If Queen Esther was Nigerian
King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) ruled over 127 provinces when Isreal was in slavery. He was the most powerful monarch who ruled the Persian Empire around 486 BC.
Hadassah had deep Jewish roots as detailed in the Book of Esther in the Holy Bible.
Esther couldn’t have been Nigerian, and I’m much surprised at myself for allowing such a ‘what if’ thought.
The name ‘Esther’ sounds foreign and pagan. Some people still dispute why such a Book that can pass as historical romance is in the Bible.
Yet, many Christians, especially those in Nigeria, have adopted the name for their children. They hope for similitude of such beauty, favour and greatness in their daughters.
Did Esther have it all rosy as a beautiful replacement? Let’s dive into this Nigerian Esther thing.
Cloth choice: She’s Nigerian yeah, let’s just pretend that she’s Yoruba for a moment. She’ll dress in Aso oke. Or, how else does she show the splendour of being the wife of a whole Xerxes?
Humility: Still in the spirit of Yorubaness, Esther would use respectfulness and humility to turn Xerxes’ heart towards her. Xerxes was no idiot and didn’t marry one. She knows how to serenade her husband and accord the king respect.
Even though all of Xerxes Empire doesn’t follow the law of the Lord, Esther understood that she was a replacement to Vashti, who got thrown out for disobeying the monarch’s call.
Adaptability: From bearing the name Hadassah, she became Esther. If she were Nigerian, She’d change her identity from being one of a minor tribe to one of the majority. She would ditch her Igbo accent for a British one. So, please, don’t oppress Nigerian ladies who pick up accents of other countries they find themselves in. Wisdom is too profitable to be abandoned.
Did Mordecai not do the same? Such an upright man was supposed to leave for Jerusalem when he had the opportunity, but he decided to stay where the helm of affairs mattered.
But Mr proud Jew, aka world changer, and cousin Queen Star girl knew who they were. They were from the royal line of King Saul, and above all, they knew they had God on their side.
Makes carefully-made decisions: Seek advice from Unku Mordecai, a typical Igbo businessman with business chains all over Nigeria. His well of wisdom is deep. Behind a successful Queen, is somebody who gives time-to-time advice. Unku Mordecai could be in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Queen will just be dishing out wisdom from time to time.
She knows how to speak with grace. We don’t know if she went for public speaking classes or if she just took the advice of speaking with grace(Col 4:6). We can sha guess that she did not join in fruitless arguments in secondary school. Or am I wrong?
She was Human: What characteristics made Esther become queen? Was she outspoken? How did she get the things she wanted? What were her thoughts on Vashti?
One thing was sure–the love story between her and Xerxes. She was lovely to look at and had even won the favour of Hegai, the Eunuch in charge of women, before meeting the king. She also won the favour of many people, the king included. But did all those affiliated with the palace like her? Obviously not. Even if you’re like Jesus, you would still have some people hate you. Queen Vashti was deposed during one of the king’s drunken orgies and must have had some people on her side. It was natural if they were indifferent to her.
Hadassah was bred in the ways of the Lord, and that was the main advantage she had. She was favoured but was a human who experienced both good and bad emotions. For someone so blessed, she was very fearful and tried to make excuses instead of saving her people. Of course, she was afraid that Vashti’s fate could befall her. But she finally chose to put her trust in God, hope for the deliverance of her people, or perish.
Fasting day: The Nigerian Esther would add 12-hour prayers to the three days fast. When Nigerian girls get to know God, they are not just spiritual, they add extra spice to it. And it doesn’t matter if they’re Gen Z or from the older generation. Being Nigerian is a common factor. Periodt.
The legendary banquets: The two-time banquet that Queen Esther invited King Xerxes, and that vile Haman to had to be extraordinary for him to become so full of himself to prepare the gallows that became his end.
If Nigerian jollof rice with piping hot dodo that tastes like God’s love cannot aid what Esther is trying to drive home, I don’t know what will. Especially if it has a side dish of peppered giant African snails, just know that the deed is done. But when Haman thinks he has seen it all, the servants bring in a big jug of chilled zobo.
Apart from the fact that a Nigerian Esther doesn’t have her hair in straight strands, she operates in the spirit of Esther. Esther shines her light in a godless environment–She ventures into places believers shy away from and makes a difference despite the difficulties. Make her a Disney princess already, or if something like Disney Queen is possible.
Yorubaness: The state of being Yoruba, one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Aso Oke: Literally means ‘top cloth’ i.e cloth meant for people of high status. It is handwoven by the Yoruba people of West Africa.
Gen Z: People who fall under Generation Z were born between 1995 and 2010/2012. Aka. Digital Generation, Internet Generation, Post millennials, etc.
Dodo: Golden-fried plantain, not bananas.
Zobo: Nigerian beverage made from dried hibiscus leaves, and some other ingredients to enhance its flavour.