- Pastor Joseph Ibironke ran a successful electronics business in the US
- He fell ill and had to return to Nigeria where he found himself homeless
Moving to a first world country is a dream come true for most Africans. The opportunities are enormous and this is what pushed Pastor Joseph Ibironke to relocate to the United Kingdom and later to the United State in the 80s.
Now 68 years old, the man of God first spent nine years in the UK before moving to the US where he spent 21 years.
Here is his story as told by WoK,
Relocating to UK
Joseph Ibironke moved to the UK from Nigeria when he was in his 30s. While he cannot recall the exact year, he puts it between 1983 and 1984.
Working in the UK and US
In an interview with Punch Newspaper, the preacher-man said he worked as a security officer after being trained at Burns International Security Services Limited, United Kingdom as an armed guard. He worked with the same company upon relocating to the US.
“As I earlier said, I worked with Burns and I also worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Police Department before I resigned because God called me to be a pastor. That was when I resigned in Los Angeles after working for about two years”, he told the publication.
On the side, he ran a successful electronics business in a whites only community
“Also, I had a store in Orange County, California, which was predominantly occupied by whites, no blacks lived there. In Orange County, I sold sophisticated electronics. I was always going to Japan to buy electronics and sell them. I was also the only black in Orange County at the time who made it (was successful)” he went on to add.
Joseph Ibironke Marriage
The pastor was married to Helen Jones, a US citizen from Texas. InterestingLY, if not sad, he doesn’t know the whereabouts of his four children.
“Right now, I don’t know their whereabouts and it’s very painful knowing you have children somewhere and you don’t know where they are. But I know that they can’t suffer over there. Their mother left me after my sickness”, he told Punch.
Before he left for the UK, he had married a Nigerian and they had two children.
Returning to Nigeria
Ibironke’s return to Nigeria was not voluntary. He shared how after making love to his wife he started barking like a dog and foaming in his mouth. He was rushed to hospital where he stayed for 14 months without any changes.
Nigerians living in the US said his condition was spiritual and he needed to be taken back to Nigeria for treatment.
He was received by his son and brother who took him to a psychiatric hospital where he was abandoned.
Ibironke found himself homeless and living under a bridge and it took the intervention of a church to take him back to hospital.