Castles Lifestyle


- By Obande Godwin Agbese. Obande is the Principal Partner at Obande Agbese + co 1, Engineerin­g Close, Off Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria agbeseoban­ obandeagbe­

I checked my watch. We had spent three hours singing praises and praying. It was neither a church service nor a church program. It was an inspection of a property.

Our appointmen­t was for 10am. But by 8.20am, the client called me that he was already in Ikoyi heading towards Banana Island. I reminded him that our appointmen­t was for 10am. He mumbled something about having a church program and would want to nish on time and go.

I dashed to Banana Island because I knew that the client would ride with me while his driver drives behind us.

I had not taken my breakfast.

The client is the type that spends one hour inspecting a single house. He would open every drawer, cupboard and wardrobe. He would test every electrical switch, open all taps and ush all toilets. He would ask question and ask question again. Sometimes, he would ask the same question thrice. He carried on as if he was commission­ed to carry out a structural cum technical survey of the properties (both qualitativ­e and quantitati­ve analyses). The Agent who took us to the property le us there. He did not have the luxury of time for our forensic inspection.

We inspected three properties in Banana. Island.

By the time we nished from Banana Island, it was already 1pm. I had not put anything in my mouth that day. Not even a drop of water. Hunger was gnawing at my stomach. Even if I had wanted to look for something to buy, I didn't know where any edible thing is sold in Banana Island.

When we got to Lekki phase 1, we met an ederly couple who were the owners of the property we wanted to inspect. We greeted them with outmost courteousn­ess. They wanted to know us better. My client told them that he was the Accountant of the Company looking for the property. "And by the grace of God, I am a servant of the most High God. I am a Presiding Pastor of Four Square Gospel Church" he informed them. They clapped for him.

"We are also ministers of God" they said enthusiast­ically.

They gave a long sermon about their church. I was not listening. I was hungry. I wanted us to conduct the inspection and leave. We came for an inspection not "Ministers conference", for crying out loud.

"Mr Agbese, what church do you attend? I guess you are a man of God too?" the landlord was addressing me. I told him my church, but I said I am no pastor. They all remarked that my church does not joke with "re prayers"

We all laughed.

"In everything we do, we must put God first" the landlord observed. We all nodded in affirmatio­n.

"Since brother Obande's church is known for violent and fervernt prayers, he will lead us in prayer in this gathering of brethrens" my client intoned. In my mind, I was like "For real? Are we here for prayers?"

I said a short prayer.

From their countenanc­es, I knew that they were not impressed with my prayer, but that was the least of my worries.

After the inspection, I discovered that there was a problem when one of them said "God must have brought us together for a purpose like this. We must not miss this opportunit­y to worship Him and fellowship together".

That was how we started singing praises, jumping and dancing round the compound for hours. I danced towards the boys quarter at the rear, out of the view of the others and sat down to rest. "I came for an inspection, not for deliveranc­e. If I need deliveranc­e, I will go for MFM weekend deliveranc­e" I muttered to myself. Unfortunat­ely, my client also danced towards the direction of the boys quater and saw me sitting down. He motioned for me to stand up.

The wife of the landlord was obviously a prayer warrior. She led us on long supplicati­ons to God Almighty. We prayed, jumped and danced until I almost fainted.

Like joke, like joke, we spent some hours in the unplanned program. You would have thought that it was a real church service. We were up to 10 persons, because all their drivers joined in the prayer session. The only thing that we did not do was to collect offering.

In the car, on our way after the inspection, my client complained about my escaping to the back of the house to rest. I told him that I had not eaten since morning. He asked if I don't fast? I told him that I fast when I plan to fast. I don't engage in impromptu fasting.

He said that I needed to be stronger in the things of the Lord. I informed him that I am often strong when I choose to fast. But when I didn't plan to fast, my body was not taking it kindly for not eating anything till 4pm and yet engaging in that kind of rigorous exercise.

When next my Pastor client called for an inspection, I told him that I would be unavoidabl­y absent. In my mind I was wondering "Are we going for an inspection or a deliveranc­e service?" I delegated a younger colleague who is a muslim to take him for the inspection.

When has an inspection of properties turned into a church service? ...(A reflection of an unconventi­onal mind)

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