By Gideon Chukwuemeka Ogbonna
He is Igbo. And he speaks of his chi with gusto and assurance. I think this is a good thing because the ability to anchor hope on a belief is a good thing. I have a covenant with my chi that I will not die before 120 years. Look at me, I am 62. Still strong. Remaining 58 years. I don’t need to take drugs or change my diet because of age. I eat everything, he says.
He is 62. Strong. Young. Dark skin not rumpled with age. But I am wary of his faith. This faith that blinds. This faith that makes him cherry pick on life, making outrageous philosophies to quell truths. For instance, he says sicknesses are a product of the mind. If you allow a sickness linger in your mind, it will stay in your body. So I ask him about children, newborns that come down with diseases. They do not have a strong-enough mind to expel the illnesses from their mind, he answers. I laugh.
I wish he knew that illnesses happen not because we will them to, but because at some point, time degenerates the body. And using fallacies as an excuse not to take care of one’s health is a bad thing, even suicidal. I remember a woman who had walked into our medical outreach one Saturday, looking robust and healthy. One could easily dismiss the dullness in her eyes as tiredness. Not until her blood pressure was measured and she had to be treated as emergency. Looks can be, indeed, deceiving. So I look at this man and feel sorry for him. Perhaps, he is sitting on an enlarged prostate or a high blood pressure, but how can he know this since he chi forbids it, and he has also drunken from the river at Shangri-la.
He is Igbo, and he has a chi. A personal guardian spirit sent to him by Chukwu, the almighty God. As the man prides in his unfailing health, I wonder if his chi has failed to remind him the words of God: render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Maybe his chi has played his part, but the man keeps forgetting…or chooses not to remember. Whatever it maybe, his body will be left to bear the brunt of it.