Ogbanje

“You’ve started with your stupid crying again? Abi?. What’s wrong with you? What’s with the tears? Ehn?”

Mummy Moyo shouted at her daughter. ” It’s like you have some demons residing inside of you. I’d drive them out now on your behalf.”
Moyo cried all the more. Her voice rising in a falsetto. she was deeply frustrated. How long will it take her mother to know that she wasn’t crying from demon possession but from agonising pains. Just how long?

She couldn’t bear it this time, Moyo rolled on the floor like a victim from a mob action, who’s been beaten to a pulp.
She screamed and jerked. Holding her knees to her chest as if to stop them from feeling the throbbing pains.

It was time to face the dungeon. she knew it. She had known that since her primary school days. Whenever the pains came on this intense, and she expressed how bad they were in tears, her mother wouldn’t hesitate to lock her up.

She dreaded how the dungeon felt. It was like hell!
The heat was killing and so was her habit of tugging at her hair. Whenever this happened and she was locked up, Moyo would cry with greater intensity and vigour, as if to say ‘I’m just not understood”. And as she gets some kind of calm from the pains, that strong urge to pull came again. This has left her scalp traumatised and as a result, her parents believe there must be a legion of evil spirits residing within her. Moyo simply must be an Ogbanje!

Moyo was in her teenage years and could effectively describe the words, rejection, pain and abandonment. If you were chanced to ask her what rejection meant, you’d be surprised to hear her say, “rejection is how my parents treat me.” I could not but burst into tears when she’d first shared her story with me. At first, I found it hard to believe that a mother who carried a child in her womb for nine months at a stretch, and knowing well the pains from childbirth, would then go on to look at her sickly and crying daughter, and then conclude that the best way to get the child to stop was locking her up in a room after screaming and shouting at her. Making the child feel further afraid, and psychologically estranged;
Giving her a notion that she was different from every other being she had met at home, school and even in church.

Moyo knew her fate this time. She needed not to beg as all her pleadings would only fall on deaf ears. Her mother always took her stand like a rock. As if to say she knew the next point of action, and showing her readiness for it, even though she hated it with all her heart. Moyo screamed at the top of her lungs! I want to believe a sickled cell in her blood stream was trying to make its flow by force, thereby causing the pain to become more excruciating.

Wham, wham, whah, whah…Her feets made sounds as her mother dragged her angrily into her “dungeon”. She hissed as she turned the key in the lock, stamping her foot as she returned into the sitting room where the whole drama had begun initially.

“Why is my daughter different from others? What’s wrong with her this time? How long will I keep up with all these crying and screaming? Perhaps, she needs deliverance and real quick too. All these demons making her misbehave must be dealt with.

My mind assumes all the difficult monologues that Mummy Moyo must have gone through at those times she never understood a thing. How hard it must have been to treat her own flesh and blood that way. Her very own first daughter.

Are her actions justifies based on lack of knowledge? Well, that’s something we must all think about.

In reality, Moyo actually had sickle cell anaemia coupled with trichotillomania. (Trichotillomania is a condition that occurs because the brain’s chemical signals, called neurotransmitters don’t work properly. Hence, it creates an irresistible urge that leads affected people to pull their hair). For Moyo, her symptoms on that grew worse from her sense of huge abandonment and the depression, anger and loneliness which kicked in as a result.

She got scolded and stigmatised by her parents and siblings, they called her all sort of names and this drove her farther apart from her family. Today, she still has a traumatised scalp as the affected areas have little hair or are totally bald.

They took her everywhere. Different deliverance sessions, prayer meetings and diverse counsellings on how to ward off her Ogbanje spirit. All to no avail. Why? I personally believe that the tool her family needed in handling the major bulk of her problem was missing. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t to say prayer is ineffective or useless. I strongly believe in the power of prayer. And as believers, we know that prayer works wonders and scripture makes us understand how availing a righteous man’s prayers are.

But, that other tool is what would even make prayers work. In most cases, Jesus was filled with compassion for the sick and he was able to effectively minister healing to them. Love was always behind his every action.

That tool is LOVE.
Love is a powerful force that’s strong enough to liberate and set free. This was why Christ could conquer. All he ever carried was love. He was love personified and that was why he went all the way to Calvary to shed his own precious blood for our sakes.
Were we deserving? Of course not! Far from it! We were lost and steeped in sin. Yet, he looked beyond our faults and flaws, he saved us, healed us, took us in his arms and loved us, unconditionally.

Love conquers.
Love is strong enough to heal.
Love wins out in the end.

Sincerely, I’ve had times when I’m crumbling under the weight of severe pain but seeing loved ones come in to check me on bed, see how far the drips had gone, feel my temperature, give an apple, flash a smile and pray with me…Really, it always went a long way to speed up my healings. Someway, somehow, I get better in time and I’m up on my feet again.

Well, Moyo is grown into a youth today and I’m glad she found Christ. Jesus had been her friend in those terrible, dark and bad times, and in the face of raging crisis. She’d been able go move beyond the hurt her parents and siblings had caused, which to me is the highest form of rejection. (Rejection from loved ones).
She’s now a twenty-six year old, lively, beautiful and young entrepreneur. She loves God and serves him. Although, she still goes through a roller coaster of pain sometimes and walks with a limp from AVN (Avascular Necrosis), which actually didn’t make her walk for about two years. Well, she doesn’t let that deter her, not in the least.

She is the definition of strength and honestly, her story let’s me know I can’t afford to do any less. I strongly desired to put up her business website in the story after getting permission to write a story based on her experiences. She craved me to be discrete about that, so, I humbly had to agree with her. Her parents are a bit inclined now and they sort of understand the agony Moyo goes through in a pain crisis…and now, whenever she has a crisis, her father would leave his room, and sit up in her room all night, watching her, praying and getting her anything she’d by chance be needing. They know now that Moyo isn’t an Ogbanje, possessed with evil spirits nor deliberately acting up. It was just the pains raking through her body.
And for this, I’m glad.

I’d strongly enjoin us all to possess the God kind of love which is unconditional. The Holy Spirit can enable us showcase this, because it’s been shed aboard in our hearts. If we let him, he sure can help us.

If today wasn’t good, tomorrow can be better. I’m greatly inspired by Moyo’s story and I want you to know that, even if, you’re going through way worse than this, you can come out shinning as pure as gold that’s freshly refined. Lean on God and keep drawing strength from him.

Keep Spreading God’s Love.
Keep Living Strong.
Keep Hope Alive.

With Loads of Love,

Omotola.

8 Comments

  1. Well Done Omotola! Inspiring always. God keep you!

  2. He will not make us go through anything that we will not be able to handle but shall in it make a way of escape. And when we are weak, we can draw our strength from Jesus. Thank you dear for reminding us the essence and power of love.

  3. God bless u

  4. Good one, am touched with the story.

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