Mrs. Keku’s Son (A True Story)
by: Deji Yesufu
The year 2004 remains a year I will not forget very quickly in my life. It was the year I had surgery; the year I returned from my botched venture to Lagos in search for a job; it was also the year I learnt to wait on God and trust him absolutely. In 2003, after my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) program, I had gone to Lagos to look for a job. We were told that Lagos was the city with all the lucrative jobs in Nigeria. I returned to my parent’s house in Zaria, Kaduna State, in October 2004, without a job. I still remain thankful to God that anywhere I find myself in the world, I try to locate a church to fellowship in. All of my breakthroughs in life, as far as jobs are concerned, came while I was in church. I digress.
So I joined this little church in Zaria then. I had separated from the church I attended while I was a student because of the encroachment of the Prosperity Gospel on them. I had written to the leadership of that church about it but they did not even call me for a discussion (what does a lousy student know). In this little church, the prosperity gospel influence was there too but because they were just starting off, it was not that pronounced. It was in this church that I met Mrs. Keku and her son. At the conclusion of this essay, I will explain why I chose to tell this story now.
Mrs. Keku, as of that time, had just returned from England. She had worked there for many years but decided to return home and live with her husband and children. She was very likely in her mid forties then. The boy, whom I choose to call her son in this essay, was a little over a year old. The young boy was actually not Mrs. Keku’s son. She had adopted him and I will later learn of the circumstances around the adoption of that child.
Once upon a time, a rather influential family in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State, had a thirtheen year daughter. I have chosen not to reveal the name of the family because of legal reasons. This girl “fell pregnant” at this very young age and the person who impregnated her happened to be another young boy of about her age. She eventually had the child at fortheen. The mother of the pregnant girl was Mrs. Keku’s friend – they hail from the same town in the middle belt of Nigeria. Abortion was not an option because the family found out about the pregnancy very late. Mrs. Keku learnt of this pregnancy and proposed to the family that she will be willing to accept the child when he is born. The arrangement was that the girl will give birth to the child, Keku will take the child and the young woman will return to school as if nothing happened. Done deal.
I understand that on the day of delivery, the young woman was agile enough to have the child naturally (without caesarean section). Mrs. Keku told me this herself: she said that when that child was born, she practically took the child off the delivery table and carried him off to wash – along with the nurses. The family of the girl were so traumatized by the whole situation that they did not even look back. Girl and mother of the girl were just weeping and thanking God that they had been saved from the ignominy of the whole situation. Keku took that child from the hospital and began to nurse him.
By the time I arrived Zaria and joined this church, the boy was all grown up. To be sincere, I do not know whether I have seen a more handsome child in all my life. He was dark, chubby and he was the joy of the church gathering. We all called him Mrs. Keku’s son and we loved him very much. When I eventually learnt of the condition of his birth, I came to appreciate the boy more.
I left Zaria in 2005 and have not seen Mrs. Keku since then. I understand that the family of the girl that gave birth to that boy eventually returned and asked for the child back, and with a broken heart Mrs. Keku had to return the child. There were no legal terms attached to the adoption and Mrs. Keku did not insist on holding to the child. Even while I was with the church, she always expressed the satisfaction that she had that God used her to save that child’s life. I understand that the father of that child is the son of a traditional ruler in a prominent town in the middle belt of Nigeria.
I have not mentioned names for legal reasons but I give all these descriptions so that those who know this story can confirm its veracity and probably correct any misnformation. I learnt that Mrs. Keku moved to Abeokuta years later. All these happened 17 years ago. Mrs. Keku will be in her early sixties now. The boy will be a teenager and his mother in her early 30s. That, friend, is life. But this is why I tell this story.
First, in recent time, I have been suggesting adoption as a solution to a number of problems. I have suggested that couples without children should adopt a child; I have also stated that young unmarried ladies, who may feel they are getting on in age, should adopt children. Well, I hope this story motivates people like these to view adoption as a positive thing. Children are not just a blessing from God, they are also his dear creation. No one invests in these ones and runs at a loss. The reason why people seek to have their own children is because there is a blessing in seeing the fruit of your body come to maturity and be a productive human being. The truth that many deny is that that child does not have to be a fruit of your own body. That child is a creation of God and if you will view it in that manner, you will care for any child in particular and God will bless you in return.
Another reason I tell this story is to warn against the sheer evil of abortion. I hope we all know that Christiano Ronaldo’s mother actually considered abortion when she learnt she was pregnant with him. They were so poor and caring for another child looked like an uphill task. She changed her mind and today we have a phenomenon in our hands. That young man wil become the greatest footballer ever in the world and it is all because someone chose not to abort him. Besides the fact that abortion is murder, it is also a means of short-changing our world of great talents.
Lastly, I tell this story because Mrs. Keku keeps coming to my mind. I do not know where she is and I sincerely desire to reconnect with her. I hope that this story will reach her and we can see again. She is certainly not the first person in our world to do such a great act but what she did was phenomenal. I did not mention that she did all these while suffering deep lack because she was going through some challenges at that time, and was barely able to care for her own needs. But she took up taking care of that child and saved his life. The unfortunate thing about Nigeria is that because no one keeps records and there are no legal terms around issues, the story of the birth of that child may now have been retold and the very person at the center of preserving that child’s life totally disregarded.
I pray that my story, which has not been influenced by anyone at all, will come forth and help straighten the records. The family of that boy and the girl ought to give Mrs. Keku the honor which she deserves. Of course if they do not, her reward is with God in heaven.
That is the story of Mrs. Keku. Go and do likewise.