Help Raise a Toast To the Erica of Africa

Pendulum By Dele Momodu

Fellow Elites, today is our day, when we shall seize the God-given liberty and opportunity to celebrate and toast a young lady whose mistake was not forgiven by man but was still elevated and catapulted to fame and success. It is obvious that the ways of God are different from the ways of humans. We all love to pontificate as if we are all holy and perfect, but no one is. Every one of us suffers from one foible, weakness, egocentricity or the other. But if God can forgive our sins what stops us from replicating the same privilege to our fellow human being. Indeed, that is the injunction of most holy books. To err is human, to forgive is divine as Alexander Pope famously said in his poem, An Essay on Criticism!
Anyway. My sermon is quite simple today. And I won’t bore you with too much detail. My subject matter is no other than a beautifully effervescent, ebullient lady, Ms Erica Nlewedim, popularly known as Erica, who made some costly mistakes inside the Big Brother Naija House last year and was booted out ignominiously! It was a cataclysmic fall from the pinnacle of the temple to the rocky bottom of the abyss! Every onlooker expected her to be smashed into smithereens except some of us who truly know how God works mysteriously and miraculously.

Initially, I didn’t really know much about that particular edition of Big Brother Naija. I had been busy with other things, particularly my Instagram Live interview shows, and I had paid no attention to the current Big Brother Naija show. It was the call from my friend Terry Waya that aroused my interest. His son Kiddwaya was in the house and he solicited my media support. I was only too happy to lend my support since I also knew the young man quite well when he was growing up. I had not seen him when he became an adult. I expected that he would grow into an upstanding young man and the images of him and the character he presented in the Big Brother House justified my high hopes and expectations of him. As I watched the show, I knew Kiddwaya had grown up to become a handsome, intelligent and affable young man. I became hooked on the show and realised that several of my friends were also quite keen on it. Then one thing led to another and we discovered that Kiddwaya seemed to have fallen headlong in love with one ravishingly beautiful, but overly complicated housemate called Erica or Baby G. The feeling was clearly mutual, and the lovebirds could be seen demonstrating their affection for each other whenever they could. Then tragedy struck and Erica was mercilessly expelled for a transgression which brought out her frail, fragile and highly charged emotional personality! Everybody makes a mistake, especially when under the influence of alcohol and Erica was definitely inebriated that day. The fault was not hers alone though. It seemed that the other Housemates dd not actually look out for her welfare on that day and allowed things to deteriorate to the extent that they did. Ordinarily, that would have been it for me. However, I read all kinds of ugly comments and was deeply troubled about a young soul that may soon be totally destroyed and completely obliterated simply because she was much misunderstood and deeply maligned. I knew I had to step in urgently because I dislike and detest unfairness and injustice! Sooner than later, her boyfriend Kiddwaya was evicted in what seemed a well coordinated conspiracy in the House which made me redouble my efforts to support Erica and ensure that her participation and unfortunate exit were not in vain.
While contemplating on how to reach her, other well-meaning Nigerians contacted me offering to help her. They were sympathetic whilst appreciating that rules were rules and that Erica had broken a few ground rules that sad day. Of particular interest was the case of a top government official in Abuja, Mrs FS, who chose to remain eternally anonymous. She laid out elaborate plans for Erica in a bid to ensure that her star which had shone brightly was not dimmed. There were several others who felt the same way and Erica had become a winner, even before the show itself ended. Is God not so wonderful? I somehow discovered that Funke Kuti was Erica’s godmother. Funke’s Mum is my well-respected neighbour. So, it was eventually easy for all three of us to connect. That was the beginning of my blistering wholesale support for Erica.

Let me fast forward a bit. I suffered collateral damages on account of my effrontery to liberate a lady I never knew from a mental meltdown. I had no other motive than to save a soul. I knew that she needed to be encouraged rather than be vilified and crucified. In lending my voice and support for Erica’s advancement, I never disparaged any other Housemate. It is not in my character and it is not the Ovation way. We applaud, celebrate and promote. Sadly, and seriously, we live in the age of intolerance, in which someone’s enemy must automatically become yours as well. Unfortunately, no one can bully me out of my principled position. My family was worried about the ceaseless plethora of attacks on my person by kids I could easily have grandfathered. My wife called from London belching fire. She could not understand why I was not relenting in my support despite the vociferously fearsome attacks I was being subjected to. That even got me more steadfastly fastidious and totally determined to fight Erica’s corner since I knew my soul was clean towards this girl. In the end, Erica has been vindicated, the enormous respect, admiration and adoration that she commands and engenders have made it all worthwhile. I pray some people will fight for our own children in their days of tribulations.

Today, I’m extremely proud of my stubbornness and undaunting spirit. The reason our country is in this monumental mess is because we always allow evil people to gain the upper hand due to our meekness and squeamishness! We easily cave in under societal pressure and fearmongering. I draw my strength from the gift of clairvoyance and ability to stand on the truth even if everyone would think I’m stupid. And I even expect no appreciation whatsoever from the beneficiary. Whatever I do, I do for God because HE has touched my heart to do so. I seek no personal gain. I’m sure God will bless me beyond my asking once my motives are pure, which they always are.

I met Erica only once when she visited our home for a live interview session on Instagram, my favourite social media platform. I discovered a daughter figure and accepted her warts and all. I had no doubts that she will travel far and achieve her voluptuously gargantuan dreams, if she can keep her head screwed to her neck and stay focused. I predicted she would unite Africa powerfully. She is a leader and in her own inimitable way and a veritable role model. Her enemies went into a rage and another round of tirades after the interview. It was all for nought. A star was born. If in doubt, please watch how Africa will celebrate her today. Erica has become an unstoppable phenomenon not because she’s the most beautiful woman, the most brilliant scholar, the most eloquent speaker but just because God likes to help lift up the downtrodden who has been kicked wickedly and unremittingly in the mud like a leather football.

Hate or love her, Erica’s time has come. Please, rise, and join me in giving Erica a standing ovation and toast to her health, longevity and prosperity as she celebrates her 27th birthday today. Remember to keep her in your prayers because she still has many bridges to cross, successfully by the grace of God…

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