Sectional leader of Assemblies of God Church, the Rev. Kingsley Eberechukwu Opara, in this interview with EDITH CHUKU, narrated his ordeals while growing up, just as he urged Nigeria youths to turn away from crime related activities.
You once mentioned something about being a conductor years ago?
Yes, I was. I came into Port Harcourt as a bus conductor.
Tell us more.
Sure, it’s my pleasure. Well, I wasn’t unfortunate to be born without a golden spoon. No, I wasn’t, even though I wasn’t even born with an ordinary rubber spoon, the very gift I received from our parents as a child was the gift of being born.
When you say you weren’t unfortunate to be born without a silver spoon, are you implying that those born into wealthy homes are unfortunate?
No, not at all, I am only saying that I probably might have not been this grateful and dedicated in my service to God and humanity, I might have not been a motivating, inspiring factor, I might have not had stories that will make youths believe they can, since I could.
When I say I wasn’t unfortunate, it doesn’t mean that being born into a wealthy home is being unfortunate. In fact, we need them to complete the church building and provide the essential needs of the church. But, all I’m saying is that I am very fortunate not to have been born with silver, golden, brass, stainless, plastic or even wooden spoon because I might have not had a good story to tell like the one I have today.
Why conductor, was there no other option?
That was what my hand found to do at that time, that was it, my hand laid on “ochor passenger” conductor. So I followed.
How did it feel?
Satisfying, I could feed, save, give. That meant a lot. While bankers, engineers, doctors were hurrying to go to work, I was hurrying to also go to work, the difference was in our dressing(laughs). You know nah, dressing, means of communication and place of work. It wasn’t awkward. In fact, after being a conductor for a while, in less than no time, I became a bus driver.
Yes, I graduated from Etche to Mile 1 conductor and became a driver, a bus driver.You see, the problem with today’s youths is that they do not want to use what is in their hand to manufacture what they need; they want to use your head to get what they want. Hard work pays, it takes your time, energy, sweat and transmits into wealth; that’s how it works. Shun crime, social vices. I was a conductor here in Port Harcourt, not London. You don’t need to take a flight to find that out.
If it was now, would you consider being a conductor?
It’s not about the time, it’s about what God placed in your hands, or don’t we have conductors anymore? We do, even well educated graduates are doing the job. The thing is, what is visible, what is available for productivity, Moses had a rod, God used it. In fact, that rod performed more miracles. What you have develops with time. Today, you weed grass, tomorrow you start selling groundnut, it develops into owning a shop, then a business, you become an employer of labour, what you need to find out is what is in your hands? That’s what to consider.
Wow! today, my Bible is in my hand and God’s word is in me. If you are born into a poor family, don’t ever feel alone, we all came from that side, yet we got here. Use what God has laid in your hands and move. I lived rough but today I am born again and my calling is to bring people to the kingdom of God. It wasn’t easy but I stayed focus, committed, devoted, diligent. Today, I have testimonies. I am a pastor, a graduate, have done degree programme in a higher institution, graduated with a doctorate degree from being a conductor. Where you are standing matters but where you are going means everything.