For 19 years, Mrs Roseline Rufai had a harrowing experience as she sought to have children. She passed through an ordeal in the quest to get pregnant, and in the course of that search endured terrible things. The long period was agonising for the industrious woman, who lost a fortune as all manner of fraudsters took advantage of her predicament; at some point she even attempted suicide, was thrown out of her matrimonial home and slept at bus-tops for months all in the quest to have a child. Then God remembered and blessed her with a set of twins – a boy and a girl. In this interview, she relives the experience as tells her story.
Divorced in my absence after six-year childlessness
I came into Lagos after my secondary education from my home town, Ologbo in Delta State in search of greener pastures. I had stayed barely three years with my uncle, when a young man came and asked for my hand in marriage and I accepted. After two years into the marriage, there was no child. Various hospitals became my second home, five years after, there was still no child. The doctors found out that I had blocked fallopian tubes while my ex-husband, Benjamin, was diagnosed of low sperm count. Treatment commenced immediately, yet, there was no result.
Trouble started after six years of childlessness, friends and relatives advised me to go to Ibadan and consult a traditional medicine man, who they said could solve my problem. My husband bade me farewell to Ibadan in Oyo State. On my return after six days, I met my house locked up. I ran to our office immediately to ask him why he locked me out. My husband and I were jointly running a newspaper distribution agency. Benjamin deceived me with false information about the purported sudden death of my uncle. I cried and ran to meet my uncle hale and hearty in his house not knowing it was a carefully planned ruse to send me away from my matrimonial home. My uncle calmed me down and brought a divorce suit document which my husband had processed in my absence.
It seemed like a fairy tale but that was it. He confessed that I did not do anything but cannot endure living with a woman for six years without a child. I was dumbfounded but faithfully looked up to God for consolation. My family expected me to seek legal redress but I refused and believed that God would wipe my tears.
I was unable to cope with the tragedy and suffered a setback. Unknowingly, I left my uncle’s house and wandered like a mentally deranged woman. I made Texaco petrol station at the popular Cele bustop along Oshodi–Apapa expressway my abode for three months. I was practically dead
Starting to live again
One day, I summoned courage and told myself that enough was enough. I picked the strings of my life and boldly started my own newspaper agency business since we were in it together then. My first port of call was Complete Sports newspaper which was not far from Cele bus stop. I went to the circulation department and had a successful discussion, after which I registered Urenmi Ventures, a licenced and certified newspaper agent and that was the beginning of my turnaround.
I went to The Guardian and Thisday newspapers and became a registered agent. Success traced it path towards me again and my ex-husband was not happy because we had become competitors in the business while still sleeping at Cele bus stop. Any day I did not sleep at Cele bus-stop, I would sleep at the Guardian premises and follow their delivery van early in the morning to distribute newspapers. I mastered the rudiments and the arts of the business and was willing to succeed and never looked back again. I followed delivery vans in the wee hours of the night and was not deterred.
For me, I braced up and accepted Robert Schuler said in one of his bestselling books, ‘Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do.’ I was driven to heights in business through determination and hard work because I would go with The Guardian van and return with Vanguard van until I had a nightmarish encounter with a military man not knowing it was the hand work of my ex-husband to destabilize my business.
How it happened
On Christmas eve in 1997, I slept at The Guardian premises and followed them at 2.00am but it was risky to come down at Cele bus stop at that ungodly hour, so they dropped my copies and I continued with them to Mile 2 with the intention of coming back with Vanguard delivery van at 5.00am. Because it was Christmas Eve, activities were at peak that morning. I stood under the bridge not knowing Benjamin had branded me a prostitute who follows different newspaper delivery van drivers. As I made to speak with Vanguard driver to assist me to my abode at Cele, the military man arrived and dragged me close to Durbar hotel junction and gave me a beating of my life while calling me a prostitute. He would smoke his marijuana and pour the smoke on my head and face. I wept and sought for assistance that never came my way. When I suspected that the military man had gone to take a sip of alcoholic drink aka Ogogoro, I tiptoed and ran for my dear life. It was too much for me to handle. So, I reported to my family and they made him sign an undertaking never to harass me again.
Now, my businesss was doing well; so I decided to rent a one-room apartment at Ijanikin area which was where I could find an affordable accommodation. With time I moved down to another apartment at Agboju. My glow started returning gradually and men began to notice me again. A few dumped me because of childlessness. Unfortunately, I experienced what drove me to the edge of a cliff. I introduced a supposed husband-to-be to my seamstress tailor to make decent outfits for him. Instead of making clothes, the duo fell in love and began planning their wedding together. When I got wind of it, I mixed battery water with hot drink and drank it to end the harrowing and embarrassing experience once and for all.
But rather than die as planned, I woke up in the hospital after three days of unconsciousness. Not many people who trod on this path had the opportunity to tell the story like I am saying it today; but God was at work in my life. I carried on with my business and even went ahead to obtain an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Accounting from Ronik Polytechnic, which is in Ejigbo area of Lagos and then diversified from newspaper agency business to distribution of snacks. I rented a shop for that purpose. My businesses boomed, but I was not a happy woman. There was a big vacuum that was needed to be filled up. That vacuum was a child from my own womb. There was no church or prayer mountain that I did not visit in search of a child before I met the father of my children.
The search for a child
My legs have visited many places in search of babies. My story is long. When I was married to my ex-husband, Island Maternity, Macy Hospital and Maryland Medical Centre were the hospitals visited frequently including Ikorodu General Hospital. But when all the efforts proved abortive, I was advised to try out traditional practitioners, who were experts especially when there are proven cases to justify the action. I was motivated and my first visit was to a renowned herbalist in Benin, Edo State, where my mother comes from. From there I headed for neighbouring Delta State and yet no progress was made. I went to the Celestial Church of Christ for the same purpose and was given green water that contained maggot and I gulped it down because I was told it would cleanse my system and open my body to conceive. That opening was what I needed for easy conception. I travelled to Seme border and Cotonou to see native doctors who gave me different concoctions to drink, yet no show.
At Christ Apostolic Church, I was taken to various mountains located in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states three times every year. I did not get pregnant.
I spent a fortune
All the money I made in my life through my business was used for the same cause. Apart from transportation cost, the least I paid for any of the therapies was N50, 000. I have paid N500, 000, N400, 000, N300, 000 at several places over the years.
One case that stands clear in my mind was my visit to a renowned witchcraft doctor at Jesse near Warri in Delta State. When I got there, the man came out and drew a circle on the ground, drew a sign of the cross and brought an egg before me. He made incantation and told the egg to walk round the circle if it wanted him to work me. To my utter shock and amazement, the egg moved and walked round twice. The witch doctor told me that he travels in spirit realm in the night to do his work and find solutions to his client’s problems. In doing that he takes flight which costs N200,000 and travelling by road costs N50, 000.00, he asked me to choose one. I paid N200, 000 for the flight because I wanted fast action. That was just for transportation not the charge for the work. I also gave him a list of suspected relatives who I thought were responsible for my childlessness and the witchcraft doctor swung into action immediately.
How I knew that he had started working on case was during my grandfather’s burial, one of my maternal uncles called me aside and told me that they saw my messenger and washed their hands off my travails. That was how I knew my uncle was deep in spiritualism.
Going deeper in occultic ways
At a stage in search of the fruit of the womb, I joined the traditional water worshippers aka ‘mammy water at Agbara in Ogun State. The members told me that the river in my village Ologbo was the architect of my misfortune. They asked me to hire two 20-seater buses that would convey mammy water members from Lagos to my village for ‘igwe’ sacrifice. I enjoyed my romance with the igwe festival, got inducted and rose fast through the ranks. In fact I would have been the chief priestess who holds and distributes demonic powers.
All through this, my family was kept in the dark. I was on my own doing my things. After 15 years, I pointed fingers at my mother and elder sister took out frustration on them. I hit my head on my mother’s chest and rained abuses on the poor woman. I called her a witch and accused her of being responsible for my condition.
My mother, Mrs. Jemindi, had 10 children, six girls and four boys, all of them are married with children. I am the second child of the family but my case took a strange dimension. My mother could not hold back the tears drops that rolled freely down her cheeks. In my state of anger I deleted the names of all my siblings from my phone, changed my number and remained incommunicado for more than three years. As my family was at the receiving end of my frustration, all took it in good faith as they realized it was the devil’s handiwork.
Then deliverance came
The journey towards my miracle started the day a friend came to my shop and told me she did not like what she saw in me. She said: “I cannot call you a human being again; I do not know if you are a snake or a fish, your beautiful look has disappeared. I can only see animal in you. Do you think God cannot solve whatever challenge you are facing?” I answered in low voice and said that God can do it. The woman instructed me to go to Cornerstone Church at Oshodi the next day. Months rolled by and I did not visit the church.
One morning after distributing my newspapers, my body became very hot as if fire came from nowhere to burn me. I traced the church at Oshodi and it was their ‘Jesus Clinic’ fellowship in full attendance. The moment I walked into the auditorium, the pastor came from the pulpit and placed his hands on my forehead and I lost consciousness and rolled on the floor of the church. When I regained consciousness about 4.00pm, I looked like a pig when I finally got up. I faintly heard the pastor say, “This lady soiled her hands while looking for the fruit of the womb, she needs deliverance.” I was placed on 21 days deliverance service which I observed.
During a particular vigil, the pastor shouted from the pulpit, “who is this woman following you, let the fire of God begin to destroy her now As I slept that night, the leader of the ‘igwe’ spirit came and wrestled with me. She came after me with dangerous weapons; we ran inside the water, in the bush, climbed trees and fought it out. She told me, this God that is guiding you now is stronger than me 100 times. I have surrendered and removed my hands from your body.
After a week, God revealed to me in a dream that the woman that wrestled with me was the queen of the coast. She was not happy that I left her kingdom. In that dream I saw the queen of the coast with various snakes like chain on her neck.
The morning of joy
The more I thought I was running a good race, the more I embraced idols. I narrated the dream to the pastor and he placed me on another 16 days dry fast and the mammy water spirit disappeared completely. That was how God delivered me from satanic influences and cleaned me up.
Meeting and marrying Taofeek Rufai who God used to restore my dignity as a wife and mother remains my highest point in life. He was a widower and an official of the Lagos State agency known as Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI).
Our paths crossed in the course of his duty and he admired me from afar. He eventually wooed and won my love but I told him not to expect a child from me because I hardly conceive, I have tried other men, it did not work. He insisted on marrying me and we had a well-attended traditional marriage.
Then I became pregnant. At the early stage, I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. He encouraged me to go for pregnancy test which was positive. When I was told of my present condition, I raised my nose in disagreement and waved it away with serious protest. I told them I was not pregnant until my monthly period ceased completely. I now agreed that something strange had happened to me. I told God ‘If you are the God that gave me this pregnancy, I will not attend any ante-natal clinic to prove you are the giver and owner. You would make give birth safely. My faith saw me through as I was delivered of a set of twins five years ago.
A word from Rufai, her husband…
I saw a dedicated and hardworking woman in her. She does not joke with her business. Again, because I was a widower and very lonely at home, I needed a companion but God chose to bless us this way. My wife told me the whole truth about herself and I cherished all that. She did not hide anything from me. But when God is at work, what the cankerworm has eaten, God replenishes a thousand fold.
And the twins are?
The five-year-old twins are Goodnews (the boy) and Goodness (the girl). Both of them have wiped my tears and I ask God to forgive me for being impatient. They have shown signs of intelligence in their various classes in school. Goodnews took the second position while Goodness came 3rd during the last examination in their school. Both can quote the bible, read and explain it. I am so proud of them because it is the Lord’s doing.