He checked out of Nigeria but not in the ‘Andrew’ category. Rather, as a Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) worker, that environ was presenting him puzzles he felt the need for the intellectual capacity to unpack. So, with the help of comrades he calls good people, he left the country in the mid 1980s. He first got into the Labour Studies program at Oxford University before ending up at The University of Warwick in West Midland, United Kingdom for for a Masters Degree program. Today, he scarcely fails to tell new friends how tough things were for him at some point. But he got his Masters and a new chapter opened: settling down in the UK rather than heading home to join in regular trouble making over incessant petrol price hike since SAP arrived Nigeria via the 1986 budget.
Has it been a wise decision? Well, he stabilised, got married and has raised a family. One is already a lawyer-banker in the UK, the first daughter is on to her First Degree at the University of London. The one who is not in the above picture is pursuing his First Degree at another top UK university. Some have been published while some others are budding poets and his is looking like Chinua Achebe’s idea of a great family – where you can find whatever type of resource person.
In apparent gratitude to God for everything, the man who left Nigeria as a potential Marxist is now the founder and Pastor of End-time Truth Ministries (ETTM) in the United Kingdom. But even then, he remains Comrade Chilaka Obasi Anyanwu, straight as a pin and as simple as ABC. No pretensions, no flamboyance and certainly not one of those corner shop sort of pastors. Just himself.
After gratitude to God, the next thing was to put together a ‘surprise’ birthday bash for his wife, Mrs Ukachi Anayochi Anyanwu at the Queens Road Baptist Church in Coventry recently. A Clinical Sister at the University Hospital, she has been his great companion of travel, as Oriana Fallaci would say. With two degrees spanning Information Technology and Business and, later, Adult Nursing, UK has been good to her too.
The last point is this: all the children bear names that no one would mistake where they come from should one of them become Secretary-General of the UN tomorrow. It is either Omasirichukwu, Onyedikachi, Chimemeriele, Chihorom or Ewezugachi and what have you! They are all itching to be in Nigeria. Meanwhile, if anyone thinks that they would be lost in that regard because they didn’t grow up at home, such would be a disaster. They can prepare and serve you any Nigerian delicacy if you dare them. The only battle they lost even before knowing there was such a war is, well, the British accent!