I was in 200L when I met Tunbosun. It was those times a young, ‘church-ed’ boy like me was blackmailed daily with the fatwa: “you-must-preach-and-win-a-soul-for-Christ-today”. And poor shy me, I struggled daily with it. Those times, my appearance wasn’t complete without that pocket-sized new testament bible by Gideons International, tucked somewhere on me.
So, on one of those days, while faffing around a football viewing centre waiting for Chelsea to beat Manchester United, I met Tunbosun aka Exhaust, and that pedantic urge to save a soul in order to mark the day’s register and not get God angry, bored through my fixation on a football match.
Tunbosun was sitting in a corner, weed smoke making way through his nostrils and mouth. He was a chain-weeder hence his famed nickname “Exhaust”. I approached him and started my ngbati ngbati talk, but before I could get through John:three sixteen, Tunbosun halted me with a fat grin and said these words, “Sayo, you said you’re Sayo abi? See, Baba Adeboye of Redeem has prophesied that the person who will take over from him is not even born again yet. I know God will call me one day and I know I am that person to take over from Baba Adeboye. So Sayo, I like you and your style; you are not like those people who judge me when they’re preaching. But you don’t need to preach to me, I have to enjoy life for now until Baba Adeboye is ready to hand over.”
A fellow Chelsea fan himself, in fact, fanatic, I shut up as I felt vindicated that I’ve at least kuku marked register, and we enjoyed the match together. Chelsea won in the 115th minute and we sort of became buddies.
I doubted the veracity of that pronouncement the moment it spilled from Tunbosun’s chimney-like mouth, especially as I couldn’t care less. It was months later that I learnt by chance that it wasn’t only Tunbosun who used that same Adeboye rhetoric in evangelical escapism. I laughed, but wondered then and till now, if Pastor Adeboye ever made such a pronouncement.
Well, years passed and I met Tunbosun fortuitously in Ondo town last year, March of 2016. We were both on official assignments and thus decided to meet later that night at Sunview Hotel in Akure to catch up ‘well well’. After we had exchanged both banter and real-talk over our personal and professional lives for close to an hour, my guy reached for his pocket, out came his staple (still weed) and he went on to order for litres of ‘Absolut’ liquor.
“Exhaust Exhaust my guy,” I hailed, “which brand be this one oh? Oshogbo or Kwale?
“Sayooo, hahaha, you still dey funny sha. Man nor go kill himself jare. You sef suppose don dey get high too oh, this one you say na writer abi writing you dey do, you need inspiration. Besides, I’m the next G.O to take over from Adeboye, have you forgotten ni?”, Exhaust replied.
Well, right now, I’m sifting through my phonebook to locate my guy’s number, and ask if his other name is Pastor J.O Obayemi.
It’s a good thing that Pastor Adeboye is relinquishing leadership responsibilities of the RCCG Nigeria to another, in the person of Pastor J.O Obayemi. Make Baba go rest small, and maybe he fit talk more to power!
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