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Prophets for Their Time and Ours: Mojola Agbebi

Mojola Agbebi - Identity Matters

A Short Film by Rev Gale Richards

Mojola Agbebi was the co-founder of the first indigenous Baptist church in Nigeria in1888. He toured Britain lecturing on African customs, as he offered critique to British colonial rule, and its detrimental impact on African culture.

Rev Gale Richards. By Toby Peters

“Although I wrote the booklet ‘Prophets for Their Time and Ours’ a few years ago, it feels very timely, right now  – and important – to bring these stories alive and share through film.  Although mainly unknown, each story is of such an inspiring figure, and they all share a message which is still relevant and important today. They all have a connection to Britain, and have all  had an influence on British life.

Each is a short five minute film I have produced on my laptop during lockdown, with much appreciated help from Arrey Bate.  I’m not a film-maker so I feel slightly anxious about sharing them – but also really excited to get their stories heard.”
Rev Gale Richards

If anyone wants further information, including how to get a copy of ‘Prophets for Their Time and Ours’ e-mail Gale at:

A Poem by Mojola Agbebi

You may get through the world, but ’twill be very slow
If you listen to all that is said as you go;
You’ll be, worried, and fretted, and kept in a stew;
For meddlesome tongues must have something to do—
And people will talk.

If quiet and modest, you’ll have it presumed
That your humble position is only assumed,
You’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or else you’re a fool;
But don’t get excited, keep perfectly cool—
For people will talk.

If generous and noble, they’ll vent out their spleen
You will hear some loud hints that you are selfish and mean
If upright and honest, and fair as the day,
They’ll call you a rogue in a sly sneaking way,
For people will talk.

And then, if you show the least boldness of heart,
Or a slight inclination to take your own part,
They will call you an upstart, conceited, and vain;
But keep straight ahead; don’t stop to explain—
For people will talk.

If threadbare your dress, and old-fashioned your hat,
Someone will surely take notice of that,
And hint rather strong that you can’t pay your way;
But don’t get excited whatever they say—
For people will talk

If your dress is in fashion, don’t think to escape,
For they criticise then in a different shape—
You’re ahead of your means, or your tailor’s unpaid;
But mind your own business, there’s nought to be made
For people will talk.

Now, the best way to do is to do as you please,
For your mind, if you have one, will then be at ease,
Of course, you will meet with all sorts of abuse;
But don’t think to stop them—it ain’t any use,
For people will talk.

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