• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Azaka: Joy to widows

Her name is Joy Azaka, an evangelist, but any widow she comes across seems to find joy and solace in what God can do.

Whenever widows especially in the Garden City thus see her, their hearts jump for joy in hope and expectations. This is because every year or more often, Joy gathers them at a place and doles out clothes and other gifts (including cash) to them. But, it may not be the gifts and cash that seems to make the widows happy in her presence, it seems to be the kind of words that proceed from her mouth to them.

Widows are women who pass through all manner of trauma as a result of loss of the men that meant everything to them. The world may see deprivation of finance and family support but many hardly imagine other subtle deprivations that the eye does not see.

When cold catches at night, the widow crawls deeper into the cloth; when dogs bark and other women clutch tightly at their men, the widow clutches her child or her heart hoping there is no danger in the neighbourhood; when there is terror in the neighbourhood, other women call out their husbands to attention, the widow freezes and calls out her little son.

So, Joy seems to know all this and so fills the hollow hearts with exhortations. She tells them not to dwell on whatever they cannot change. She also subjects them to doses of word from the scriptures and health talks. She combines motivational speaking with scriptural exhortation and Nature Study to dazzle the widows and sustain their attention, rapt attention.

This year, 2022, this held at ‘The Messiah Church’ on Jenny & Jessy Street, Opposite Everyday Supermarket, Odili Road in Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt. The church is pastured by an honourable gentleman, Ralph Bartholomew.

Joy gave them nothing but pure joy. She urged them to go back to Nature because there is balm in Gilead: water, vegetables, fruits, air, sun.

She went ahead; “If you live healthy and long, it depends on what is in your kitchen, not in the pharmacy. Pepper can cure you of many things.

“Keep peaceful home and families. God wants us to take responsibility. Be in Christ to get His protection. God is interested in our families.

“Embrace Nature, avoid pharmacy as much as possible. Every disease condition can be corrected with Nature or by Nature. Minimise stress in your life. Whatever you cannot change, forget it.”

Read also: Kemi Levi: Giving economic power to vulnerable women, widows

On a general note, she harped on what seems to be a major source of family disputes; the other woman. On this she advised thus: “Take eyes off his weakness.”

She advised everybody to get close to nature and things of nature. “Step on the ground with bare feet most times and let your feet touch the earth.”


Joy Azaka gave a talk on ‘Utazi’ leaf (Gongronema latifolium, or ‘arokeke’ in western Nigeria and it is a tropical rainforest plant mainly used as vegetable, medicine or spice by the people. It is believed that ‘utazi’ has analgesic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-sickling, anti-oxidant, anti-asthmatic, anti-pyretic, hypoglycaemic and anti-inflammatory properties.)

She urged the widows and other persons in need of help to blend it with lime, drink three times a day. “Do this for one week and check your sugar level. Do not make yourself a medical emergency.”

She warned that people were now slumping to death every now and then, even at the altars. “It is because of blood pressure crisis known and not known to most people. Find time to laugh, find time to relax.”

Some of the widows that benefitted from the outreach praised Joy and asked God to give Joy her own joy in life.

The pastor, Bartholomew, in his intervention, said Joy Azaka is a special gift to humanity and to the church.