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When suddenly a matatu becomes a church

ALFAYO ONYANGO

After two hours of intimate singing, unstrategised dancing, impromptu get-ups and loads of clapping for the good will of God, we may or not still need more soul searching from our pastors.

I personally have never attended a Muslim or a Hindu sermon; so let me speak about what I can only understand. In this very cultural Nairobi, you can easily run into almost anyone in the town.

The either big buses or nganyas with loud music and calligraphy art all over or the 14-seater vans, could be your most convenient choice to commute. Nowadays, besides some banging music, matatus may spoil you with TV screens or other fancy stuff like washrooms or WiFi.

These features are always such advantages when you need to be relaxed through a bumpy ride, or just to bypass the hectic trafficville Nairobi. Trust the random stuff to distract you from the daily hustles of life.

I bet at some point in your commutes you have run into a fully-suited pastor that just sits a hush right beside you, who randomly stands up and commands the Demakufu or DJ Lyta mix to be halted immediately for the word of God. Such is the unpredictability of being in a matatu. Amen…

Good music can give you the best feelings when the song that matches your current situation plays, especially through some loud speakers. Bliss isn’t it?

But because pastor so and so wants to tell you these are the last days, he disrupts your five minutes of solitude, while reminding you why you will go to hell because you didn’t have 10 shillings to help a less privileged person. The pastor stands up and with a hoarse voice and begins to offer you what should be inspiration, instead of intimidation.

With a touching introduction, he carves a leeway to appeal to the audience including myself. The pastor starts to go over the word, “Bwana Yesu anasema kuwa usipomsifu na uwezo wako wote, nakumpa asilimia kumi ya ulicho nacho, hautauona ufalme wa mbiguni.’’

And that marked the moment he officially lost me.  What if I only earn enough to make a living and have to meet other important requirements? Sometimes, it could be so unfair how these pastors present their message.

Discouraged as I was from that little nibble he had at us middle-class workers, I instantly plugged my earphones in to ignore the negation brought about by this gentleman of a pastor.

After almost a one-hour trip from Nairobi to Ngong Town, the pastor had enough breath to last the ride and ended up asking for offerings, which I still did not have sufficient funds to give despite his persistent effort and energy. Pastors like those should remain in the church, or reevaluate their calling, and leave matatu business to be just that, matatu business!

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