A Zimbabwean nurse residing in the United Kingdom, Bester Tsitsi Mazombe, has narrated how she and other disciples of Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Ikotun, Lagos distributed relief materials to victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti.
In an interview Mazombe disclosed that she was a member of the Emmanuel TV (the television outfit of Synagogue Church) crew dispatched to Haiti with a plane load of food and medical supplies to give succour to the victims.
“When we got to Haiti, the destruction was really devastating. To understand how the people of Haiti have been affected by the earthquake is like imagining your own capital or Lagos coming down.
“If Lagos comes down, it is sure going to affect the rest of the nation. That is what has happened in Haiti. Port-Au-Prince, their capital, has come down. You remember that in most capitals of the world, there are different companies and banks. So, with those institutions coming down, it means the economy, education and health care system will suffer,” she narrated, adding that some people were not at home when the quake occurred.
One interesting thing Mazombe found out in the country was that the people still shared the cultures of their roots and were proud to tell foreigners that they were from Africa.
“The people of the country were taken from Nigeria, Congo, Benin and Ghana to Haiti. I was really surprised to see that for the people who came from Nigeria, actually came with their Igbo culture, their traditional form of worship. There are gods that they still worship today that actually bear Igbo names.
“Whenever they see a black person, they always express oneness. I was the only African on the team and as they saw me, they identified with me so much. They even carry the same love for God as it is done in Nigeria.
“When I arrived in Lagos, I saw that the little yellow commuter buses had verses of the scriptures written on them. When you go to Haiti, it is the same picture. The way Lagos is built is the same way Haiti is built.
“It is so amazing that these people, though from this country, were separated by time and circumstances, are still doing what is done in Lagos,” she narrated.
On the role played by the team in Haiti, she said they set up a clinic named Emmanuel Clinic “and this clinic has assisted a lot of men, women and children with diseases like diarrhoea, caused by having to drink contaminated water.
“A lot of the people in the country are unemployed, so, they cannot afford health care. It was when we opened the clinic that we realised that people have had no health care for months and years. People came with tumours with flies. It was a challenge working with them but as we did, we could see tears of gratitude and see that the people need us.”
She narrated an incident which touched her and shaped her new outlook on life.
“On the day of the earthquake, there was a little boy who was about two years old in a house. Everybody ran away and forgot him because of fear. Few seconds after the quake, bricks had fallen on the boy’s pelvis and hip area. Prior to the earthquake, the boy was following his mother everywhere, but now as we speak, we have referred the little boy to the hospital.
“It really touched me to see that people’s lives have been lost as a result of the earthquake. They feel traumatised and think that another tragedy is going to happen,” she said.
She also described the predicament of the country’s citizens as the direct result of man’s insensitivity to man.
To her, the country needs assistance from Nigeria and other African countries because the people there are direct descendants of the continent. She called for investment in education and health for the country to catch up with development.
On what has changed about her since she visited Haiti. She said a lot of people would want to be seen as giving help to the hopeless. “It is something we say with our lips, but when the opportunity arises to be able to give this hope, it becomes challenging.
“Personally, I have not been to a disaster zone and I had a challenge going there, but with the gratitude of the people, I realised that you must not only help people with things you are comfortable with. I have never been in a situation where I would have to deliver a baby outside where it was hot and because of the blood and water, flies come around.
“But being there to help the woman deliver safely and support them gave me joy. Now, I have learnt that when I help someone I should be sure that the person is going to be happy the rest of his life,” she explained.
She also revealed that the relief team had secured a space to build an orphanage in Haiti to assist children.