KCSE REVISION: ENGLISH PAPER 101/3_Memories We Lost and Other Stories

‘Desperation and hard times have created a harvest ground for fake preachers.’ Drawing illustrations from Segun Afolabi’s Folded Leaf, show the truth of this statement.

  Our religious institutions have been hacked by fake and materialistic pastors who take advantage of their congregations’ foolhardiness. They manipulate and exploit their poor, desperate, and ignorant congregation with a promise to salvation and healing. In Afolabi’s Folded Leaf, Pastor Fayemi is rich and exploitative. He lies to his congregation that God does not like the poor to make them pay for his services. He also receives donations from Reverend Abbe’s followers who have followed him to the city for redemption, miracles, and healing.

Pastor Fayemi lies to his congregation that God does not like the poor to convince and pester his followers to give money before any healing. He tells his congregation that everyone is rich for God gave them wealth more than they can imagine. He compares his congregation to a fool who wallows with pigs in the pen. The writer says that Fayemi sounded angry as if his followers had done anything to displease him. The pastor further advises his listeners that to give is to please the Lord, urging them to donate generously if they are to be blessed by God. All these lies and sweet-talking is to make people give, by believing that salvation and healing do not come for free. A voice from the stage next to Pastor Fayemi directs people to give all they can, warning them not to cheat for the pastor can see through their hearts. This has blinded most people who even have to travel for long distances to seek salvation having sold whatever little they own as a token of appreciation for the servant of God’s efforts. God’s love is unending for it knows neither the poor nor the rich in terms of material and riches for happy are the poor in heart for thy Kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

Papa and his family believe that Fayemi will heal them and not God and they decide to take a long trip to Lagos to meet him during one of his crusades. When they leave their seats for the stage to receive healing, Fayemi’s security stops them in their tracks. Papa tells them that they don’t understand his situation for they have been traveling the whole day just to come to meet the pastor, showing them his daughter and son. When the men insist that they should go back to their seats, Papa thinks they have made an error that they ought to correct for his family is yet to receive healing. Bunmi is afraid that the pastor may see her sins, doubt, and disbelief but she is still hopeful. A woman behind her shouts that they should follow the others towards the stage. The communion and flock of kindred souls give Bunmi hope even though she is stumbling among the crowd like a drunkard, she believes that the love on the stage will make her whole again. Disappointed, they all head back to their seats with Bunmi wishing Bola had not come saying he should have left his chance to Lola who had been diabetic all her life. She later understands that Bola too had come to be healed. Salvation and healing all come from God and not human beings, therefore, if we believe and pray in the most high, our problems shall be lifted from our shoulders.

 



Followers of Reverend Abbe are poor but still donate money to Pastor Fayemi for healing. They have been made to believe that one cannot see the hand of God without giving. Fayemi is best known on account of his helicopter and Gulf-stream jet, his homes in Florida, Switzerland, and the Caribbean therefore his exploitative, materialistic, and opulence nature is revealed. Mr. and Mrs. Ejiofoh are rich but still travel in the minibus with the others because they believe that one can never have too much for as you give, you receive in abundance. The family is also famous for its church donations which are done to seek favor from the pastor. When they are stopped by police, Mrs. Kekere challenges the officers to leave them alone for they are going to Lagos to praise God. She further tells them to leave the sick children alone for God is watching them as Mr. Ejiofoh bribes them without dignity. As papa and his family prepare for the healing, he distributes funds to each of them. They have been raising the funds for months and their donations sealed in envelopes to present to the pastor. In the end, they walk home disappointed, Bunmi sure that her salvation will only come from God and not Fayemi. God does not make it a necessity that for you to receive healing, you must pay therefore donate willingly.

Pastor Fayemi’s ushers are callous and opportunistic. They lie to the crowd of different miracles performed by Fayemi and this convinces people to give more without question. While Ejiofoh and his wife are ushered to the VIP area, the rest are moved to the back of the arena. Fayemi calls to his congregation telling the crippled to stand from their wheelchairs for they shall receive healing and this prompts Sam to try to stand up but papa asks him to sit. Bunmi is curious whether they have shown anybody stands from their wheelchair or if it is mere fabrication. Another voice booms from the stage, probably Fayemi’s ushers asking people to give all they can for God can see into their hearts. Another voice from the stage shouts, saying a girl has been healed from cancer and people gasp as they call names of their loved ones, their names, Jehovah, Jesus, and even Lord. Bunmi burns with anxiety for she is ready to see the healed girl. As papa and his family make way for the stage, the ushers order them to sit down for there should be no obstruction or wheelchair. He tells them that Fayemi can reach them where they are. Sam tries to stand up again but Kekere comforts him that they will all receive healing in their lifetime and he shouldn’t worry. Another voice calls out again saying that someone had been healed of arthritis prompting applaud from the audience. God’s healing hand needs not to be announced and advertised but instead, we should believe in what we pray for and not expect much from human beings.

It is indeed true that desperation shown by papa, Bunmi, Sam, Mr. and Mrs. Ejiofoh, Mrs. Kekere and Fayemi’s congregation amidst hard times where they have to travel for long distances despite being poor and ignorant has given Fayemi the chance to exploit and manipulate them for they give donations with a promise of salvation.

 

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