The Founder, Rainbow Book Club, Koko Kalango shares her Easter gift, a collection of some soul-stirring stories in her faith-based book, “See What the Lord Has Done” which is the first in this literary series. Yinka Olatunbosun reports
Koko Kalango is a household name within the literary circle in Nigeria as an avid reader and promoter of the reading culture. Best known for founding the Rainbow Book Club in Port Harcourt and contributing largely to the city being named UNESCO World Book Capital in 2014, little did many know about her life in Christian ministry. Apart from a first degree in French, a master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies, she holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Theology, from The Redeemed Christian Bible College as one of the pioneer set of graduates.
For three decades, she had been actively involved in various Christian ministries, pioneered evangelical outreaches to multinational communities in Nigeria and for over five years, she was a columnist at THISDAY for the pull-out section of the Sunday paper, Glitterati under the title, “Colours of Life”, formerly, “Footprints”.
The author, with Nigerian and Jamaican parentage, has recently moved to Lagos from Port Harcourt with her family; setting up her office in Ikoyi, to advance her ministry and literary initiatives. Whilst settling down at the new office space, she presented two books to her reporter-guest, one of which is titled, “Colours of Life”, released two years ago when she turned 50 and now her latest literary effort, “See What the Lord Has Done (Vol. 1)” which documents extraordinary stories of men and women who have first-hand experience of a supernatural intervention in their personal lives.
“In the course of my work with God, I was hit by some of these stories and there is paucity of written record. Since I gave my life to Christ on May 1, 1986, I have been reading a lot about people who have worked with God and I love the stories of people’s lives. I’m the sort of person who would go for a biography or memoir. Whether it is Billy Graham, Mary Slessor, Benson Idahosa, Pastor Adeboye, I pick lessons better from true stories. So, more of the people mentioned in the book are either known to me personally or to a trusted person,” she said.
Some of the deeply touching accounts in the book include Ada Igonoh’s “Victory Over Ebola”; Obii Pax Harry’s “Saved from A Plane Crash”; Eme Akenzua’s “A Miraculous Childbirth”; Kenny’s “Deliverance from Drug Addiction”; Victor Sunday’s “Freedom from Occult” and Arinola Fadahunsi’s “Succor From Grief” amongst others.
“There’s a touching story of a lady whose son died in a fire incident somewhere in Eastern Europe. He was a medical student. He escaped the fire but went back to try and rescue others and he died. By the time the story came to me, I reached his mum who was suffering cancer. She was in and out of cancer treatment. When I asked her how she would like to be described at the end of the story, she said, “Tell them that in my 60 years of life, God has been faithful to me.”
Why would someone who should be bitter, frustrated or angry at God say that? Just before the book was published, she passed on. This is why I felt I needed to write these stories.
“People are in need of hope and sometimes, people look beautiful, they seem to have it all. But there is a lot of despair all over the world and particularly in Nigeria, the suicide rates are increasing. There is so much violence. People need faith and I will give what I have which is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that has given me hope; not that there are no difficult times. I pray that this book give others courage, hope and encouragement,” she said.
Some real names were used in the collage of testimonies and for the sake of confidentiality, in some cases, only first names were used. This 93-page book is an easy read in the author’s use of language and word limit.
“We live in a society where people are impatient. People don’t read long books. They don’t have the time and patience for that. I put that in mind in restricting the number of words for each story,” she explained.
However, her earlier work, “Colours of Life” is bigger in size because it covers daily bible reading which she aptly described as “An Everyday Devotional for Everyday People.” It was a product of her daily bible reading habit which she hopes that others can imbibe.
“For the past seven years, I start reading the bible from the beginning to the end so that by December 31, I’m through. When you read the bible chronologically, you will understand some things better,” she explained.
It was her way of preaching “pew to pew”, keeping it simple. Asides writing, Kalango is a prayerful person who communicates with God on issues, whether frivolous or serious.