NOT TODAY, SATAN

NOT TODAY, SATAN

The more I live and get on with adulting in my father’s house, the more I am faced with the reality that my parents will never let go of their homophobia. For the longest time, especially whenever I get myself into any sort of trouble – from the time they discovered condoms and lubes in my bag, and the time when my former barber came and reported to them that I am gay, to all the times they see me with people who “look gay” – my family, my father especially, seem intent on pushing back at whatever may be the imminent reality of my homosexuality. Every now and then, my father – who is an engineer – would gripe about how the reason he hasn’t gotten a single contract in almost eight years is because of my “sinful behaviour”.

“Oge obula anyi kpechaa ekpere, gi ewere aru kusaa ya,” he would complain.

(Translation: Every time we pray, you’ll use your abomination to destroy everything.)

I always fancy myself to be a strong person who can withstand the storm of their prejudice, at least until I am independent enough to move out. But I have started getting tired of their schemes. Every time I think they have finally backed down, they come up with something worse than the last.

I was jejely on my own on that afternoon a few days ago. I was watching Netflix and minding my business. Then my father, who had gone out several minutes prior, returned with a funny-looking man. He looked impoverished, desperately needed a change of shoes and had ashy skin. Dark-complected with a dad bod type of stature and a very unattractive face, he looked like a human monkey to me. I knew from the moment I saw him walk into the house with my father that I wasn’t going to like this man.

When they got in, I excused myself to my room to carry on with my Netflix and Chill. But I wouldn’t chill for long, as my mother – whose alliances when regarding my sexuality are often unpredictable – put her head into my room and said in a low, conspiratorial tone, “Nwoke ahu nna gi kpotara bu onye ekpere.”

(Translation: That man your father brought home is a man of prayer.)

I wasn’t surprised. My father loves to chase his destiny through the vehicle of whatever man of God is recommended to him. Someone probably said to him, “Onye a na-ebu amuma well-well,” and – fiam! – he dashed out to seek the man out.

(Translation: Someone probably said to him: “This man can prophesy very well.”)

Well, that wasn’t my business. I had already set them straight on my disinterest in religion. So, as my mother ducked back out, I thought to myself: They know I don’t roll that way, so thank God I’m not going to be involved in whatever this man has been brought here for.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

A few moments later, my father called my name, asking me to come out to the living room. Very reluctantly, I got up and went out to see him. I was barely inside the parlour, before the evangelist grimaced before saying tersely, “Bia, nwa a, i naghị ekele mmadụ?”

(Translation: Come, this child, don’t you greet people?)

I was taken aback, and then swiftly, became annoyed. If this stranger thought he could come here and behave like someone who didn’t get any home training, then I would put him in his place. He obviously didn’t know who he was dealing with.

“Excuse me, sir,” I retorted, “you’re in MY house. Maybe wait until I have made a proper entrance into the room before demanding for your greeting.”

It was his turn to be taken aback. He stared at me open-mouthed for a few seconds, then made a snorting sound, before looking at my father and nodding at him. Then he said, “This one has many demons in him. And most of them are female.”

Wow!

I officially disliked the man, and I was becoming determined to make his encounter with me a very unforgettable one. I maintained my cool and waited.

The man stood up. He lit a candle and poured some water in a bowl. Clearly, these things had been brought to him at his behest. Then, he poured something else that looked like some sort of oil into the bowl, and then followed that with a perfumed liquid. The fragrance filled the room the second he started pouring it out into the bowl.

Then he turned to me and told me to kneel in front of him for prayers.

Not today, Satan!

I gave him a look of incredulity, before saying, “Excuse me, sir. What exactly do you want to liberate me from?”

“From those spirits that are making you do unnatural things,” he said.

“I see,” I said, before continuing in a stern voice, “Well, sir, I don’t have any spirits in me apart from my own. And I won’t kneel in front you or anyone else for that matter. And since it’s apparently me you were brought here to see, let me be the one to tell you that you’ve wasted your time and you’re no longer welcome here.”

I moved forward, picked up the candle and blew it out. Then I carried the bowl into the bathroom and threw out its contents.

As I moved about, doing what I was doing, I was aware of the shocked silence that came at me from the other three people in the house. I was also watching my parents through my peripheral vision so I could dodge any bullets or horse tranquilizers they might decide to shoot at me for my audacity.

But they didn’t move an inch. Nobody moved, not even the man. They simply watched me – or maybe they were looking at the demons in me, I don’t know – as I blew out the candle and threw out the water in the bowl.

Then I announced that I was going out and that I didn’t have time for charlatans. My father didn’t say a word.

On my way out, I caught my mother’s eye and she winked at me. so, her alliances must be with me this time, which wasn’t surprising because she had always disapproved of her husband’s church-hopping antics and the fact that he put so much trust in these prophets.

I left the house and went straight to meet my bestie for us to hang out.

I am tired of all this.

I am tired.

I wish things will get better.

I wish I can be allowed to be happy with who I am.

In the meantime though, we do our best to move.

Written by Quincy

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  1. Lopez
    January 31, 07:24 Reply

    Give me five Quincy… That was a courageous thing you did. We just can’t keep keeping quiet when confronted about things like this.

  2. Colossus
    January 31, 07:56 Reply

    “In the meantime, we do our best to move”

    That sums up everything. Despite all the obstacleslife throws your way, do your best to move.

  3. Black Dynasty
    January 31, 07:57 Reply

    I. love. this!!!! The courage to no longer tolerate bullshit!! The bravery to not accept being diminished or shamed! Yass!!!

  4. Chime
    January 31, 12:24 Reply

    Everytime I think I know just how crazy Nigeria is for queer folk, I come here and I’m surprised all over again. Odi egwu o, but as it was said, we move onward.

  5. Zorona
    February 01, 10:20 Reply

    As praytell in pose would say, “and that’s how you do a ball ” we move

  6. SideEye
    February 01, 10:24 Reply

    First things first, I think Igbo (Ibo) is such a beautiful language, and low-key wish I could speak or understand 🙁

    Secondly, you’ve got balls of steel and I respect you quite a lot.

      • Blackie
        February 01, 15:03 Reply

        you said it well, Keep it up, you are the real deal. I hate that word Ibo when referring to Igbos.

  7. Fred
    February 01, 10:56 Reply

    I died at …”horse tranquilizers”.

  8. Saucebutton
    February 01, 20:46 Reply

    This bravery is epic! We’ll make a permanent reference to this!

  9. C.K
    February 02, 02:12 Reply

    Way to go Quincy!

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