Can we know you, sir?
I am Sir Don Ezeh. I’m the Metropolitan Grand Knight of Lagos Metropolitan Council of Knight of Saint Mulumba.
How long have you been a knight?
I’ve been a knight for 22 years.
What are the requirements for being a knight in Roman Catholic Church?
The person must be a good and practising Catholic, who is committed to uplifting the church. So, if you are in a position to spend your money, spend your time, and talent in supporting the church in a significant manner, you will make a good candidate for the knighthood.
Apart from supporting the church, the knights also support society. Charity is one of our strongest points.
How do you select some of your church members to become knights?
If we identify them within the churches they worship, we bring them in and we get them admitted into the knighthood.
The one we are doing now is not an initial admission, it is elevation to the 3rd degree. These are people who have been members of the knighthood for more than 10 years. Everybody you see here has been a member for over 10 years; they are just being upgraded into the 3rd-degree knighthood of the Knights of St. Mulumba. The minimum requirement for admittance into this grade of knighthood is that a person must have been here for, at least, 10 years. So, they are not new knights.
What is your advice to the freshly elevated Knights?
Just keep being the good knights you are: commitment! Commitment! Commitment! to the church and to uplifting society.
Concerning society, what is your opinion about Nigeria with the coming of the new government?
Nigerians need to be prayerful and hope that things will get better. The last eight years or more have been challenging for most people. So, the basic things are to be prayerful because there is still hope that this nation will turn around so that the masses can have a really good time because the country has been tough for the ordinary person. What we are praying for is that things will get better as we make changes in government.
What is the significance of this event?
We have just been admitted as Knights of St. Mulumba, Nigeria. We were admitted this morning before being invested as 3rd-degree knights. Normally, we have first, second, third, and fourth degrees. And to get to the 3rd degree, means we have spent, at least, 10 years in the knighthood. It is not just spending that 10 years, you are to be tested to know whether you have grown in faith over those 10 years before being invested. So, we are just being invested as 3rd-degree knights.
What are the criteria for becoming a knight?
The criteria are that you must spend certain amounts of years before you get to the second and third degrees. For this 3rd degree now, it means you must have spent 10 years and passed a prescribed religious examination to show whether you have progressed or grown in the faith. Apart from passing the examinations, you must also be seen to be a committed member; attain a certain level of attendance in the meetings as well as other activities of the order. You have to earn our membership; it is not automatic; it is by merit.
Do the knights assist their members in improving their livelihood and are also responsible for the burial of their members?
Yes, we have various internal empowerment programmes we use to assist ourselves up to the burial of a knight. As a knight, you are entitled to a burial by the knights of St. Mulumba except you said you don’t want that. But that is part of our entitlement as a knight.
Are you impressed with the level of attendance at today’s event?
Well, everybody that was supposed to join came, safe for a few worthy brothers who are out of the state; they are not around. One is in South Africa and the others are somewhere else, but they took permission. Otherwise, every other person is here. The attendance, therefore, is impressive.
Is the event a yearly affair of the 3rd-degree knight?
No, it is when the next set is due; you know people have to be admitted into 2nd degree, too. This one is a metropolitan affair; we have what is called zone, sub-council and metro. So, this one is a metro affair – it is for the whole of Lagos State.
Your advice to the upcoming knights?
We monitor people, you don’t apply, we monitor. When we see the way you behave, both in church and out of the church, we will approach you and talk to you about joining the knighthood. Becoming a knight is just one way of growing in faith and preparing yourselves. We normally say you will die one day, so the earlier you know you will die one day you start preparing yourselves by the type of life you live.
What about the sword being worn by the knights around their waists? What does it stand for?
The sword being worn around the knights’ waists represents the ‘defence of the faith’. It means that you are prepared to die for the faith, the Catholic faith.
How many people were invested with KSM 3rd degree?
Forty-seven (47) members were invested with a 3rd-degree knighthood.
One of the recipients of the Knight of St. Mulumba 3rd degree, Ogbebor, in his speech on behalf of the other knights, thanked the Almighty God for the opportunity to be elevated to the 3rd degree.
He said: “I speak on behalf of the investees into the 3rd degree of our honoured order on this day, the 15th day of April 2023; this is the class of 2023 3rd degree where we have able-bodied brothers.
“We have to thank God for this good opportunity and to thank God also for this opportunity to be elevated to the 3rd degree and to pray that the good Lord of Easter will give us the enablement to carry out all our commitments and our vows of this degree and to enable us to progress in our private, religious lives and continue to bear witness to the Lord Most High. We are saying this through Jesus Christ our Lord.”