Japa (verb).

Meaning: Japa is a Nigerian slang derived from the Yoruba language. It simply means to run swiftly out of a dangerous situation. Japa originates from two words: Ja which means to run and Pa which is used to exaggerate any verb in the Yoruba language.

Now to my story. Imagine that you wake up tomorrow morning and on your way to work with a friend, you drive by a tiny restaurant in a small corner of town with a giant sign post that reads ‘Japa Soup Sold Here’. You then look closely only to see a small caption under this heading that says, ‘This soup will change your life forever’. Before you could say ‘Bayo’, your friend is nowhere to be found, she has entered into this restaurant where Japa soup magically changes people’s lives forever.

You trace your friend into the restaurant only to see a long queue of people, each person with an empty bowl in hand as they wait patiently for their turn to be served. Some are so excited that they cannot even wait for clean bowls to become available, they rush to a spot within the restaurant where a bowl of water and soap for washing the dishes are strategically placed and they decide to DIY (do it yourself) in order to get on the queue as fast as they can. You finally find your friend ‘Chioma’ who is already engaged in a hilarious conversation with some stranger she met in the restaurant as they wait for their turn. “This Japa soup must have a way of bonding complete strangers o”, you say to yourself.

Then you decide to take a closer look at this ‘magical soup’ being served at the head of the queue. The soup looks ‘garnished to the teeth’. The soup doesn’t look real, everything about it looks exaggerated: the palm oil used in its preparation is too red. “Could they have added the rumored cancer-causing red dye to make the soup more attractive?” you ask, but no one hears you, or even cares. At this point you have become very apprehensive because of your friend who doesn’t seem to be bothered by your skepticism.

Please before you rush to eat ‘Japa soup’ or flee from your country, pray about your decision and be sure that’s what God wants you to do.

“How can a soup change someone’s life forever?” you ask your friend. Her response is, “It’s not my business to understand how, all I know is that it has worked for others. As soon as they ate this soup their lives were magically transformed; they stepped into a bright future and all their problems disappeared forever.” “Just take your time and be sure that you are doing the right thing” you reply. Then you say to your friend “’Ore mi’” (my friend), “the only person I know of who can change someone’s life forever is Jesus Christ, please don’t deceive yourself that eating Japa soup will change anything. Go ahead and eat the soup if you wish, but remember that I warned you. The problem with your life is not the soup you are eating, it’s your mindset.”

Your friend is still trying to argue with you when you hear someone calling your name from behind. You turn to answer only to realize that it was just a dream. “Ah! so the first time I woke up I was still sleeping? ‘Jesu ema se o’”, you say to yourself.

Please, before you rush to eat ‘Japa soup’ or flee from your country, pray about your decision and be sure that’s what God wants you to do.

Do have a great day my friend and remain blessed.