In the midst of Malawians, lives a Nigerian Catholic priest, Rev. Fr Kelvin Ugwu, who though had joined the priesthood to serve, did not know that life would take him to Malawi, a country said to be one of the poorest in Africa.
The young priest arrived in the country in 2016, barely one year after his ordination as a priest and has since been working with the people with different culture and language.
“I was working in Lagos when I received the call from my superiors that I had been posted to work in Malawi. It was not funny. Although I had been trained for the mission, it took me time to come to that reality,” he said.
Reminiscing on his first journey to a country he had never stepped foot on, Ugwu said, “I still remember that day in 2016 when I was on my way to Malawi. After saying goodbye to my mum, we boarded the Ethiopian airline to Malawi.
“Curiosity did not allow me to sleep on the plane. I kept looking down through the window of the plane to see the places we were traversing. When we got to a certain place, I looked down and saw nothing but the colour ‘brown’. I felt like that must be the portion of land called desert in which it is usually difficult for animals or humans to survive since it is dry. It was just then, the pilot announced, “We are now in Malawi; fasten your seat belt.
“There was that one voice that kept telling me, ‘If not foolishness, what else could make a young fine boy like you desire to be a missionary priest; so that he will come and die in the desert? Good for you. Ntooo!!!’ ”
Even as one voice was discouraging him, another voice was even making it harder for him by reminding about his father’s death and how his mother needed him around in Nigeria.
“You are her first fruit. It is not God that is sending you here. Can’t you see the place, who can survive here?” the voice insisted.But there was no turning back for the 34-year-old priest. They had already landed in Malawi. He picked his hand luggage and walked through the door of the Ethiopian airplane. A dry hot air welcomed him, reminding him that he had left the shores of his motherland. (Nation)