My Journey to CFA Kaduna part II

By Uzah Ephraim Oryiman

I had always loved music. CFA Kaduna would be where I learnt music. But it didn’t begin there. I recall my father play the mouth organ. I would watch my father play the mouth organ so well. I revel in his enthusiasm while he made solo songs they loved in the 80s. When he played, it was the few moments he tries to tell us his children that he once had talent too. Also, they were the moments he truly empties himself to the ruptures of laughter. In earnest, I would become engrossed by what it is to be music when my cousin in Ohenna O. Ohenna came to stay with us in 2012\13. His stay with us in the barracks then did tremendous wonders to me. He introduced me to western gospel songs. He played them often and sang along. His playlist included songs from bands like Third Day, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship, Planetshakers, Casting Crown, Skillet, David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin and Hilsong United to mention but a few. He didn’t give me access to these songs. I was shabby in how I would source for the songs. Armed with less knowledge of the internet. He made sure I got these songs myself. To him, that was the only way to make me cherish them. I did get the songs and explored other bands too. Then in my SS2, he had made it compulsory that I read Walter Rodney`s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. I accepted his tutelage. Besides, he was transforming my knowledge musically and Academically.

Hillsong became my model gospel band. I watched the entirety of the 2012 cornerstone annual concert. It was where I decided to be acoustic guitarist. To play in the house of God one day. To play in the house of God was a dream that didn’t come quick. Shedrack Emengini bought a guitar for me. He bought from David Bazakure. David would become my practice partner. What he plays I play too. However, it was Pastor Azenda Steve that taught me first the basics of guitar. I think he drew a few cord and said “within the few days you would play Ephraim”. It was a bit difficult. I didn’t rehearse truth be told. We were farmers! Great farmers! Lol! Farming would take the entirety of my day. Like, mehn, there were times we went to farm on Sundays for mild works like farm supervisions. It amputated the level dexterity I intended to acquire. But, we had lot of food from the farming and school fees too came from it. In the nights after farming hours, my father restricted us from going out. Thank God he did. Else, well, it us not digress.

While these transformations occurred, I needed a band to practice. 2014 was to be instrumental in quest to better myself. But, it was also the year Boko Haram targeted churches. Living in the heart of Niger state, there were threats. Being in the barracks meant first-hand information reached us first. Letters of market place bombing were sent or kept for the public to see. My father gave draconian degrees. I knew how he knows how to flog well. In the night, I would play rubbish from the guitar. I remember one of the times i was playing trash, my father asked who was crying outside. Mad oh! The Madalla Suleja Catholic church Christmas day bombing in 2016 would fuelled more curfew in my house. Luckily I had had admission university already.

In the university, I had assumed would be a place where I would see those who would teach me guitar very well. Indeed, there were avalanche of talents but they were only interesting in using my guitar to impress ladies. Pitiful for me then, I would trek long distance only for my guitar to be used to create euphoria while I watched and wished I learnt how to play like they did. Although, I enjoyed to be called the guitar owner even though I could not play. I wished too that I could impress ladies. Lolz! I tutored myself with online youtube vidoes.

Thus, the guitar would be the first thing I would ask for from the people who came to command for evangelism. Pastor Austin in his typical calm demeanor would say “just come, is not guitar that you want to play?” Min. Tope had promised to come pick to church. He didn’t come. I had made up my mind to go anyway. I had worn my best. I came out from the lodge with the thought of how am I to locate this church. I was new to the environment. My drive was to worship where he would see someone who might decide to teach me guitar. In my puzzle, I waved at a passing car. Greeted and explained my puzzle to the man. The man running an errand for a superior officer took me the venue of the church, turned and drove for what he had been sent. Lucky me! Sounds divine arrangement right?

Two services were going on already in the venue that would be New Treasure Hall Baka Street. I went direct to the venue for Champion Faith Assembly. Nobody directed me! I entered the church. Do you know what happened? I saw……

See you in part III

About the author

Uzah Ephraim Oryiman teaches English and Literature at Harmony International College Kaduna, Kaduna State. His play THE HERBS unpublished has been staged in 2017 by Shinning stars Dance and Drama troupe Lapai, Niger state and in 2018 by Naseldram- English Department Drama club at IBB University,Lapai, Niger state. His poems have appeared in Ebedi International Magazine and other sites and blogs.

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