Baptism dilemma

By Kenneth Juror | Kenya
We all sat waiting for the service to start, on my left and right were two sisters, Nicole and Angie, sandwiching me between them like some young cheeky boy not to be left alone roaming in the church and its precincts. On my lap sat my little daughter as the mother sat with our youngest son. Our first born son, Ricky left for Sunday school, from which he stood to benefit more with his fellow children as opposed to joining us in the adult service.

Earlier that morning my wife asked of what I thought about our twins being baptized as is the common practice in our church, they were now six months and quite ripe for baptism. “Can we start looking for God parents ?” she asked “Why should we?” my other wife interjected. “Hey we need to hurry up we are getting late” I evaded the question to deliberately avoid a debate.

We all stood up as is the norm although on the farthest end of the row was a gentleman with a goatee which had started graying, a nice suit to match and a checked shirt. He wore a pair of lacoste shoes and a shiny silver omega watch.
Midway into the service the gentleman heavily snored that everyone’s optical were aimed at the petite girl in a yellow dress who shook him to avoid further eye jabs. He woke up with blood shot eyes not bothered by what the congregation thought of him, he majestically inserted his index finger into his nostrils in a bid to empty its contents then cleaned it in an upward position using his palm, stretched sideways and sat on his right derriere with his legs crossed.

“In the book of Judges 13 a man called Manoah stood the test of time with a barren woman…” sermon was meticulously delivered by Rev Akello and driven home by her abrasive examples and straight talking manner. “Children are never to blame when they hurl insults at each other, parents are, who steals CDF money if not parents?, when children die of hunger yet money meant for their school feeding programme has been embezzled is it a child or a parent?” She asked an attentive church as one lady shouted from the last row “Amen”. Just after the Amen the sleeping gentleman shot up from his slumber and went straight to the pulpit his feet a little shaky though was helped by able ushers who guaranteed his steadiness.

Stagger…
“I am sorry for interrupting this church’s programme” he said in an eloquent, accented deep voice yet frail frame. The usher handed him a microphone. At this time the reverend was kind enough to allow the gentleman say what he needed to say.

“How many people know me?” he asked the congregation which saw some hands slowly raised.
“I have a problem that today I want to share with you good people of God” he quipped as the congregants fidgeted uncomfortably on their seats.
“I usually come to church to find peace, the peace that humankind finds in the presence of God, it is that peace that once I sit down I fall asleep because at home there is too much noise”. He hesitated then carried on… “Too much battery that makes it a living hell in its true sense, peace escaped our home ever since I married her” He expounded with finality as tears lingered his dry eyes.
“My wife whips me and the children that I had to take our children to village to avoid seeing them clobbered by their own mother while I helplessly looked on. I need your help church” he said in a shaky voice.

“We shall help you kindly sit, we shall follow up after the sermon” said the reverend.
The reverend took another 15 minutes upon which she concluded her sermon; we sought for our son who was still playing with other children.
The usual daddy buy me this, mummy buy me that filled our eardrums from Ricky’s demands as we walked to the church administrator who ushered us in asking whether Angie was an aunt.
“No she is my wife” I replied. “What of this other one?” the slender though sharply dressed man asked with a smile.

“She is too” I replied as I sat.

“We would like to register our children for next month’s baptism session, we want the twins baptized” I reclined on my chair holding baby Briana tightly in my arms while Brian was fast asleep on the mother’s lap.
He put on his glasses which precariously balanced on his nose though his eyes could still peer through the upper part of the frame.
“What is your registration number?” he asked while looking at his computer.
“30662” I replied.
“You are married to Nicole and you both have a son called Ricky” he replied with a stern voice.
“Yes Sir I agree, I am also blessed with these twins who are also my children” I retorted
“Could I have their names and the mother’s name so that we can fix a meeting with the deacon to clearly understand this matter?” he said as he stood as if guiding as out of the door.
He looked quite angry that I am a polygamous man not by choice but love.
I wrote Angie’s name down in a register written “BAPTISM REGISTER”. After completion I was instantly met with a rather ridiculous frown from this slender man.

We bid farewell to bespectacled guy and left.

“Why was he weird?” Nicole asked as Angie heaved a sigh of relief.

“Let talk about this at home or somewhere else” I answered.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

“We were like brothers”

By Kenneth Juror | Kenya

When water is disturbed shock waves are sent to the banks of the ocean or river. Those around the river banks scamper for safety as the story of two young men is told of how disturbed the river’s serenity brought them apart.

Animation by Joe Barasa.

we_were_like_brothers_single_small_1

 

Leave a comment

July 28, 2014 · 12:17 pm

58 movement re-launches to Love Light

By Kenneth Juror | Kenya

Remember when you were in form four or grade 12? What plans did you have apart from excelling in your Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education? This is the question posed by Baraka Mwaura corporate relations executive of Love Light during the launch of “The Project City Lights Curriculum” for street families that was recently launched at Pawa254.

Love Light seeks to offer long term solutions to challenges facing street families whose main work is to heal disparity actively, by edifying and providing economic and educational opportunities for the underprivileged around the world.

Project City Lights is Love Light’s fourth project since its inception in 2010. The founder, Brian Murimi, started the organization on the teachings of Isaiah 58 of the Bible.

Prezzo

During the event the MC narrated a story of three street children; John, James and Prezzo, not Prezzo the rapper but another Prezzo who deserves recognition as he raps too. He had gotten 425 marks from his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education which gave him a chance to join Mang’u High School. He had his parents who instead had him given out for adoption to a Briton lady. When prezzo was back from school, Mang’u, he was told of the lady’s intended return to her country, he was saddened by the news but found comfort almost immediately that his needs would be taken care of by another family in the absence of Mrs. Green (not her real name) Things got thick for the caretaker parents that he dropped out of school and the street around Wabera became home. This is where Prezzo resides and retires after a day of madam, nisaidie na shilingi kumi nikunywe chai , madam assist me with 10 shillings so as to buy tea.

This is an example of street brilliance that continues to beg and fend for themselves the best way they knew how.

Mr. Murimi explained twenty point challenges that the curriculum addresses which was collapsed to four; These are

  • Self esteem pillar promotes uplifting of street families’ esteem while emulating God’s word and his never ending love.
  • Counseling pillar this strives to counsel them no matter what they went through and eventually re-uniting them with their families.
  • Health pillar, offer teaching on the prevention of treatable respiratory diseases which they most suffer from due cold nights and days.
  • Business pillar’s main objective is to improve the quality of street families by engaging them in business related ventures, talent search, its nurture and prepare them for job prospects so as to eventually help them come out of the streets and be self reliant.
Brian explains the work pillars of Project City Lights

Brian explaining the pillars of The Project City Lights Curriculum

Prof Kahara stressing on a point as Brian looks on

Prof Kahara stressing a point as Brian looks on

Prof Nathan Kahara, the president of Former Mayors International and a former mayor of Nairobi, was the guest of honor who said that it was indeed the government’s responsibility to take care of street families however it had miserably failed.

“Street families are not a street problem but societal” Mr. Amani Maranga, Director of 360 degrees, a marketing and communications agency, said during a panel discussion.

You can indeed partner with Love Light by committing monthly financial resources towards their projects which will indeed go a long way in making the lives of street families’ hospitable, warm and quite cheerful. Here are the partnering avenues.

Kenyan Transfer
Account Name: (LOVELIGHT) FIFTY-EIGHT
Account number: 01134232041000
Co-operative Bank of Kenya
Branch: City Hall

MPESA

Select payment services
Select paybill
Business number 400200
Account number: 01134232041000

Kingdom Clothing’s Managing Director Job Mwanga told the audience that 10% of his company’s income is remitted to Love Light.

Among those who attended the launch included Mr. and Mrs. Kanjii Mbugua, Deputy Presidential aspirant 2013 General Elections Ronnie Osumba, Njeri Mwangi, General Manager Pawa254, Linda Ogeda Managing Director LightBox Limited among other dignitaries who feted Brian Murimi as one of the youngest visionary mind that the country had.

Photos courtesy of Pawa254

Njeri Mwangi -GM Pawa254, Amani Maranga -Director 360 degrees Mwas and Job Mwanga - MD kingdom Clothing

Njeri Mwangi -GM Pawa254, Amani Maranga -Director 360 Degrees Bedad Mwangi – CEO Kelele Republic of Africa  and Job Mwanga – MD Kingdom Clothing

Those in attendance during the launch

Those in attendance during the launch

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I am @Pawa254 for the launch of Love Lig

I am @Pawa254 for the launch of Love Light @58movement

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I still remember

By Kenneth Juror | Kenya

“I remember it was the 31st day of December 2007 four days after voting, the air was filled with hatred. As the blanket of darkness covered the face of the earth so did hatred, tribal animosity unveil itself in people around me”.

“I lived in the central Rift with my family, I knew exactly who my neighbours were in fact I had lived there for more than 15 years.

That night dogs barked louder than usual, we got more frightened but never knew the severity of the situation outside our home. From what was being shown on tv the situation was dire as Kenya was literally on fire.

My wife heard wails from afar as if a lady was in agony. I quickly dismissed her knowing too well our neighbours would indeed come to our rescue in case any incident arose. A dead silence followed suit as though all was well, little did we know that it was a precursor to worse things to happen to us. A loud deafening bang hit our main door sending it open into two pieces as a group jeered outside . The group of young men clad in sack clothes and painted their faces white shouting “leo bwana yako tutabeba kichwa yake kwa sahani kama ya John the Baptist” (We will carry your husband’s head on a plate the same way John the Baptist’s head was carried). I peeped at them from our bedroom window, my wife quickly told our children “never say where your father is”. She hid me in the uppermost part of the wardrobe as she ran towards the assailants shouting at that I was not home. One of them received my wife with a thunderous slap sending her to the ground faster than she ran towards them, her wailing was almost muted by the smack. They thoroughly ransacked the house stealing and cutting into pieces all that they could not carry with them, our dining table was reduced to firewood. My children were insulted, slapped and hit, their clothes torn because they were from a different community yet my wife was from their community.

Further search           

I could not breath loudly lest I get caught while in hiding, I had indeed resigned to my fate knowing too well that if my children or my wife hinted at anything then I am dead. Outside our house, men repeatedly raped women to which my wife was to be the next . One of them pulled down his trousers to sexually violate my wife, a police land rover came with officers spraying bullets in the air.

They disappeared in the thicket.

I got out of my hiding place quite shaken not knowing what to do, my children came to me crying one had a bleeding tongue emanating from a slap she got, my wife on the other hand was still at the same position she was in.

I vividly remember what happened as if it was yesterday.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Exhibition: Remember – lives lost in events of 2007/2008 PEV, May 24 2014 @ National Museum

Originally posted on Nairobi Now :: arts, culture and events:

Remember Exhibition
This is an exhibition that will be held at the National Museums of Kenya at the Louis Leakey auditorium on the 24th of May. It starts from 10.00am to 6.00pm and the commemoration ceremony soon after from 6.00pm to 9.00pm.

There are going to be diverse art works whose theme falls on remembering the lives lost in events of 2007/2008 post-election violence.

Remember Poster

View original

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The pestle of life

By Kenneth Juror | Kenya

It all seemed uniquely dark than usual, school going children had already left, the sounds of chirping birds rose and fell as the sun tried to pierce through the clouds’ opaqueness. The weather however had never deterred anyone from going about their day’s chores.

The village stood conspicuously on the hill, its face towards the highlands and its back towards the plains. On the other side was yet another hill conjoined with a low land, all its waters going downhill like tears on dry cheeks.

The sun had dimmed slightly by the time Kinyua took water to his father’s animals. He was carrying a 20 liter-jerry-can from the homestead’s watering point when he overheard a group of girls talking across the fence. They laughed quite loudly as if to mock him and perhaps get his attention. At first he pretended not to be perturbed by their directed attention, nevertheless they incessantly and deliberately mentioned his name which got him quite worried. He could see them quite well because the kraal was near the fence.

“Wewe mbona uoga? Hutaki  kupanda mbegu?” Hey, why the cowardice? Why don’t you want to “plant a seed” quipped one lady who turned her nose up at Kinyua.

“Wacha kupoteza wakati na muoga kama huyo, simba bure kabisa” (stop wasting your time with such a coward, toothless lion) Wambui shouted as she walked away gyrating her derrière in annoyance but to the amazement of Kinyua who wanted to respond but found his words too much of a mouthful.

“Why did they have to say that?” Kinyua kept asking himself sometimes hitting his head on the wall in a bid to try to squeeze some answers from his skull. He enjoyed making sure that his father’s animals were well fed despite the presence of the workers who also enjoyed his company and he often shrugged off the boss’ coat while engaging with them.

After feeding his father’s animals he decided to take the battle to Wambui’s doorstep by teasing her, “Wambui oka haha (come here Wambui)”.

Nũ ũreta ta ngui? (Who are you beckoning at like a dog?)”

Wambui’s friends milled around her, Kinyua knew he had to make sure that all was under control lest he gets a merciless beating from the girls, after all he was in their territory.

“Kindly come we have a chat, I am sorry for bothering you ladies, as you know I came in peace”

“Which peace yet…” but Njambi’s shout was interjected by Wambui “leave him alone”.

She walked towards him, then followed him out of the plantation.

Kinyua’s intelligence went beyond Kangara hills, many a times when his name was mentioned as the top perfomer in his school students’ claps were heard as far as the nearest market which was 2 km away. Every child in Kangara was told to emulate Kinyua or even surpass his academic prowess. Kinyua’s rĩĩka (age mates) were married to alcohol, they dreamt and breathed the liquid, most of them drunk their lunch.

Kinyua’s words to the young girl were received with a smile and reciprocated with a pat on his shoulder. He sat with her on the river bed talking about many things; from the great Dedan Kimathi to how she managed escaping the cut.

“Must I undergo the cut to prove that I am a woman?” posed Wambui.

“Dukamake ona hanini, Wĩ Wambui wa Kamau. Muirĩtu uria muthaka muno Kangara.

(You do not need to worry at all, you are Wambui wa Kamau. The most beautiful girl in Kangara”.

Her radiant smile increased at each word that he threw her direction.

Months went on and Kinyua kept talking about Wambui to his pals. He felt exuberantly happy as other boys could neither afford her ear nor her time. Kinyua stood out from his peers because of his profound intellect that was quite witty though remained as humble as his father who rarely spoke unless whistling when tending to his animals.

Wambui helped Kinyua’s parents to grind some maize, when evening approached Kinyua wanted to assist her in the pounding of the maize to get it finer.

“I remember each time we would grind and pound maize like this, a sweet, satisfying and inexplicable feeling would engulf my stomach because I knew it would see more than two meals a day.I would hold the pestle with both hands like this, get the first pounding into the mortar uncoordinated however after some minutes there is a seamless coordination between the pounds and a sweet sound of joy that each time I got scratches on my back,” Kinyua said.

They were all dripping with sweat after the content in the mortar was poured into a small jute bag.

Kinyua broke the ominous silence “Can you manage being well fed for several months with your tummy many times its size?”

“Hahaha why not.”

Edited by Alex Ikawah

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized