Femi Kuti and Timi Dakolo: Facing Mutant Truths Under Muted Lights (2), By Oluseyi Olufemi
For Femi Anikulapo Kuti, the greatest tragedy in our moral universe is when Truth is killed and Lie takes its place. But Timi Dakolo has found out, two decades after, that the killing of Truth is not the worst event. The younger singer faces a greater grief than the death of truth – the dearth of Mary Magdalene and the other women, the cowardice of the men…
Femi Anikulapo Kuti hints, in his easily missed musical parable, that it takes two forces to successfully extinguish truth any day – a molue and a trailer. The molue is a commuter bus notorious for the overload of persons and goods. It was formerly the commonest means of public transport in Lagos, Nigeria. The trailer is the word in the Nigerian parlance for an articulated vehicle, especially a heavy duty truck. While both were responsible for the fatal end of truth in Femi’s song “Truth don die O”, it appears the molue only succeeded in jamming and holding truth down for the trailer’s heavy tires to run over the head of truth.
Femi’s prophetic metaphor is a poetic psalm that plays out “in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”. Here as well, like the molue, Santa Satan cannot single handedly break the good conscience of a young Christian, he always needs a heavy duty truck driver like Pastor Matthew Ashewo of Kingsway Logistics to smash a Christian’s skull of truth, which is that young believer’s active conscience.
Indeed, the father of lies can perpetrate lies and persecute those who worship God in Spirit and in truth, but he will always need a rogue agent of truth to finally help deactivate their moral sanity. That is where Al Shaiton finds Pastor Matthew and his establishment friends handy. Their mutant strains of truth are the fastest poison that will ultimately take down a naïve believer.
But sane minds, especially those outside the church’s stranglehold, stand in shock when they see Pastor Matthew Ashewo, the Captain of Kingsway Air Force stand behind KOSA’s pulpit to declare that women who are serially raped and repressed and the few who dare to report their private suffering in the hands of KOSA’s senior sexual predator and pastor are “Satanic accusers and Satanic condemnators”, while the sensible congregation at KOSA cheers him on.
For Timi Dakolo, a professed Christian, his headache is complicated by the fact that it’s the same book of Christian law that the likes of Pastor Matthew Ashewo of Kingsway Stores is twisting to condemn a female victim haunted by years of muted sexual horrors suffered in the hands of the younger brother of God and eternal founder of KOSA, Abuja. Timi’s heartbreak is compounded by the fact that it’s the same Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth that this funky punky-haired vicar of Christ from Ode Omu invokes to curse a wounded lamb, a struggling wife and mother on her road to full emotional recovery.
But Timi faces these traitor trailers alone. He faces these monsters in ministers’ cassocks alone. He battles their mutant truths alone. But why? The church’s inner light does not reveal anymore! Recent history has shown that until light comes from without the church’s orders, the church’s eyes no longer see the rot within, or they’ve simply chosen to be blind. For parishioners who don’t have a blind eye, the presbytery hastily gorges their brighter eye or takes out both eyes to simply prevent them from over-seeing the overseers.
In 2019, it took Kiki Mordi to beam her Christlike light on one of the sexual predators on the pulpit of a major Pentecostal church in Nigeria. Her righteous act makes one ask in retrospect of 2018, why it was only the Chicago Tribune that could exegete the resurrected truth of decades of sexual molestation of women by the leadership of a 24-thousand congregation south of Barrington, Illinois, U.S.A?
Again, why was it secular truth that was strong enough to force the exit of that unrepentant clergyman from the pulpit, a few months to his glorious retirement? The answer, as it is in KOSA in Abuja, Nigeria, is that the elders of that church had heard the truth from the abused and hurting women, but they refuse to hearken to their cries of distress. They show no pity for the wounded and bleeding sheep. They rise instead to protect their deadly and holy hyena.
These women who dare to speak out and reveal the truth used to be protected and respected as real lights. But that was long before Justices of Piss like Pastor Matthew Ashewo took over the sacred work of interpreting the Christian Constitution. These post-truth preachers have since amended the Bible and repealed this portion below (in Ephesians 5:3-13 NKJV) that clearly states that men as Timi Dakolo are the endangered but true lights of the world:
3. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4. neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9. (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10. finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
13. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
Clearly today, the church’s light no longer reveals the shameful acts within. The church’s lights no longer dislodge darkness. Instead it venerates it. That is why Pastor Matthew Ashewo is bold to publicly torment the psyches of the daughters of light who dare to expose the shameful things done in secret in KOSA. That is why this only avatar of Kingsway and acclaimed fourth person of the Holy Trinity unleashes his mutant strains of truth to crowd out the remnant voices of reason.
For Femi Anikulapo Kuti, the greatest tragedy in our moral universe is when Truth is killed and Lie takes its place. But Timi Dakolo has found out, two decades after, that the killing of Truth is not the worst event. The younger singer faces a greater grief than the death of truth – the dearth of Mary Magdalene and the other women, the cowardice of the men, the threats of darkness and the silence of the lights.
Oluseyi Olufemi writes from Abuja.