This author was born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa. He migrated to America in 1980 with no formal education. I say this because I will not be the one to deny God’s grace upon my life, how He has been patient with me through countless mistakes in the process of teaching me discipline. Not only has God provided me the opportunity to acquire the education I did not have before coming to America, but He has graced me with the opportunity to acquire a Bachelor of Psychology degree at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and a Master of Divinity at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri, as well as the wisdom and guidance to write this, my first book, that now is in your hands. May He alone be exulted with glory, honor, and majesty, and to Him with deep gratitude this book is dedicated, Amen!
Writing a book has always been a quest of mine in that it constitutes the medium through which one can actually articulate and convey one’s childhood experiences as it relates to growing up in a penurious home where having nothing (I mean nothing) was the norm. Eating was only a matter of hope in that it was not always available to us. As children, we had no knowledge of how or if there would be any meal for us. Our parents provided for us as best they could, yet there were days we went without. Upon numerous needs and desires with no help in sight any time soon, it was of necessity, being the oldest of four, that I should do whatever I could lay my hands to do to supplement the family’s income. Therefore, at age thirteen I moved to a city called Aba about fifty miles away from the family. It was at Aba that I settled and searched for work until I was able to find houseboy work. It was so thrilling when I received my first pay, and I began saving. With the little pay I was getting, I was able to support my parents and my siblings. Against this backdrop, education was the furthest thing in my mind because the opportunity for education was completely bleak to me.
I moved quite a bit in search for less hectic houseboy chores to keep from becoming a doormat for the master’s wife. As a houseboy, you quickly learn the family dynamics that varied from one family to another. In some families, the madam’s expectations were very high insomuch as tripling chores on the houseboy, especially if she lost the drag-down, knockout fight with her husband. On the other hand, some families were empathetic towards the houseboy and made minimal demands on him. In some dysfunctional, (I mean real messed up) families, it was not uncommon that the houseboy became the scapegoat of family squabbles and as the grass on which two elephants had their wrestling contest. God forbid if the husband blamed the wife for whatever went wrong; the wife turned the blame on the houseboy because she would not have it. Oh! May God help the houseboy if the madam was disgusted about something that was not totally the houseboy’s fault. That meant skinning the houseboy alive! This was no small matter for the houseboy. It meant scourging, heaping insults, and deprivation of meals all day and/or including wages, too. Revolting was a common occurrence, particularly when wages were tampered with.
Light dawned when God graciously swung the door open for me to travel overseas. Coming to America at well over my late twenties was nothing short of a miracle back in those days. It was highly unthinkable that people without a formal or good education in Nigeria could travel overseas. Traveling overseas (i.e., to London, America, Germany, Canada, and so forth) was for the wealthy and educated families. Neither my family nor I was anywhere near qualified in those classes. My situation changed when I traveled to Lagos and became employed the same day with the newest and only exquisitely fabulous hotel, the Holiday Inn, in the country, working at the front desk as a receptionist. On my third year, at work, against all odds, God brought two American tourists who came to the desk and began chatting with me. As we chatted, they inquired if I had ever thought of traveling to America. My response was in the negative. They encouraged me to travel. The two individuals’ encouragement ignited my interest and lent credence to my consideration of traveling to America. I am in America, and I am ever so grateful. I wish I knew the whereabouts of the two people. I would visit them just to thank them for letting God use them to reach me in the way He did.