Mrs Margaret Okeledu is a special woman.
She is an epitome of character, a true reason to believe that there is still good in this world.
At Christ’s Assembly, she heads the Alpha Women Union – AWU—a women group that teaches excellence in character and the core values of motherhood.
Margaret has held this position for over eight years now. Even last year that she wanted to step down on her own, so that another woman would take over, the members declined. Her decision was met with almost unanimous refusal.
‘Continue leading us, Nwanyi oma!’ they chorused.
‘Continue guiding us, Nwachukwu.’
‘Please, you must continue teaching us the way of Light!’ they begged.
And so Margaret continued leading the Union.
There is hardly a Sunday Pastor Mordechai in his high, raspy voice did not mention her name while preaching.
‘How many of you can deny your bodies food and water and all the pleasures of this world to fast for a 100 days?’
‘How many of you will achieve such great success and still be a loving devoted wife who for once have never neglected her duties as a Christian mother?’
‘How many of you will close from work at 5p.m and head straight to church for mid-week service?’
‘How many of you have never missed your tithe not even for a single month?’
The congregation would remain still, awed and meditative.
Margaret’s husband, Sir Raphael, would turn to his wife with a proud smile and take her hand.
The other wives always want to associate with her. There are many of them who aspire to be like her, pray to God every night to give them her kind of grace.
During every AWU meeting, Margaret always ended her speech with the advice:
‘As women, we must see ourselves as agents of peace always, the true reflection of Christ in our homes. As mothers, it is our chief duty to nurture the faith of all that dwell among us, to deliver all souls around us to Christ.’
The women would nod, looking on in solemn reflection.
‘Bright stars!!’ Margaret shouted, her fist up in the air.
‘We shine!’ the women chorused.
‘May the peace of the Lord be with you all,’ Margaret ended, and there was a loud applause.
About twenty minutes later, her grand Infiniti came to a halt in front of the tall gate. Behind the high gate stood the largest house in the estate—a dignified mansion.
At the second honk of the horn, Kalu drew the gate open. The jeep swung into the compound and came to a halt in the garage, slotted in between two other equally imposing cars.
‘Welcome, Madam,’ Kalu said, waving.
Margaret gave a small nod and walked into the house.
Opening the door, her 16-year-old daughter, Stacy, got up from the couch and ran to her.
‘Mummy, welcome,’ she said, her body pressed into her mum’s.
‘How do you do, my dear?’
‘I’m fine,’ Stacy said, carrying her mother’s bag.
‘Where is your father?’
‘In the kitchen.’
‘What’s he making?’
Margaret started upstairs and Stacy followed her.
Inside her room, Stacy ran to her and hugged her tight.
‘Baby, not today,’ Margaret said, releasing her daughter. ‘I have prayers.’
Stacy turned away and folded her hands, face crumpled. Margaret stared at her daughter.
She finally sat on the bed and asked Stacy to come.
Stacy quickly ran to her and the lips of both women interlocked. They pulled into the bed and drew the heavy sheet over themselves.
Outside the room, Raphael put his ear to the door.