The Street Before Mine

Opinion

I thought to myself as I walked past, I hope they don’t beat you, Mr. Preacher, you have some balls. It’s a free world after all and the preacher is free to preach, but is it right to target your preaching to a particular person or group of people?

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The street before mine feels like something out of a movie. Its filled with colorful, dramatic and crazy people. Now, it doesn’t help that just along the road, off the street is a market. A loud, dirty, crazy market filled with even more crazy people. The street before mine is what the righteous people will call worldly. It comes to live mostly in the night at 7:00pm, colorful lights can be seen from the houses, blue, green, red… loud music can be heard, ladies; dark, tall, fat, slim, any body type at all, can be seen parading on the street, and it stays that way up till like 7:00am. So when I walk past most morning, I always take my time so I can take it whichever drama they were showing. This morning, a preacher decided to stand strategically in the midst of the crazy to preach and, guess what? the colorful people weren’t so happy about it.

I live in the part of Lagos that is referred to as the Island, down the road off the street is a beach. It used to be a lovely beach, filled with palm trees, shades, and fine sand. It used to be a place I used to enjoy wasting my time, but not anymore. It seems the land had been sold and the last time I went there, the palm trees had been cut down, there were no shades anymore and it was being landfilled. It was ruined. Anyway, that’s not what we are here to discuss, we are talking about the street before mine and so far, you can see I live in a quite colorful environment. I bet if you pull up a chair and watch, you will be quite entertained, almost like going to the Cinema, I don’t advise that though.

I remember the day a friend of mine was visiting. She called to say she was a few minutes away but when she didn’t show up after 15minutes, we were worried. The next thing, my phone rang and when I picked, her voice sounded really horrified. “I think I am lost in a crazy place”, she blurted in a very low voice, immediately I said hello. She had mistakenly entered the street before mine, it was around past 7pm and as I said, that’s exactly when I heard the street comes to life. She was lost and couldn’t find my house and the way she described where she was and what she was seeing, I almost told her she wasn’t even around my vicinity, but then, she had been to my house before. So I asked, “did you enter the first or second street?” Turns out sister entered the first street, and after we were able to figure it out, she eventually found my house. Now my friend has a knack for being dramatic, so her story might have been greatly exaggerated but then, it matched the ones I have heard before she came with hers. I was so intrigued that I decided one day, someday, I would have to go check it out. What can I say, I hope it won’t be a case of curiosity kills the cat though.

So as I walked out very early this morning, enjoying the feel of the morning air on my skin and letting my mind wander as I take in my surrounding, I passed the street before mine, I almost passed without noticing, till I heard some really loud colorful words being used carelessly and really loudly by the ladies of the street. The Preacher from one of those new generation churches stood at the entrance of this street, the stores were still closed I saw, but there was this house where the colorful ladies of the street came out from, few of them were scantily clothed, parading around like they didn’t have a care in the world. A really slim lady in bum shorts that could pass and panties was bent by the drainage brushing her teeth, while another fatter one, walked past the front of the pastor, cursing him very loudly in pidgin English.

Now, I couldn’t stay and watch the end of the drama, but I saw more ladies come out to where the preacher stood, still the preacher persisted in a loud voice. I thought to myself as I walked past, I hope they don’t beat you, Mr. Preacher, you have some balls. It’s a free world after all and the preacher is free to preach, but is it right to target your preaching to a particular person or group of people? It feels more like judging and no one has the right to judge. Standing there also and making the preaching only about fornication and adultery seemed really personal, more like calling them out. I do not know what happened at the end, but I hope the preacher is okay.

The street before mine is quite interesting, like a marketplace except not just goods are sold. I have passed there in the afternoon a few times to get to my house, but till I get the nerve to walk through the street on a very good night, I will settle for just the intriguing stories I have heard from people who have been and you shall settle for hearing from me, unless you want to come see for yourself.

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