In 2014 I went into the woods and cried out to God, “Oh Lord, its so hard being a single mother, I need my own Boaz to take away my reproach.” I hardly cry literally when I am praying, but with this prayer I cried so hard. It was a prayer of anguish and desperation. I could not bear the reproach of single motherhood anymore. Online I was being mocked and laughed at by Agape For All Nations Church members that I was now suffering on my own with my children. In private I was indeed suffering, so my only way out was prayer.
As I made that prayer, a young opera singer from Ghana called Nino had come on a tour in the United Kingdom. He was just about to perform at an awards show. But the people who were hosting him kicked him out of the house, and he became homeless.
The day he was kicked out of the house, he had two large suitcases. It was cold and raining, and he had a severe chest infection and cold. He had always enjoyed coming to the United Kingdom to perform, but this time he had no where to stay, and life could not have been any worse.
He carried his two large suitcases and as he walked in the rain, stranded and not knowing where to go, he cried out to God. Yes he literally cried with the rain and thunder, blowing his nose and coughing.
“God, please hear my cry. I have nowhere to go. I cant go back to Ghana now because I still have performances to do and TV appearances. If only I had my own woman in the UK, I would never have to suffer like this. Please God, give me a woman that needs me. A woman who needs a man, and that woman can only be a single mother. Oh Lord, I need my own single mother.”
Yes that was the prayer he made to God. As a traditional man with deep principals, he had been generally put off by women in the UK. He said that he had come to the UK several times, and he had seen how black women in the UK are generally proud and have no respect for men. He had seen how feminist the women are. And he knew that the only kind of woman who be suitable for him is a woman who was humble and needed a man.
The day he was kicked out by his hosts on that cold rainy night, it then dawned on him as he prayed, that only a single mother would give him the respect and love he needed.
After he prayed, he called a friend who agreed to take him in for a few days. Even though he was sick, the homelessness gave him more determination, and during that time he was invited on BBC to share his story as the first black Opera singer of Ghana.
A week later, he was invited to the BEFFTA Awards to perform.
Back at my house, as a struggling single mother, destiny was about to change my fate.
I was invited to come to the BEFFTA Awards. I had just had a baby, yes my little Fadzi was only 3 weeks old.
The first person I told was my Health Visitor who was a Ghanaian woman called Comfort.
“I cant go”, I told her,”Who will look after the baby, surely I cant leave her.”
Lo and behold, my own Health Visitor started to prophesy.
“No Jean, you have to go the ball. Like Cinderella, this is going to change your life. You are going to meet someone there who will change your life. Don’t worry about the baby, take her with you. The outing will do both of you good”.
Yes my Health Visitor literally told me to take my new born baby to an award show.
I asked my friend to come with me and she agreed.
As we arrived at the Awards in London, as I just walked in, on the stage stood a young man about to perform. Actually I didn’t quite notice him, until he opened his mouth and began to sing. The whole auditorium froze at the power of his voice.
He was singing Nessun Dorma. It sounded like a song I had heard before. A familiar sound that comforted me yet so intense. So as he sang, louder and louder, I just stared at him, and tears started streaming down my face.
I was crying because the song made me feel so lonely. My friend had gone out to get us chairs, so I was standing alone with the baby. At that moment I felt the pain of being a single mother.
“I wish I was here with my husband”, I whispered to myself.
The whole night, I thought of nothing but the song the Opera singer had sung. What was his name? What was the song? Why did the song touch me like that? The rest of the night I became hopeful, and had my first portrait with my new baby Fadzai taken.
I couldn’t wait to get home to google him and the song. When I got home, I was so gutted because I couldn’t find anything online about the Opera Singer.
So the next day, as I was surfing on Facebook, his picture appeared on my timeline feed because I had liked the Beffta Page. People were praising him and commenting on how he was the best performer of the night.
I found out his name was Nino. Kofi Nino.
I commented on how I was really moved to tears by his performance.
To cut the long story short, Nino and I started communicating on Facebook. I told him about my story, that I was a single mother who was really burdened and was praying for my ex-husband and I to get back together. I told him that his song had really ministered to me and given me hope that my life was going to change.
He replied by telling me that I should not worry, he said God was going to bring me my husband and I would be able to smile again. His words were like medicine to my wounded soul. At that time I saw him as a man of God, who had been sent into my life to give me hope. At no point did I ever think were were ever going to be together.
He gave me all his music, and I was amazed how his voice spoke right into my heart. For the whole week, I only listened to his music.
That week, I found myself being happy and singing a lot. Even the children who were used to seeing me in so much anguish were surprised by how happy I had suddenly become. We all found ourselves singing to Nino’s music.
I then decided to draw a portrait of him as a token of my appreciation of how his music had suddenly changed my life. I sent him a picture of the portrait on Facebook, and he was utterly chuffed and said no one had ever done that for him.
I offered to give him the portrait in person. I don’t know what got into me. He told me that he was travelling back to Ghana the next day, so I told him I would bring the portrait and Heathrow Airport.
I remember praying to God that I didn’t want this man to think that I liked him. I was praying that he wouldn’t get any wrong signals. I was doing this to get my first husband back. I didn’t tell any of my friends because they would think I had completely gone crazy.
I drove all the way to Heathrow to give him the portrait, but when I got there, I called him and he said he had already checked in. I just stood there holding the portrait in my hands, and suddenly I had a very positive feeling inside of me. He kept apologizing that I had driven all the way, but I told him that I was not upset or disappointed. I told him there was a reason why I had missed him, as I was a big believer in destiny.
I told Nino that it was okay, I would hang the portrait on my wall, and he would have to come to my house to get it himself the next time he was in the UK.
I walked back to the car, amazingly I didn’t even get a ticket for parking in front of the doors of Heathrow.
“What happened Mummy?” My children asked me, “Why did you not give the Opera Singer his portrait.”
I missed him, he had already checked in. He is in the plane right now. But its okay, this means we will see him again.”
To be continued…