
She walked out with a flourish and slipped the card into her champagne coloured trouser. She headed for her office, and work.
His handsome face and suave manner stayed somewhere in the recesses of her mind. She probably wasn't going to go out to dinner with him.
Bright Okopi was in a brightly coloured room with his pastor. He was dressed in a suit. His pastor had bought him two pairs of suits at the Above and Beyond in Surulere. They had excellent affordable, quality suits.
"Is this me?"
He was grateful inside of him for this help from his pastor. He grew up in Ajegunle and one of the traits was a deep inferiority complex that developed into hate.
Usually a nasty one that said without words but loud all the same thatt the world owed him or Nigeria owed him for him being poor.
The first time his pastor had confronted him about his attitude, telling him that he did not need to have an inferior complex now that he was in Christ Jesus.
He looked up in surprise and then he had reacted angrily; he burst out of the room and went home vowing never to go back. He had stayed away from church for three weeks rejecting his pastor's calls on his phone every day.
As the days went by, he felt the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit that his pastor was right. His pastor was the shepherd God sent to train and equip him for the life that God has planned for him.
Why was he fighting his blessing?
He cried then. After the crying he got up and went to his pastor's house to apologise for walking off saying that he was back to learn how to be a disciple for Christ.
This was 6 months ago. Now God had blessed him with this job.
He had also blessed him with someone to help him transition.
"Thank you sir" he
sighed and looked up. "Can you remember the journey here, sir? I am not poor anymore and it is thanks to you"
"I am just obeying my call to make disciples" His pastor looked up. "In this Christian, we are soldier and our responsibility is to do what the One who called us has asked us to do. Your happiness is just the overflow".
"I won't forget the please and the thank you and to serve like 'Joseph'"
"Hmmm" His pastor laughed out loud "It is a Father's joy to see that His children are walking in the truth. I am sure that God is gladder than I".
"I will report for work early because I aim to be the best and to add as much value that is demanded and over and above it"
"You cannot go wrong when you serve, my boy" he clasped his shoulders.
"Don't forget all the laws of the kingdom now" Bright nodded "Give your tithes, your offerings, this honours God. Honour your biological parents and your spiritual parents, the spiritual laws work for you".
"I won't sir".
Okopi nodded thinking of how he would avoid his friends' questions of how he was spending his money. He would have to keep that to himself. He packed his shoes into the packages and his two new pairs of suits and shirts.
"Most especially, don't forget to spend time with God daily; that is the only place to get divine energy to live a successful life daily"
This man was more than his pastor. He was a father.
"How will I ever repay you, sir?"
"Don't think about me" He smiled into his eyes. "If you want to make me happy, make other disciples, tell them about the great commission, tell them about Jesus".
"Thank you sir" he hugged him surprising his pastor.
"Come and see me and have lunch with my family and I on Saturday every week" the man held his shoulders "I will put you through anything else you need to know"
He smiled and started heading home. Even though his father could not help him in the financial world, God had sent him a father and for that he was grateful. They may not always agree but time had shown him that he could trust this man who was his shepherd.
"Bye bye ma" he said as he walked out of the house. His pastor's wife was cooking lunch on a gas cooker.
"Bright, are you not staying for lunch?"
"No ma, I start work on Monday, I am too excited to eat"
She smiled understanding, then packed some buns in a black nylon and handed it to him with a bottle of plastic coke.
"Eat that on your way home then." He nodded and collected it "Give my regards to your parents too"
He walked out. Making a decision for Jesus was the best thing he ever did.
Now having mentors, his life was changing just as they promised. He looked up as though a some heavenly being.
"Thank You, LORD"
Wherever God led him, By His grace He would follow, he vowed silently.
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