Davis Ofor, also known as ‘Clarus’ in the popular sitcom comedy ‘New Masquerade,’ a T.V.Series that kept households glued to their television sets in late 1980’s, can be regarded as an icon in the Nigerian entertainment industry.Though visually impaired for years now, he does not see it as a hindrance to moving on with life. In this interview with REPORTER, Ifeoma Meze, in his Aba residence, Ofor explains among other things why he left comedy and his new life as a minister in Aetherius church.Excerpts:
How has life been after your life as a comedian, did you leave comedy because of your sight impairment?
Life has been wonderful and I thank God for that.
I did not leave comedy because of my sight condition.My sight has never been a hindrance to me.I left because I felt it was time to pay attention to the call to become a minister for God.
In comedy, I was entertaining the world but it is not lasting, it is temporary.But the entertainment I am giving now is to spread the truth to the world.And this is more lasting because it is something that will carry them to the next life.
I am no longer acting somebody’s part.I am now acting the lead role of myself.
Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) employed me in those days as a scriptwriter, a comedian and a producer in the comedy series titled The New Masquerade.In the course of the production of the comedy programme, I travelled to London in 1989 and was ordained a Minister in Aetherius Churches.I had the mandate to come down here (Nigeria) to start the church activities but because of my interest in comedy then, I seemed to put aside the church aspect and I was doing it as part-time instead of full time.
Forces higher than myself were trying to stop me, to make me face the scriptural aspect, but because of my interest in comedy, which I believed was naturally, I continued until such a time around 2002 that I saw it clearly that I had left what I was supposed to be.I saw myself in the same scenario with Jonah in the Bible.
What I am going through now, I see it as karmic experience, the impaired vision.I saw it as a way of something trying to say to me, look, you have to put a stop to this comedy and face the spiritual aspect of it.And I have to balance all the things that I have lost out in the days of comedy.This time, I am facing this spiritual aspect squarely.I am a minister in Aetherius Churches as I said earlier.
In Nigeria, the church is located in Aba and Lagos.These are the two branches, and I am presently the only Minister in charge of Eastern Nigeria.We have about eight groups under my jurisdiction in Eastern Nigeria.We have another Minister in Lagos in charge of two groups in Lagos, Agege and FESTAC Town.Then we have Benin, Warri all under the Eastern Nigeria branches.I take care of the Eastern branches.
Aetherius Society is an international spiritual brotherhood, founded in 1955 by a cosmic calvater, Dr.George King, who was born in England and that year it was registered as a church.The church believes in reincarnation and beings outside this planet earth.Aetherius means ‘someone who travels through the heater of space.’ In 1960, it was converted in America as a scientific and educational non-profit making organisation, registered in America.This is to say that we have headquarters in Los Angeles, America, and London.We have branches all over the world, including Ghana and South Africa.
Jesus personally came to England and gave a transmission, which was recorded through Dr.George King in 1958.The message was a 12-week recording, Sunday after Sunday, from July 27 to October 12, 1958, telepathically recorded in the presence of audience.Last year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the giving of the 12 blessings.In some of the teachings he gave, he said that the Aetherius Society was founded because the followers of Jesus had, 2000 years ago, when he came and found the Christian Church, tended to deviated from what he gave as his teachings.By the way, when he was giving those teachings, there were no recordings, no media house to record them.It was after his crucifixion that his followers, even though Roman soldiers were chasing them in those days that they were able to jot down some of his teachings on scrolls.Most of them got lost while those that were salvaged were put together in the 1400 AD, when the first Bible was published.So what we have as Bible has been so adulterated and watered down.
The Aetherius Society is a medium where authentic recorded version of the teachings of the masters in their own voices.The master from the planet Mars is the lord of Karma.He gave the world a guideline called the nine freedoms.These are the freedoms one has to go through to go back to their creator, God.The four pertinent questions that the mankind wants to know are: ‘Where do I come from? Will I ever leave this earth? Where do I go? And how do I get there? One might be shocked to know that man came from a planet known as Maldek, that is, planet situated between Mars and Jupiter.That was where man inhabited.Mankind destroyed that planet.The only planet that was suitable to accommodate man was earth, which was occupied by other beings known as the Adamic race.Man came down to earth precisely 18, 617, 841 BC, after an appeal was made to the beings on earth.I am quoting what the master said.When you go to Akashik records, these things are there.The recordings we have from the Bible about the creation of man are very allegorical.We members are privileged to learn from these cosmic masters about the history of man on earth.
Dr.George King is the channel to record the voices of these great cosmic masters, Aetherius, Buddha, Babeji and even Jesus in the 1950’s.Among these recordings on tape, Jesus said, “dwell not among those who hide from their followers the truth of my coming, pray for them.Dwell not in their houses, for fairly when the truth dawns, it will be as better as burn to them.”
There are Christians, who now practice Churchianity instead of Christianity.
In Aetherius Church, we do not condemn other denominations, rather we pray for them because we were once in their groups.For example, you do not condemn those in the kindergarten because you were once at their level, you only pray for them to get to your level.
Anything you do for the benefit of mankind is ‘white magic’ and anything contrary to that is ‘black magic.’ The services you did not render that you are supposed to do are ‘grey magic.’ Those are the three kinds of magic.We believe in the law of Karma.Whatever you sow, you shall surely reap.
Do members of Aetherius Church believe in God?
Yes, we believe in God.Jesus in his message called him “the absolute, mighty glory and greater than the entire world.” He is the beginning and the end.Blessed is the absolute, who not even the supreme laws of all creation could do justice to the picturisation of the magnificence of his.He is ‘the I am’ among Man, he is the rain, the drought, the life within all things, the gentle breeze of summer time, he is the mighty wind across the seas, he is forever and forever.And for this, we believe in the almighty God.
What does Karmic experience mean?
The law of Karma says whatever you sow, so shall you reap.Jesus said so too.Whatever you put in the ground is what you will reap.Whatever you put into creation, you must reap it.It is either you reap it in this life or in another life.Karma does not punish rather it teaches you.If people understand the operations of this law, then the world will be a better place.If you sow any thought at all, you will reap it later in life.
When I was younger, I wanted to switch from my secondary school to a seminary school because I wanted to become a Reverend Father (monk).Though my father was not a catholic then, he agreed.But after sometime, he refused because he said catholic priests do not marry.That aborted my going to the seminary but I have sowed that thought.In 1989, I went to London for another purpose, medical purpose.That was when Dr.King granted that I should be ordained a minister, even though I became a member of the church in 1981.
The implications of becoming a minister, is that you do not marry and you do not own properties.As I am now, I am detached from my family because of what I believe in.It does not mean that they have anything against me or that I have anything against them but it is what happens if people do not see things in your own way.I still love my family with my whole heart.
How did you spend the N1 million you won from ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ show?
I gave it to our church.We are building our church here in the eastern region.Like I said earlier, a minister owns no property and you do not get paid for being a minister in our church and that’s why most people do not want to become a minister.You put in what you have.
Since you gave the money to church, how do you sustain yourself?
I have my family.My elder brother, Professor Ogbonnaya Ofor, a visiting professor to Imo State and Abia State Universities, sends me a kind of stipend every month.So also do my younger brothers, Njoku Innocent Ofor and Collins Ofor who works with Union Bank in Lagos.I am very grateful to them.
Do you people celebrate wedding, burial and birthday?
Yes we do.As a minister, I have power to give sacraments.But we do not celebrate burial.Death is just a transition, which everybody knows.When someone dies, he or she drops the flesh, which was borrowed from earth and continues his or her existence in another realm, the soul gets judged.
I have a lot of things to tell the public about the new age organisation.According to one of the recordings of Lord of Karma by Dr.King on April 7, 1960, he said that these are the last days of the old order; the new days are coming.Later, The Guardian Newspapers of December 30, 1984, said that scientists had discovered a new planet.
How do you get to read all these since your sight is impaired?
These were things I read a long time ago.The human brain is like a filing cabinet, all you need to do is tune in and they will start to come out.These days, people read to me and I comprehend.
Are you still undergoing some medical process to help recover your sight?
I still go for medications for my sight with the hope that God will do the final healing.I have had three major surgeries abroad.One was in 1989 in London.In 1990 also I was in England and at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.
What is your educational qualification?
Apart from secondary education, I had a training session in Production, organised for civil servants in media houses then.I attended Tedem University located at Imerienwe Local Government of Imo State, but was closed down in1983 by the military government.I was studying Mass Communication there before the closure.Comedy was huge talent I had and I went for it.In 1985, 1989 and 1990, I went to college of spiritual sciences in London, where I started with getting their books and lectures until I 1990 when I got a degree in Metaphysics.
For how long have you been visually challenged?
I have been blind for 10 years now.But it does not hinder me from doing what I want to do.I do not use walking stick because to me it is celebrating blindness, which is not supposed be.I have a strong belief that I will overcome this sight problem soon by God’s grace.
How then do you communicate and read the Bible to the congregation in this condition?
Most of the teachings come in tapes, books and DVD.I study cassettes, I used to have them while I was still in school and I kept studying them.As a student, you ought not to forget what you have learnt.So with constant study I can still remember a whole lot of it.
Is there any of your children that is into showbiz or entertainment?
Yes, my only daughter is into film production.She studied Theatre Arts in the University of Calabar.She was acting in some of the NTA series in those days.
Are you still interested in comedies? If you do, who are your favourite comedians?
I do.I enjoy most of the current comedies.I enjoy Okey Bakassi and Nkem Owoh (Osuofia), and others.
Did you enjoy your comedy days?
Yes I really enjoyed them.They served their purposes in those days.When I recall the scripts I wrote in those days, I had all the fun writing them, I always laugh at the character I created for James Iroha (Gregory).James Iroha created all the characters and languages in the masquerade comedy series while I wrote his own script and it was big fun to be.
Are you still in contact with your fellow actors and actresses in the **New Masquerade** series?
Yes, but I am more in contact with Zeburudaya (Chika Okpala) more than others.
Do you think government should support people that have laboured in entertaining Nigeria through the theatre industry?
If the government decides to contribute to the lives of people that have served the country in the past, it will not be a bad idea.They deserve it.
I don’t depend on anybody for a living because God cares for all of us.There is always someone that God sends to help you at a point in time.It is God that determines if one is living or dying.But if someone feels he wants to give something to me, I will accept and take it that the person is sowing seed to God.